Amateur radio holding expo June 26-27

Published 3:44 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

Shelby County residents will get a chance to learn more about the community’s amateur radio operators during a weekend festival June 26-27 at the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency building in Columbiana.

During the event, which will be held outside the county EMA office at 504 Shelby County 70 in Columbiana, members of the Shelby County Amateur Radio Club will demonstrate their emergency communications capabilities during a series of simulated emergencies.

Because amateur radios can operate on their own power supplies and can quickly relay information over long distances, they routinely help emergency responders when other communication systems are damaged.

“(Amateur radio’s) 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 other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis,” read a Shelby County Amateur Radio Club press release.

In the past few years, amateur radio operators have helped relay information during wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events across the country. Following Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio operators provided the only form of mass communication in southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

During the June 26-27 meeting, the Shelby County club will also provide information for anyone interested in obtaining their own Federal Communications Commission radio license.

For more information about the weekend event, visit the Shelby County Amateur Radio Club’s website at