Amateur radio operators, or “hams,” throughout Delaware spent Aug. 12 providing back-up communications for the Delaware State Full Scale Emergency Exercise.
This drill was sponsored by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and simulated a Category-3 hurricane, which brought damage and flooding across the peninsula.
More than 75 amateurs volunteered their time and specialized radio equipment to participate in the event.
Hams were stationed at state and county emergency operations centers in the three Delaware counties and at special locations established to provide meals and disaster support to simulated storm victims. In addition to conventional stations in New Castle, Wilmington, Smyrna, Georgetown, Lewes, Dover and Seaford, temporary stations were set up in Newark, Saint Georges and Milford.
Delaware hams annually conduct a statewide emergency communications test, but normally do so in October. The opportunity to team up with the state for this full scale drill convinced Delaware’s Amateur Radio leadership that this was a perfect opportunity for realistic training.
Training and readiness are essential elements of Amateur Radio as emphasized by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. The exercise gave hams more experience and helped them prepare for a time when they may be called upon to provide communications support in an actual disaster.
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