With Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials monitoring, dozens of radio amateurs along the US east coast on May 23 demonstrated Amateur Radio’s ability to deliver messages without commercial power, infrastructure, or permanently established stations. The event took place in coordination with ARRL. The demonstration was a mock response to a simulated disaster scenario — a major hurricane with mass casualties. During the event, radio amateurs at portable stations from New England to the Carolinas delivered message traffic to W1AW, which coordinated and delivered the information to officials attending a joint Red Cross-FEMA meeting in Baltimore.
“About a dozen stations participated in the demonstration, including operators in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, northern New Jersey, western Pennsylvania, Delaware, and South Carolina,” ARRL Communications Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN, said. “Red Cross officials were on-site at W1AW and at the receiving station in Baltimore. At both sites, they indicated that were impressed with Amateur Radio’s ability to deliver messages digitally so that could be displayed on a computer screen and in a format that matched the format for messages that the Red Cross uses.” Isgur said ABC, CBS, and Fox TV affiliates sent reporting teams to W1AW.