I have been a licensed amateur radio operator for 38 years. It is one of those incredibly interesting adventures that relatively few outside the hobby know or understand. Cell phones, Ipads, tablets, email, texting, "Skype," and other internet communication possibilities have made it possible to communicate around the world. As these new electronic miracles evolved, I looked back on my 3 years in the Army Security Agency when I was over in Europe. A 3 minute transoceanic call to my dear wife would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 dollars per minute....or was it 3 minutes? Today, those folks who replaced me and my military contemporaries, can text each other, talk to each other via the computer screen and basically come much closer to home. How I would loved to have had that technology back in 1956!
We can take comfort in the knowledge that there will ALWAYS be amateur radio operators involved during any emergency; be it a local or national disaster. It is comforting to know that in the event of a dreaded "EMP" electric magnetic pulse attack where ALL standard electronic communications will be useless, amateur radio operators will come to the rescue, passing emergency messages through their incredibly efficient emergency radio nets. With cell phone and cell phone towers rendered powerless, radio communications running on temporary battery power, and other taken for granted electronic equipment unable to function without power, the amateurs will be the "minutemen" who come to the rescue.