With the recent hurricanes and storms impacting our area, many people have found themselves without power and phones. The same is true for many emergency management organizations that rely on power for communication equipment.
First it was Bonnie, then Charley and let's not forget Frances. These storms kept Lowndes County emergency officials on their toes working hard to coordinate relief efforts, but what if their lines of communication were to be knocked out by the weather?
Their answer is now amateur Ham Radio.
Wayne Brant, Ham Radio operator, says, "The advantage of amateur radio is that we continue to operate. Even if the power goes down, it doesn't make any difference to us."
County emergency officials are enlisting the help of Ham Radio operators in the area to serve as a backup service in the event power is lost and standard communication lines go down.
Nick Lacey, Lowndes Emergency Management director, says, "That stuff is reliable. It's been around for a long time. Much of their radio equipment has been and it's proven, and when you have proven technology it is quite reliable."
For Wayne Brant, serving as the county's main Ham Radio operator is a volunteer service he's happy to provide. He knows the importance of his hobby.
Brant says, "As we all know, you hear for example in the British Isles and Grenada that every form of communication is gone except Ham Radio. It's always Ham Radio that gets the message out."
The Ham Radio operators in the area say they're more than happy to serve their community.
Amateur Ham Radio classes are available for those interested in learning more about the service. Call Wayne Brant at 229-794-4677.