Amateur radio club members gather for emergency preparedness exercises

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:46

    Newton — On-air demonstrations and emergency preparedness activities are on tap for members of the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club (SCARC) as they gear up to celebrate Amateur Radio Week, June 20 to 26. The week ends with the annual 24 hour emergency preparedness exercises called “Field Day” June 25 and 26. During Field Day, amateurs set up in local parks, shopping malls, remote locations, and back yards and get on the air using generators, batteries, or solar/wind power. Officials said the day was designed to test operators’ abilities to set up and operate portable stations around the clock under emergency conditions, such as the loss of electricity. “We want the community to know that in the event of an emergency, we will be ready to assist in any way we can.” says John Santillo, SCARC president. “While people often think that cell phones or other communications technologies have replaced ham radio, we can provide vital communications in an emergency that others can’t.” Officials added the day is a serious test of skill, but it is also a contest for fun and the largest “on-air” operating event each year. During the weekend, radio operators try to contact as many other Field Day stations as possible. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across North America participated last year. The event will take place at Sussex County Community College’s rear parking lot in Newton. Operations will start at 2 p.m. on June 25 and end June 26 at 2 p.m. To learn more, visit