The Puget Sound Energy Foundation recently awarded more than $4,500 to the Island County Amateur Radio Club (ICARC) to create a mobile ham radio station “Go Box” during emergencies when other communication systems aren’t functioning.
Walt Blackford, regional outreach manager for Puget Sound Energy, presented John Acton of the ICARC with a $4,565 check.
Severe wind storms, earthquakes and other conditions can damage normal communications systems that are used to respond to emergencies and power outages, according to a press release. Ham radio communications become a primary way to transmit local and regional information during these types of event. A “Go Box” contains a suite of mobile ham radios and antennas capable of operating on self-contained emergency power. It can also be taken to a disaster site, a shelter, a fire station or wherever is needed to provide communications until normal systems are restored. Emergency services on South and North Whidbey are also in reach of the Go Box, as well as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Based on Whidbey Island and serving since 1969, Island County Amateur Radio Club is a non-profit organization that strives to provide emergency and special event communications support to the community, promote learning and expertise in the art of electronics and radio technology and foster amateur radio for young and old.