Communicating After an Earthquake

(Source: Life in Solera, September 2023)  

The month of October is recognized as being “Earthquake Awareness Month.” Residents are encouraged to prepare for the aftermath of a quake. Clearly, preparing after the quake hits is not a good strategy. The best time to prepare for an earthquake is before it strikes. Now, would be a great time to prepare and plan for communication outages.

Cellular engineers have admitted that if a large and disastrous earthquake hit the region, Most of the cellular towers would be misaligned and microwave connections would be lost. That means the cellular towers would become inoperable and your devices will not work. The engineers also mentioned that repairing failed systems could take several days or even weeks.

Most of us could not live without a functional cellphone for 5 minutes; could imagine being without a cell phone for a day?

Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics, and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.

Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, most like the members of the Solera Radio Club, got into amateur radio to provide a service in Solera. In the event normal communications become unavailable, Solera Radio Club members would step up and provide communications alternatives for those residing in Solera. Part of their capabilities would be to reach out to disaster relief resources.  This could only happen through the use of radios and support equipment like external antennas.

Solera Radio Club members practice their skills by DXing. “Doing what?” DXing is the art and science of listening to distant stations (taken from DX, the telegraphic shorthand for D=distance X=xmitter or transmitter). The practice of DXing arose during the early days of radio broadcasting. Listeners would mail "reception reports" to radio broadcasting stations in hopes of getting a written acknowledgment or a QSL card that served to officially verify they had heard a distant station. This practice continues to this day.

Club members use these same DXing skills to practice contacting Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) in Indio, Riverside, Rialto, Santa Ana, and Los Angeles. Some have even contacted the California Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento.


Question:  What radio station was the first to broadcast a live baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies on August 5, 1921?

Answer: On August 5, 1921, Harold Arlin of “KDKA” in Pittsburgh voiced the first MLB game on the radio.

Before Harold Arlin voiced the first Major League Baseball broadcast on August 5, 1921, the only way to experience a game was to go to the ballpark. The only way to follow scores was to look up at a wooden scoreboard to see them changed manually.

TRIVIA QUESTION THIS MONTH (Answered next month)

Operating your radio "barefoot" means to operate it how?

This article was brought to you by Ray C. Gayton-Jacob (N6KZM) The Solera Radio Club is part of the West Riverside County - Amateur Radio Emergency Radio Service (ARES) Division/Banning Pass District.