Amateur Radio League Holds Awareness Event

Published 06/23 2013 02:14PM

Updated 06/23 2013 02:21PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - When disaster strikes, modern communication like the Internet and cell phones can leave us in the dark. That's when amateur radio operators, also called "HAMs", step in.

HAMs are the first in line of communication when events like tornados or ice storms occur.

The Amateur Radio Relay League holds an event every year for people to learn more about using HAM radios.

The event took place this weekend at the American Red Cross at West Bypass and Division and at Nixa High Pointe Elementary School.

"In situations where you will lose communication like in a tornado, such as Joplin, amateur radio was one of the first communications out of there," says Shawn McKee, a technical advisor.

Tornados in our state have demonstrated the need for learning to use the right tool during disasters.

There are now over 700,000 amateur radio operators in the U.S. today.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.