No phones, no internet, no communications... When all else fails, there's amateur radio
We rely on our cell phones and internet connections to stay in touch. But what happens when these aren’t available? It could happen from a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, landslide, or a major disruption to phone or internet connectivity through equipment failure, network overload, or power loss.
When this happens, amateur radio operators can come into an affected area and set up communications. Antennas can be held up by trees, and generators can provide equipment power. Communications can be set up for across town, across the country, or around the world.
Recent calls to service
When sending communications into and out of an affected area, having a standardized method of communicating can help greatly. Traffic nets are one method to communicate quickly and efficiently. During the nets we move pieces of traffic (in this case messages) using a standardized format called a radiogram.
Without standards like this, an already hectic environment can be made even worse, which is why our goals at the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net include moving traffic as well as helping educate amateur radio operators interested in traffic handling.
Types of traffic
These are general messages. When there are no emergencies or other time of need, messages offering well-wishes or other general greetings are sent to help test the system and let amateur radio operators build, sharpen, and practice their skills.
These messages are either inquiries into the health and welfare of an individual in an affected area, or an advisory or reply from an affected area indicating all is well.
Messages having a specific time limit are marked priority, as well as those notifying of injuries and other emergency-related traffic not of utmost urgency.
Any message related to a life-and-death matter, including requests for supplies or specific instructions vital to relief of affected populations.
National Traffic System
The DFW Metroplex Traffic Net is an affiliate of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) National Traffic System (NTS). The NTS consists of amateur radio networks (nets) which move non-commercial messages as a public service.
More information about the NTS is available at the ARRL website.
You can also learn who our North Texas Officials are at the ARRL North Texas Section website.