Fort Bend County, Texas – A solar flare erupts from beneath the surface of the sun, causing a wave of charged particles to bombard the earth which disables satellites, cell phone towers, and landline phones. How will your local Office of Emergency Management communicate with the State of Texas or even Washington DC to coordinate a response to a disaster of that scale? Amateur Radio Operators!
All across the world, there are radio operators stationed in key places to ensure that messages can be sent, relayed, and received no matter what has happened to their surrounding infrastructure. These radio operators meet regularly to test this capability. On June 24, the Fort Bend County Emergency Management Radio Operators Group (EMROG), along with the Sugar Land American Legion Post 942 Ham Club, deployed with the Regional Communications Unit to Brazos Bend State Park to participate in the world wide Amateur Radio Relay League Field Day.
The Amateur Radio Relay League Field Day event positions amateur radio operators all over the world into field locations to test their ability to operate for 20-hours, running only on emergency power. With the help of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, volunteers set up the Fort Bend County Regional Communications Unit at the Brazos Bend State Park and tested the unit’s ability to communicate with other radio operators throughout the United States. The exercise was a success: the group made over 100 radio contacts during the short event.
Tours of the Regional Communications Unit were made available to several members of the public to demonstrate the functionality of this Emergency Management asset.
For more information about the Fort Bend County Emergency Management Radio Operators Group, or our Office’s emergency capabilities, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 281-342-6185 or oem@FortBendCountyTX.gov.