Communications Failure During a Disaster!

(Source: Life in Solera, May 2023)  

The Solera Radio Club is part of the West Riverside County - Amateur Radio Emergency Radio Service (ARES) Division/Banning Pass District.

The underlying irony of modern communication technology is that it often fails when it’s needed most: during disasters.

Cellular networks are crucial to everyday life, especially given how reliant most of us are on internet connectivity. Meanwhile, data’s contribution to first responders is irrefutable; command-and-control and real-time crime centers provide invaluable intelligence for everyday emergency operations.

It may not be the primary means of day-to-day communication, but during an emergency, radio-frequency networks are often the only means of communication.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey wrecked hundreds of cellular towers, leaving some counties with cell-site outage percentages of up to 95 percent, according to Ars Technica. While this pales in comparison to the 1,000 or so cell sites that were disrupted during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than 148,000 people in the Houston area were left with no access to the internet. Ham radio operators stepped up to the plate and provided invaluable communication with the outside world in areas.

In October 2018: Hurricane Michael’s assault on the South left some cities without adequate coverage. Cellular coverage suffered in the area, despite battery backups that should have lasted longer than they did. Meanwhile, in Bay County, 65 percent of cell sites failed, according to Bloomberg.

Fast-forward to 2021, some of the cell sites in the path of the widespread California wildfires were disrupted, making it difficult for citizens to get the help they needed. In its coverage of the event, Bloomberg pointed out that the FCC has voiced repeated concern about the resilience of cellular communication to such events.


Question:  This late actor held the call sign KE6PZH and once used his Oscar as a doorstop. Who is it?

One of the best-known names in cinematic as well as Amateur Radio circles, actor Marlon Brando, died in Los Angeles July 1 at age 80. Known to hams worldwide as KE6PZH and FO5GJ, Brando is listed on the FCC database as Martin Brandeaux. He was on the air occasionally through the years from his private island in French Polynesia.

TRIVIA QUESTION THIS MONTH (Answered next month)

This famous ham invented a legendary music device that was featured on the album "Switched-On Bach". Who is it? 

This article was brought to you by Ray C. Gayton-Jacob (N6KZM)