Local resident Penny Wheeler is one of few licensed radio operators in Perry County. “I started with HAM radio because of my interest in emergency preparedness and I wanted the ability to communicate during a disaster,” she said. “The radio system works almost like a CB radio, they just use different radio frequencies.” She went on to describe how transmissions bounce from one tower to another, until it reaches another responding HAM operator. They, in turn, relay information to operators in other areas to continue the message over larger distances. This is how some radio clubs have contesting events. Licensed operators compete to see how far away a message can get, or how many states they can get a message to.