Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Amateur radio operators helping with Oklahoma relief

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TWC News: Amateur radio operators helping with Oklahoma relief
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Amateur Radio Operator Ken Malgren with the Disaster Relief Network knows how quickly a storm can hit. He is a retired firefighter turned Ham Radio operator who monitored Monday’s twister as it rolled though Oklahoma City.

"I was prepared to respond that day if I needed to,” he said.

The EF-5 tornado took lives, homes and left behind rubble. It also took out communication for people in the area.

Experts say during natural disasters, cell phones have a tendency to go down either from damage to towers or overload of the system.

"When you try to jam all the people that are trying to make phone calls into a limited infrastructure, the system gets overloaded very quickly," Malgren said.

Malgren and a team of six amateur radio operators are preparing to make the trip to Oklahoma from Round Rock. The equipment they will bring with them will make contact regardless of contrition, not only assisting crews in Oklahoma, but also back in Austin.

"It's major. It is going to take a lot of help for this people because they have lost everything,” Malgren said. "They don't have anything left."

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