It’s the last line of communication. That is why Steve Das has been interested in ham radio for years.
“When everything fails, the power grid goes down and you have an earthquake or a bad mudslide…cell phones are the first things that go away,” Das said.
The W6JW Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club had their annual 24-hour Field Day at Castaic Lake Water Agency on Saturday. Club members opened up their event to the public to learn more about amatuer radio and its importance.
“(The event) is a way for amateur radio operators to dial in their skills as far as (participating in) an emergency set up station,” said Field Day chair Chris Sheridan.
In addition to amateur radio as a means of emergency communication, Field Day is also an opportunity for enthusiasts to reach out to others across the country.
“It’s also a contest to make as many contacts as you can in a twenty-four hour period,” Sheridan said. “You can talk to people halfway around the world.”
Even in the wake of technological advances, residents find that ham radio still plays an important role in keeping the community safe.
Linda Buesching, a Valencia resident, recently had community emergency response team training. After her certification, she realized the crucial role radio can play in a critical situation.
”When the cellphones and landlines are down, they are all that are left,” Buesching said.
“If I can help the community in a disaster, if I can help a person whose car broke down in the middle of nowhere, why not?”
Samie Gebers also contributed to this report.