Northland Amateur Communications Group was recently named a 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit Group by Great Nonprofits, the leading website for community recommendations of charities and nonprofits.
The Mason City-based group serves Cerro Gordo County and all eight of its counties. That also includes Butler, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth, and Wright Counties.
NACG Is an amateur radio club. Despite the development of very complex systems of communication, amateur radio has often been called into action to provide communications in critical circumstances.
In a news release, NACG officials explained that ham radio works so well, unlike telephones, cell phones, Internet, trunk lines, satellite phones, because they all must go through many vulnerable choke points and need electric power. Even when their systems are functioning and electricity is flowing, those systems can become overwhelmed by the number of cries for help and families seeking information.
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Amateur Radio is Different. While many ham radios may use the internet or a repeater system, they do not have to do so. Ham radios can “go-direct” and talk straight through to each other because each station is fully independent. They can operate fine without infrastructure. By selecting the right frequencies, ham operators can talk across town, across the county, across the continent, and all around the world.
The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the rating and number of reviews that Northland Amateur Communications Group received from volunteers, donors and aid recipients.
“This group is such an amazing collection of individuals,” said Great Nonprofits user Meguel Towers, who gave NACG 5 out of 5 stars. “They have so much collective knowledge on things relating to science and technology. If you are interested in radio, you need to join this group. If you’re not interested in joining, you still need to support this group because they are always doing so much for our community. I am really proud to donate money to this organization.”
Another user said NACG is helpful and knowledgeable about all things related to radio. He said the public service NACG provides with their volunteer emergency team is a critical asset to have in North Iowa.
“Northland Amateur Communications Group is a great example of a nonprofit making a real difference in their community,” said Perla Ni, CEO of Great Nonprofits. “Their award is well-deserved recognition not only of their work, but the tremendous support they receive, as shown by the many outstanding reviews they have received from people who have direct experience working with the Northland Amateur Communications Group and its public service teams. ”
The club supports radio hobbies including amateur (ham) radio, general mobile radio service, CB Radio, and more.
As volunteer radio hobbyists, they serve North Iowa by providing the North Iowa Skywarn storm spotter team, networking with storm chasers and the National Weather Service, an amateur radio emergency service team, support during emergencies or search and rescues, and health and safety communications for public events.
NACG also assists local community emergency response, participates in various charities and fundraisers, and assists with large events such as RAGBRAI.
Most importantly, NACG offers backup communications when other communications options fail, inspires people toward emergency preparation and weather safety, promotes the legal and proper use of all radio modes, and seeks opportunities to educate people about various radio modes and their benefits.
The group’s vision includes improving service by accquiring repeaters to improve and expand its communications coverage area. NACG is raising funds for a mobile command center and trailer with generators, radios, and other equipment to be moved on-site at a moment’s notice.