During an emergency, such as an earthquake, tsunami, interface fire, or other natural or man-made disasters, amateur radio is used to provide continuity of communications.
The communication infrastructure of an area can be heavily compromised during a disaster. Cellular systems as well as land-lines may be overwhelmed, damaged, or even destroyed. This interruption in communications places immense strains on rescue personal, government agencies, and volunteer organizations as they try to provide relief to those that are affected.
Due to the portable nature of amateur radio equipment licensed operators are able to operate on various frequencies without a power or large antenna structures. Many amateur operators have handheld, or mobile radios radios that are used for local communications. As well as HF stations that can be used for national, or inter-continental emergency traffic.
Local radio clubs form emergency groups that practice and train for emergency communications.