Disasters are unpredictable and can strike in the middle of winter as likely as in the summer months. Each year the WFDA (Winter Field Day Association) sponsors a special event enabling ham radio operators to enhance their skills and procedures in cold weather conditions. Preparedness is the key to an effective response during any event and this is why it’s important to enhance our skills and be ready for all environmental conditions during the spring, summer, fall and winter.
Winter Field Day was held this year on January 27th and 28th. I joined my friend, Will (K0WDO) in nearby Benton, KS for a few hours as he activated his battery powered low power station in his back yard. While I didn’t officially participate with him as a station operator, I did take the opportunity to test out my EMCOMM bug out bag and make some contacts. While I didn’t make any simplex contacts, I did make contacts using a local repeater. I also identified a few weaknesses in my preps and have taken steps to correct them.
Later, from my home station I made numerous voice contacts in Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey, Alabama, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota in the 40 meter and 80 meter bands.
Here’s a video of a guy who really took Winter Field Day seriously…