Hurricanes, fires, floods, and earthquakes happen, but you can count on amateur (or ham) radio to provide vital links to agencies and city services such as fire, police and ambulance.

On Tuesday, March 20 from 2-4 p.m., join the Surrey Museum and the Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio Society (SEPAR) in an amateur radio emergency communications workshop for kids. The workshop will focus on how amateur radio provides communities with emergency communications when commercial systems are not operational.

The workshop will provide kids with a hands-on experience of how amateur radio systems work and the technology used. (For ages nine and over. Admission is free. Space is limited so please pre-register by calling 604-592-6956. Held at the Surrey Museum, 17710 56A Ave.).

Communications infrastructure (cellphone, regular phone, or the Internet) is usually one of the first services to fail in a major emergency due to damage, lack of electricity and/or overload. Ham radio uses direct radio to radio communication independent of commercial systems, allowing emergency messages to get through. SEPAR operates under the direction of the Surrey Fire Department and would be called out at the request of the Surrey Emergency Program.

Workshop participants will talk to people in other countries, experience digital communications without the internet, learn how radio waves travel, simulate a ground control/International Space Station contact, try Morse code, enjoy informative videos and have fun! Computers will show how radio communications move around the world. Kids will learn that new technology is not always superior to old technology and is anything but obsolete.

“The Surrey Emergency Program provides the citizens of Surrey with emergency plans and programs to guide and assist with personal and community response and recovery to major incidents or disasters.” says Dan Barnscher, deputy fire chief, facilities/emergency planning, Surrey Fire Service.

“Amateur radio has a long history of providing auxiliary communications services to support emergency and social services. This is possible through the efforts of dedicated SEPAR volunteers that spend countless hours training and instructing, as well as designing, building and maintaining radio equipment.”

SEPAR offers its free amateur radio Workshop four times per year. For bookings or more information  contact Marcy Lui, VE7JT at or Fred Orsetti, VE7IO at



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