I had this question in my mind while I watched online videos of how Hurricane Harvey pounded on the state of Texas and brought with it 50 inches of rain. Now, Hurricane Irma has just passed the Caribbean as a CAT5 hurricane and expected to move into Florida. The footage from ABC News only reminded me of one thing: It’s Yolanda (Haiyan) all over again.
During and after super typhoon Yolanda, Philippine ham radio operators were indispensable as power lines and communication towers were down. Hams, however, have trained and prepared for such scenarios.
But what if despite the devastation, power lines remain intact and cellular communications remained open? What of hams then?
I would say they’d still be busy. I imagine there could be a frenzy of calls going in and out of the disaster area, easily stressing the cell towers capacity. And with today’s data-heavy social media posting, it’s easy to visualize a congested cellular and data network – that no matter how much we are reminded to use social media responsibly, immaturity gets the best of us.
Perhaps the ham radio operator would have less workload/pileup to deal with but it is clear that the messages he relays are of utmost importance. Ham radio is a lot of fun, especially in ‘quiet’ times. But we are always reminded of the Amateur’s Code – the amateur is patriotic: his knowledge and his station are always reay for the service of his country and his community.