Recent Outages Highlight Need for Ham Radio, Multiple Emergency Communications.

Earlier this month, both AT&T and Verizon had a texting and calling cell phone outage – even the FCC noted that this was happening in multiple states! Similar issues have happened in February and at other times. In the recent New Mexico, 29 out of 113 cell towers were down and this is a common issue among areas with natural disasters. This highlights the need for other channels of communication, even when you are in town and normally have a working cell phone:

Amateur Radio (Ham radios)

Amateur radio requires a licensing class and a good deal of study, but there are many options and different radios and packet modes.

Most ham radio operators will have a handheld on UHF/VHF frequencies that many will be listening for in emergencies – 146.52, and local repeater frequencies that ham radio users check in directly to from time to time.

GMRS

GMRS is like the VHF/UHF frequencies used in ham radio, but these frequencies are for use of anyone that buys the $35 FCC license, and their family members. Check out the howto here for details.

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