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Department of Defense nationwide blackout drill sparks social media frenzy

Posted at 11:46 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 23:50:02-04

Videos by two Michigan women, as well as many other videos out there, are going viral and they have lots of folks freaking out.

Scores on social media are sounding off about a press release from the Department of Defense, telling anymore who will listen that a major blackout will soon be upon us, on November 4th through the 6th. 

It all stems from a press release from the Department of Defense. It describes a “very bad day’ scenario - an exercise - a simulation. 

However, loads of people are thinking it’s something else, something more sinister, like no landlines, no cell phones, no computers, no power. Nothing.

Is there a reason for mass hysteria? Is it all a hoax?  Or just a huge misunderstanding?

What it is, according to amateur ham radio operators is communication training with the amateur radio community and MARS - the Military Auxiliary Radio System. What’s happening? They know.

“Everything goes down, cell phone, AM FM radio broadcasting radio, we can still get out their with amateur radio with little to no power at all,” says amateur radio operator, Frank Fourier Jr. 

He says DOD drills, if you will, could really be useful with a “real” very bad day happened. 

“It could be working communications with hospitals, stuff like that, to relay messages back and forth to different counties and all that,” says Fourier Jr.

This son learned much of what he knows about ham radio and it’s benefit from his father. 

“For civil defense, they’re kind like that last line of defense if things go down. They have portable power sources that they can use to get on the air to communicate, in real life disaster situations,” says Frank Fourier, Sr. owner of Dr. Radio CB Shop in Trenton.

He has spent years as a ham radio operator and repairs the devices.

7 Action News reached out to a spokesperson from DTE about what’s been floating about on social media. We were told there is no credibility to this rumor.