OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ - When natural or man-made disasters strike, failure of the Internet, cell phones, email and all modern social-media communications, leave whole regions of people in communications darkness.

However, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.

Our area’s hams will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators in the United States and Canada to practice their emergency communication skills this weekend.

For this ‘Field Day” using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.

In our area, the Garden Sate Amateur Radio Association will be set up to operate and demonstrate emergency radio communication at the American Red Cross building, 1540 West Park Ave., Ocean (corner of Shafto Rd.)