Dale County's, Amateur Emergency Radio Operators or ARES, participated in a practice hurricane drill Saturday.
In an emergency, most people use their cell phones to call for help, but when phone services aren't available, people are often left with little options to receive assistance.
That's where H.A.M, or also known as "Helping All Mankind" radios come into play.
“My wife and I were on a trip and had a tire go out. I had one of my radios with me I made a call for help,” said Kerry Keel, Licensed H.A.M. Operator.
Keel is one of 14 members in the Dale County ARES group.
“We provide emergency services for amateur radio for the EMA,” said Bambi Crozier, Dale County Emergency Coordinator.
“We conduct drills locally to make sure we're polished up. You may have a loose thing and you're not prepared, this way you're prepared for an emergency,” said John Crozier, Assistant Emergency Communications Coordinator.
The group is preparing for their annual hurricane drill, which could take place at any moment.
“I’m looking forward to operating with all the people involved to see where any deficiencies will be so we can get it corrected and have a top notch system,” said Crozier.
Alabama, Georgia, and Florida are participating in the exercise.
“Our simulated track today is a hurricane, similar to the track of Katrina when it came through,” said Max Tharpe with Emergency Communications.
Each group is rated on a point system and ranked on their digital and analog signal and emergency power.
Everyone in this group are volunteers and the equipment was purchased by money from their own pockets that could cost up to $20,000.
There are more than 90 Licensed H.A.M. operators in Dale County to assist with emergencies.
For more information about ARES contact Bambi Crozier at email@example.com.
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