Radio Hams (Amateur Radio Operators) worldwide in times of major disasters often provide invaluable communication support. If conventional communication networks break down, and with limited or no access to remote and affected areas, they may be left as the only ‘priceless’ communication link assisting rescue and relief efforts and helping save lives.
The West Bengal Radio Club (amateur club) works in close coordination with the state government during natural calamities. They have proposed to build up the infrastructure for linking the amateur radio repeater with internet for uninterrupted connectivity during a natural disaster. The weak radio signal can be re transmitted through repeaters and linked to the nearest location with intact internet services.Licensed ham radio operators through a program called ‘Echo link,’ installed on their Android phones, can access any repeater connected with the internet.
A mock drill to demonstrate such connectivity with the repeater of a radio club in California was carried out with a number of state departments participating.