Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during emergencies worldwide.

This Saturday and Sunday, local residents will have a chance to meet and talk with ham radio operators and see for themselves what this “radio service” really is about.

The Mineral Wells Amateur Radio Club and Palo Pinto Amateur Radio Club will conduct a 24-hour demonstration of emergency communications abilities at West City Park gazebo beginning at noon Saturday and ending at noon Sunday.

This annual event, called “Field Day,” is an exercise in emergency preparedness. The first Field Day took place in 1933. Using only generators, batteries or solar power, the hams construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls and backyards to test their skills under all situations.

The slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t!” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

There are 670,000 amateur radio operators in the U.S. and more than 2.5 million around the world. Just name a disaster and you will find amateur radio operators handling communications for it.

To learn more about amateur radio, call (940) 325-8970 or (940) 453-1634. The public is cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. They might even help you get on the air.

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