When a disaster happens, it’s helpful to know a variety of forms of communication in the case of an emergency.

This weekend, Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club members participated in a 24-hour emergency communications and preparedness event known as Winter Field Day, which is held twice a year to test and improve equipment and skills. 

“We are able to deploy and provide a level of communication that allows the general public to have access to an additional method of communication, more specifically for their health and well-being,” said Steve Bossert, vice president of the Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club. “Not something for first responders in an emergency, but rather for the benefit of the general public."

Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck was converted to a major communications command center capable of conducting multi-mode communications without any help from standard sources of electricity, permanent locations, or antennas during this process. It allowed those to communicate with anyone around the world.

“We could provide local, national, and international communications, since we could use multiple types of equipment and frequencies,” Bossert said. “As a result, we could cover local communities and connect with the rest of the world.”

A number of club members were on hand to partake in the annual event. It has become a hobby for retired Police Officer John Paolucci. He finds joy in serving and putting his skills to work for those in need in the event of an emergency. 

“You might need to notify Homeland Security, or your county emergency services, or another agency,” Paolucci said.

You can learn more about portable emergency communications in a catastrophic disaster or severe weather by visiting winterfieldday.com