February 28, 2001: the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earth quake shook the Puget Sound causing $2 billion in damages, 1 death and 407 injuries. Cellular phone systems were overloaded and failed. Incoming long-distance telephone communications were cut. Many government buildings were evacuated and closed. Emergency Operations Centers were activated all over Western Washington.
March 22, 2014: a hillside outside Oso slid across the valley, covering SR 530 and severing phone and internet connections to the Darrington area. Amateur radio operators on the Snohomish ACS team staffed the ECC radio room in Everett and a command vehicle in Darrington for the duration of the event.
While Amateur radio has always provided infrastructure for innovation and emergency communications, technology has evolved over the years from simple personal communications over radio to people providing communications using voice and data over radio, linked via the Internet, television, and satellites. Whether you want to talk around the world, assist during emergencies, or simply upgrade your personal communications from FRS radios while skiing, hiking, or traveling, amateur radio provides many opportunities - something for every interest.