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Brainerd Ham Radio event set for coming weekend

Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club members will show their emergency capabilities during a public demonstration from 12-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds.

The public will have a chance to meet and talk with Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club members and experience for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the country will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.The public will see ham radio's new capabilities and learn how to get an FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls,

schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, "When All Else Fails, Ham Radio

Works" 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 any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications," said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. "From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio

provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air."

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now more than 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all free of charge.

To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to The Brainerd Club's website is

More information is available from BAARC Field Day Chairman Lyle Amundson 218-765-3100.