Radio Club Hosts Event To Help Users In Emergency Situations

The Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club hosted its annual Field Day event for radio amateurs to learn how to broadcast in abnormal and emergency situations.

The event is June 22 at 11 a.m. through 11 a.m. June 23 at the Castaic Lake Water Agency Headquarters off Bouquet Canyon Road. More than 35,000 radio amateurs gather in the U.S. and Canada to participate in this national event through other clubs on-air.

Amateurs run on generators with emergency antennas and try to contact other radios throughout the country to get points as part of a contest, but it also is a way to show amateurs how to handle radio in emergency situations.

“It’s basically half contest and half emergency training,” said Todd Hizeroth, club officer and former president of the club. “We set this up in an emergency type of venue. It’s available to the public if they want to join.”

Participants use bands with different wavelengths to contact different radio users. The club and amateurs brought their own radio equipment to use.

Hizeroth used the 1994 Northridge earthquake as an example of an emergency situation where communications were down and Santa Clarita was isolated.

The club works with different groups, such as the sheriff’s department, to make sure emergency radios are working.

“When a major disaster happens, we know what’s going to happen. Everyone will be stuck on their own for two to three days,” Hizeroth said.