The following is an important message from the staff at ARRL HQ. Please
feel free to share with others:
“Here at HQ we’ve received lots of communications from our members
either asking for guidance or offering suggestions during the current
crisis. We hope everyone is adhering to CDC and local health department
guidelines by staying home, maintaining safe distances when around
people, and following sanitary practices.
With many hams staying home there are opportunities to get on the air
and call CQ or gather around the local repeater. We certainly don’t
need a reason to get on the air, after all, that’s what hams do.
In terms of ham radio preparedness, this current crisis has not
disrupted communications on a national scale. We know many of our
members practice and train for a personal radio communication capability
that can be called on when disaster strikes. ARES volunteers and our
partners in providing emergency communications already routinely monitor
the information and requests from Emergency Coordinators and the like.
Station and skills readiness are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service –
and this current crisis hasn’t changed this.
We can encourage members to remain safe, and to follow the guidelines
and requests of their national and local government officials and public
health leaders. For those members who are healthy and safe at home, we
can encourage them to get on the air:
• Get on the air. As online fatigue and a feeling of
isolation will inevitably creep into our “new normal,” being on-air
will introduce variety into our communication practices. As many of us
are now home bound or working and studying from home, turning on a radio to connect with your ham radio peers will be a welcome respite!
• Radio Clubs. Think of this current challenge as an
opportunity to encourage our club’s members to get on the air. Move
(short) meetings to the club’s repeater, and encourage check-ins.
Organize skeds, nets, and challenges. Try different bands (HF, VHF,
UHF…) and modes. This will also help new radio amateurs gain practical
• Readiness. Station and skills readiness are tenets of the
Amateur Radio Service. Any time we spend on the air will contribute to
developing and practicing our personal radio communication capability.
If you are a radio amateur serving your community through the ARRL
Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) or by volunteering with any of
our partners in providing public service communications, thank you. ARES
members routinely monitor the information and requests from their ARES
Emergency Coordinators. We are grateful for all the ways you stand-ready
to support the emergency service personnel in your communities when
Don’t forget the Northwestern Division has the ability to set up Zoom
virtual meetings for clubs that wish to take advantage of the
opportunity to get their members together with both video and audio, or
even present a program via the web. Several clubs have done so already,
and several others are booked. Send me a note if your club would like to
participate, and I’ll set you up!
73 and stay safe!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO