The Cape May County Office of Emergency Management will participate in an annual amateur radio event and will be on the air from 2 P.M. on Saturday June 26 to 2 P.M. Sunday June 27. The ARRL Field Day dates back to 1933. ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
Hams from across North America ordinarily participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, bring people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities. Field Day highlights ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network.
This year's event is also noteworthy given that a particularly active hurricane season is predicted. “Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Marty Pagliughi, Director of the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management. “Ham radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others.”
The Cape May County OEM will host a location at the Cape May County Airport, at the open area on Ranger Road, across from Georges Auto Repair, LLC. The County’s OEM views this as an essential exercise because ham radio is the last line of communication in the event of a major storm event where primary sources of communication like cell towers go down. This radio communication allows OEM in Cape May County to reach out to the State Police and other parts of New Jersey.
“It’s a great exercise and extremely important for preparedness,” said Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton, liaison to Cape May County OEM. “Thanks to the many people participating not just in Cape May County, but across New Jersey and the United States.”
During Field Day 2020, more than 18,000 hams participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the US, and an estimated 3 million worldwide.