— When an ice storm, tornado, or even an earthquake knocks out power and cell phones in Hendricks County — and for days not even police radios work — how will the vital messages get through?
One key service that will work is amateur radio, and local licensed “ham” operators will be ready, in part because of their annual field day this weekend in Danville.
For 80 years, ham radio operators have been getting out in the field in June to show they can transmit and receive messages with temporary antennas and emergency power for 24 hours.
From 2 p.m. Saturday until 2 p.m. Sunday, the public is welcome at their field day at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex grandstand on North County Road 200 East. The Hendricks County Amateur Radio Society (HCARS) also invites all hams young and old to participate.
Area hams will try to contact as many of the 35,000 other field day hams in the United States and Canada as possible, said John Farmer of Avon, HCARS president.
“We also will welcome representatives of local emergency responders, who prepare with ham radio operators throughout the year so they can communicate when regular services aren’t available,” he said.
Gov. Mike Pence also has declared the week of June 17-23 Amateur Radio Week in Indiana.
More information is available online at hcars.org.