Emergency Comms

When all else fails...

In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail.

Unlike commercial systems, Amateur radio is usually independent of terrestrial facilities that can fail. It is dispersed throughout a community without "choke points" such as cellular telephone sites that can be overloaded.

Amateur radio operators are experienced in improvising antennas and power sources and most equipment today can be powered by an automobile battery. Annual "Field Days" are held in many countries to practice these emergency improvisational skills. Amateur radio operators can use hundreds of frequencies and can quickly establish networks tying disparate agencies together to enhance interoperability.

Get involved in Ashtabula County, Ohio

If you are a licensed amateur radio operator and would like to get involved in organized emergency communications in Ashtabula County, one of the first places to get information is the Ashtabula County ARES website. There you will find contact information and many links to informational sites.

If you'd like to get started on your own, there are several online courses that the Ashtabula County EMA requires of anyone wishing to help in the EOC during an emergency. Anyone may take the courses, but to receive a certificate, you must register for a FEMA SID.

Once you have completed the courses and obtained your certificates, contact one of the club officers, or one of the Ashtabula County ARES officers to give them a copy.

Required Courses