Valley Hams are among approximately 35,000 amateur radio operators all across the United States and Canada who are in the midst of an annual event known as “Field Day.”
With "Field Day" broadcast sites set up at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Northridge Hospital, and Lemans Drive in Topanga, they are participating in a 24-hour emergency preparedness exercise that has been sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) since the early 1930s.
It began Saturday and continues through 11 a.m. Sunday. The public is invited to observe the activities and even participate. Most locations will have a “Get–On-The-Air” station for everyone --including children--to try making radio contact with Hams around the world with the guidance of a licensed Ham.
Here's how to find the local sites:
The first location is at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave. in Woodland Hills. It will be set up in the Performing Arts Parking Lot 6 East. The ARRL-Los Angeles Section-Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group, is organizing this site. ARES members volunteer their expertise and equipment whenever disaster strikes.
Another site is at Northridge Hospital, 18300 Roscoe Blvd. in Northridge. The San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club is setting up this location. This group was founded in 1946 and is dedicated to helping others and having fun doing it.
The third Valley site is at the end of Lemans Drive (near the summit) in Topanga. This location is being set-up by the Topanga Community Emergency Preparedness (T-CEP) Disaster Radio Team. This volunteer organization’s purpose is the help the Topanga community to prepare for and cope with disasters such as wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. For more information about T-CEP, go to www.t-cep.org.
There are more than 600,000 amateur radio licensees in the United States and more than 2.5 million around the world. Ham volunteers provide no-cost emergency communications for their communities and for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies. To learn more about amateur radio, go to www.arrl.org.
-- Clara Woll