Dozens of amateur radio operators partnered with the American Red Cross on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, to practice using ham radio as an alternative means of communication in a disaster.
Several jurisdictions in the metro participated in an exercise based on a New Madrid Seismic Zone event. An earthquake of 7+ on the Richter scale would send an estimated 250,000 people to the Kansas City metro area looking for refuge. The exercise involved a scenario where amateur radio operators had been asked to prepare to provide communications between the Red Cross and their shelters as well as between hospitals and their alternate care sites. The primary objective was to evaluate these sites for setting up communications.
Groups participating in the exercise included, but are not limited to, KCHEART (KC Hospital Emergency Amateur Radio Team), ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) groups from throughout the metro, and the MECC (Metropolitan Emergency Communications Council).