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Amateur radio communications in a disaster preparedness simulation When all else fails . . . amateur radio

Randy McCamey, PhD, SPHR, CEP, AStd, Jennifer Yeager, PhD, RN, AGNP


During natural disasters, communications can be disrupted, which negatively impacts response time of first responders thus diminishing the level of care provided to disaster victims. In the fall of 2014, as part of a larger community-based participatory research study, the Tarleton Area Amateur Radio Club (TAARC) joined the Department of Nursing, Tarleton State University, and provided amateur radio communications during a disaster preparedness simulation. The simulation was conducted to determine the ability of the university to provide rapid response and render quality, acute healthcare to its neighbors during a natural disaster. The primary goals of the TAARC were to assess the ability to quickly establish radio communications, accurately relay messages, and establish rapport and affiliation between each facility commander and the amateur radio operators. It was determined that communication was key to provide quality care, and the inclusion of amateur radio operators in the simulation helped ensure rapid response times and rapid transport of critical victims.


emergency communications, backup communications, amateur radio, emergency preparedness, disaster preparedness simulation

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