When All Fails Amateur Radio Succeeds
Something has gone terribly wrong. Normal ways of doing things are not working. The fastest way to turn an emergency into a full disaster is to lose communications.
Radio Amateurs understand emergencies. For over 70 years they have provided emergency communications for organisations. When normal ways of communication fail or get overloaded Radio Amateurs will be there.
SARL HAMNET, the National Emergency Communications division of the South African Radio League (SARL), provides communications for emergencies and can mobilise experienced communicators who with their own radio equipment will back up official channels or take over when all else fails.
The SARL represents all Radio Amateurs in South Africa at all levels of Government and through the IARU at the International Telecommunications Union. Radio Amateurs or “Hams” use two-way radio communication to contact other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio amateurs can do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.
Radio amateurs have a full range of communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. A licensed radio amateur is able to join in experiments using all these modes.