Communication can still thrive without power
Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 2:57 pm | Updated: 2:57 pm, Tue May 27, 2014.
The moments after a hurricane hits may be the most stressful for family members trying to reach their loved ones in the direct path of the hurricane. Often cell phone towers may have been damaged or are overloaded by people trying to reach their family and friends.
The Texas Emergency Amateur Communicators who serve the northeast areas of Harris County including Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, Huffman, Porter and surrounding areas in Montgomery County first stepped up during Hurricane Ike to provide communications and message to residents throughout both counties.
“We have about 60 people who are a part of TEAC and we are all licensed Ham Radio operators,” Chuck Sprick with TEAC said. “We all have battery operated radios in our cars, home and handhelds as well that allow us to communicate through a repeater. This is especially helpful when there is an emergency and cell phones are not working. We are able to communicate with people in Harris and Montgomery County, the United States and even around the world with the use of a High Frequency radio.”
The Ham Radio operators with TEAC join with other radio operators throughout the Houston and surrounding communities on a regular basis in order for them to train and prepare for any future emergencies.
During Hurricane Ike, they set up their operations at the Houston TranStar offices which allowed for them to operate as a liaison between the community and agencies at the Emergency Operations Center. They were able to report weather and road conditions as well as share information to residents through their radio system.
When there is a hurricane, they activate as a group with other Ham Radio groups to process information and communicate with others. They often use generators and backup long-life batteries that help them to communicate via repeaters when there is no power.
They will also partner with groups like the Community Emergency Response Teams and Community Response Task Force which both consist of community members trained in emergency preparedness to share as much information as possible.
The TEAC will be participating in the Hurricane Preparedness Workshop at the George R. Brown Convention Center at the end of May.
For more information, visit www.teac.net.