The role of amateur radio in providing emergency electronic communication for disaster management

Russell C. Coile (Disaster Co‐ordinator, Pacific Grove Fire Department, California, USA)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 1 August 1997

Abstract

In the USA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides support to State and local governments in fulfilment of their responsibilities for preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation of disasters. One method FEMA has used to support State and local emergency communication functions was to sign and implement a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) for amateur radio operators to provide electronic communications for State and local governments in disasters. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has licensed more than 600,000 amateur radio operators in the USA. The national organization of amateur radio operators called the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) was formed in 1914. More than 80,000 of these amateurs have registered their availability for emergency communications in disasters in the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). Amateur radio operators have been providing communications in natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes since 1910. Since amateur radio operation was prohibited during the years of both World Wars I and II, FEMA has sponsored a new branch of the amateur service called Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). RACES operators are authorized to operate if the President invokes his War Emergency Powers while all other amateur operation would be silenced. Examines the role of amateur radio in providing emergency electronic communications for disaster management and explores future contributions.

Keywords

Citation

Coile, R. (1997), "The role of amateur radio in providing emergency electronic communication for disaster management", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 176-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653569710172946

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Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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