by Bill Carroll, KC9CIK
Welcome to the world of Amateur Radio! During the past two weeks, our community has gone from skipping out on an eclipse (to make contacts during the eclipse) to assisting others in need with Hurricane Harvey.
I saw the humor in seeing that several of our ranks were actively making contacts (some inside) while one of the greatest spectacles I have ever seen was occurring in the sky. I did not participate in amateur radio during the time of the eclipse, but I do not fault those who did. I just thought it was kind of unique to see how many were making these contacts. I may very well do the same in seven years at the next eclipse.
We left the week of the eclipse to go into disaster communications mode to prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Harvey. This is going to be ranked as one of the most devastating hurricanes on record. Harvey is still making news as it has come back ashore to cause more damage. The amount of rainfall that this hurricane as produced is not even within comprehension. I have seen estimates of nine trillion gallons of water has fallen on Texas.
During this time of need, we have seen the stories of how amateur radio has come to render aid. It is admirable how our community of Ham Radio enthusiasts can get into the swing of things and search out opportunities to aid victims. I pray that our local community does not need our assistance anytime soon, but I am certain we, as amateur radio operators, will be there to help. We do it routinely for Skywarn activations, charity events and tornado recovery.
Thank you to all of you who have helped in the past. For those of you who may be interested in helping in the future, get involved. Reach out to other Ham’s and find out how you can learn the skills needed to help when others need us. Practice by participating in events for charity. Listen to the nets to see how the procedures are used. But always, enjoy the hobby that you have gotten into. It is worth your time and, will produce enjoyment in so many ways.
Bill Carroll, KC9CIK