Newton Amateur Radio Association Inc., or NARA, will be participating in Field Day again this year from 1 p.m. Saturday, June 24th, until 12 noon. Sunday the 25th at the Jasper County Emergency Operations Center, located at 1030 W 2nd St. S, in Newton, Iowa. There will be an open house for the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors are welcome during this time.
Field Day is a 24-hour period to test a radio club’s readiness for emergency communications.
Ham radio is the “go-to” form of communication should an event cause a power outage that affects common forms of communications, such as phone or 911 services. Ham radio clubs have provided emergency communications during many of the disasters here in America as well as around the world.
The NARA is setup to provide communications separate from the 911 center and have tested communications with the state emergency operations center at Camp Dodge and with the National Weather Service in Johnston. During bad weather situations, the NARA will regularly exchange status reports received from trained storm spotters and then provide the reports to the weather service. In past storms, NARA has provided the 911 dispatchers with flash flooding information, and information regarding downed trees, blocking of roadways or damaged power lines. If the status of conditions in a certain area is needed, one of our club members will go and check it out and report back. If for some reason the antennas or equipment at the Law Enforcement Center were to become inoperable, the Emergency Operations Center station now provides backup.
In past years, the radio club operated from Sunset or Woodland Parks on Field Day, and usually came in first in its class in Iowa and first or second in the Midwest Region for stations operating “in the field.”
One of the main activities of the club, besides emergency communications, is the annual Field Day operation. Field Day is a national operation of about 2,300 radio clubs like the NARA.
The clubs take to the field with generators, portable antennas and equipment, and then try to reach as many different stations as they can in a 24-hour period. Field Day is a chance for clubs across the nation to test their equipment and try to best each other in competition.
The Newton Amateur Radio Association of Newton Iowa is a non-profit organization that started as an outgrowth the of YMCA’s ham radio club established in 1937 and will be celebrating its 80-year anniversary in 2017.
What else is cool about Ham Radio? Check out our website to find out. http://www.w0wml.org
For more information visit our website at http://www.w0wml.org or contact Chuck Wagoner, Emergency Coordinator for Newton Amateur Radio Association Inc. at 641-521-1938.