AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE®
OHIO SECTION DISTRICT 3
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IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide
May 7, 2017
A copy of the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide has been added to the Members Page of our website. It is very good reading for all personnel who may be operating in the emcomm field. It contains a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics all directly related to our mission in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
NVIS Research Paper Available
(From ARRL Bulletin)
March 31, 2017
A thorough and fully
annotated discussion of Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is available
in the research paper, “Radio
Here is a link to an interesting article from Emergency Management.com about the Joplin tornado after five years. It addresses lessons learned about being prepared, their actual response and the recovery period . Click here to view.
June 2016 ARES Activation
Back in March 2016 I wrote a short training article about always being ready for an activation. See below. Last Thursday, the phone rang and it was Don Parker calling about an immediate request for personnel to activate for a search for a missing elderly man in Warren County. On the grand scale of situations to which we may respond, this was a relatively simple and straight forward request. Still, my mind began racing. What did I need to do before I could leave? What equipment would I need? Was everything ready to go? It was time to put my "readiness" to the test.
How did I do? Well, for starters I was not engaged in anything when Don called so that made preparations a little easier. I grabbed two HT's and went to my gear stash and picked up a speaker/mic and a headseat with a boom mic, an extra battery which I thought was charged. (It was indeed charged, but I must admit there was a moment of uncertainty.) I grabbed several extra sets of AA batteries, a charger, a flashlight, pocket notebook and pens. I placed everything into a small deployment bag and headed for my vehicle. Not knowing how we would be deployed I grabbed a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. It was warm and humid, so based on the recent and timely training provided by John Ferguson, N8FJ, I grabbed a case of bottled water to ward off dehydration for myself and the group.
So far, pretty good on the preparations. About halfway to the meeting location it began to rain. No rain gear onboard! Don and I discussed the rain issue via the radio and I commented that on a hot day like this a little rain may feel good. But seriously, I have many times been caught in a cold, driving rain on a hot summer day. It does not feel good. Furthermore, hypothermia can be a real threat on day that started very warm. After a little more checking, I learned that a flash flood warning had just been issued for central Butler County. According to the NWS there was a stationary storm cell in the area that had dumped three inches of rain in the area. Lesson learned.
This story had a quick and happy ending. About the time that personnel began arriving to commence the search, the missing gentleman was located. It would be easy to view that "activation" as wasted time, but I saw it as a training opportunity. As I thought about my response, I had made a few good advanced preparations, I made a few good choices on the way out the door and missed at least one obvious piece of gear. Please take a moment and think about your state of readiness. Yes, it could happen today.
Glenn Gombert, KD8TSR, provided an excellent PowerPoint presentation on FLDIGI. The presentation is very detailed and comprehensive. Its good information whether you are getting acquainted with FLDIGI, setting up a station or going a little further into FLDIGI's many components and capabilities. Click here to view the presentation.
Living in a State Readiness
Lately, I’ve been contemplating a good training topic for the website. It’s March and we just completed spotter training, maybe something on severe weather? With spring approaching and a lot of public service events coming, maybe something about the benefit of getting out in the field and getting our equipment on the air? First aid, CPR, auxiliary power, field antennas? All good options, but nothing really jumped out at me.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon, March 14. I was driving up I-75 and casually observing cloud formations and thinking about the current weather. Overcast, but nothing that looked foreboding. I saw some scud and quickly thought back to last Saturday. No upward movement, no rotation, no problem. In a few minutes I was home and almost immediately the weather radio alarm sounded. My first thought was “Its Monday. I thought the weekly test was always Wednesday.” Imagine my surprise when I saw the message “Tornado Warning.”
I immediately turned on the television, grabbed my HT, switched to the 146.60 repeater and brought up a radar program on the computer. First thing I heard was Gary, KC8TND, already on the air for Dayton Skywarn. Yep. It was the real deal. Several tornados quickly spun up out nowhere, catching everyone off guard.
I will let the weather people cover the meteorological details of the event. My point today is that most emergencies come without any warning. When the “big one” hits we are usually right in the middle of our everyday, routine lives. Ask anyone who has worked in law enforcement, the fire service, or really, any job that presents an element of danger and they will tell you that their biggest risk is that of complacency. It’s like driving a car. You drive to work day after day and its business as usual. Then one day you are happily driving along on auto-pilot and BAM! Didn’t see it coming, did you?
In Montgomery County we are fortunate to have few high risk/high frequency threats. Generally speaking, we have no hurricanes, no wildfires, no earthquakes, no catastrophic flooding and few tornados compared to some parts of the nation. The downside to this is the tendency toward complacency and being ill prepared for emergencies.
The first step toward emergency preparedness is the right mindset. Yes, it could happen today.
Take a minute and think about your state of readiness. Then go and start your generator, check your supply of drinking water, buy some bandaids or charge your HT battery and make sure your weather radio is turned on!
Here is a link to an outstanding article on amateur radio emergency communications from Emergency Management.com. Click here to view.
From the January 2016 Ohio
Section Journal by Stan Broadway.
Archived Training Articles