Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee

This site was created in cooperation with the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee, and is supported by funding from the Department of Homeland Security.


Amateur Radio

Amateur radio services are an important part of emergency planning in the metro area. They help people get in touch around town and around the world, using voice communications, Morse code, computers and televisions.

These services support a wide variety of communications needs for service agencies, such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and local government police and fire departments. Emergency management agencies can call on the services of ham radio operators to help with communications when disaster strikes. When normal communications systems — phone lines, cellular services, two-way radios — are unavailable or overtaxed, amateur radio services can provide additional communications resources that are extremely flexible.

Amateur radio groups offer a large a pool of trained, licensed communicators who provide their own equipment and operate on a vast pool of frequencies, all as a volunteer service to their communities.

In addition to disaster communications, amateur radio services are used to support many community events such as bike rides and walk-a-thons for Multiple Sclerosis, March of Dimes and more. This provides not only an important community service, but also valuable training opportunities for ham radio operators.

A number of local clubs and groups offer training and test preparation to help people become licensed amateur radio operators. These organizations work together through the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Council (MECC). The primary purpose of this group is to provide a forum for amateur groups and the agencies they serve to work together to become better prepared to respond to disasters. The council meets bimonthly, and helps coordinate HAM radio training, informational presentations and other opportunities for volunteers to become involved in amateur radio operations.

For more information about the MECC visit the MECC website at