FAIR LAWN, NJ - Members of the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Winter Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, beginning Saturday, 2 p.m. Jan. 27 and ending 24 hours later.

The venue will be located outside of  the Fair Lawn Recreation Center located at 10-10 20th Street  in Fair Lawn, outdoors.

The annual event, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), is great opportunity to prep for the national Amateur Radio RL Field Day in June. The event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter. According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day.

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For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network.  Ham operators train and prepare to support emergency communications by providing radio links when other communications channels aren't working.

This year's Winter event is a first for the Fair Lawn club, one of the largest in northern New Jersey.

“In disasters, we've learned that cell towers won't work and ham operators play a huge role when that happens.” Brad Kerber, President of the Fair Lawn club, said.“Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Frank added. "In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

"Amateur radio, regardless of season,  remains contemporary and more important than ever" Kerber noted.

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator;  there are more licensed US operators today than ever before.  And with clubs such as Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved  in Fair Lawn.  The club meets every Friday at the Community Center located at 10-10 20th Street in Fair Lawn.

For more information contact Ed Efchak at eefchak@gmail.com  or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio or the local club site at www.flarc.net.