Cal OES Hams In Emergencies

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K7AGE, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. K7AGE

    K7AGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Recent disasters in the US and around the world have resulted in lost communications. Whether hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or terror attacks response to a disaster is made more difficult without effective communications. Cal OES has at least one answer to that in California - HAMS.

    K5WW, AI6LZ, K6JRO and 9 others like this.
  2. W0JAW

    W0JAW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good media report, although much of our technology is leading edge (digital modes) not "old". But I got what they meant.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great video, nicely done!
  4. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good video to the original OP. To you: please research your "leading edge" claim by looking at the underlying methodology and technology of our digital modes. It's by no means new, not that we don't love our digital modes. Have a great day sir!
  5. K3FHP

    K3FHP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, our stuff is old, but those quantum communicationss gear is EXPENSIVE.
  6. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Especially the photon storage jars.
  7. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    KC8VWM and KB4QAA like this.
  8. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Before moving to Oregon I served as the OES Communications Officer for Inland region (all CA counties from Sacramento to the Oregon Border east of Interstate 5 (with some overlap west of I 5 in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties). I agree with the need for amateur radio communications in some emergency situations however except in very rare circumstances amateur radio does not "save the day". During my years with OES/ACS we had one major incident (a large and destructive fire in Shasta County) where ACS was mobilized. However, the need was minimal as all "normal" communications remained operational. In that particular incident ACS provided the state EOC with some "updates" but, frankly, the same information was available to the EOC through normal Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol communications channels.

    Certainly ACS, like ARES and RACES, needs to be available for "worst case" which means they need to maintain their equipment and practice traffic handling. But to be perfectly honest except for health and welfare traffic for NGOs like the Salvation Army and Red Cross the need for amateur radio is less every day. Government radio systems are (or at least should be) target hardened and redundant thus eliminating the need for amateur radio assistance. Perhaps in impoverished countries, but if a state like CA truly relies on hams they have failed to properly construct and maintain their public safety radio systems.

    The day of amateur radio Emcomm "saving the day" is, in many places, in the past. Emcomm makes for good stories and as the ARRL has done you can capitalize on it as a recruitment tool----but with rare exception once recruited hams have no real, meaningful role in this day and age.
    K0IDT, W4POT and K7JOE like this.
  9. KJ6ZOL

    KJ6ZOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    N7WR, the area you worked is by and large one of the LEAST likely areas in CA to have a natural disaster so devastating that amateur radio is needed. Basically the only issue they have there is wildfire, and most of those burn in areas that have sparse to no human populations. But along the coast, where earthquakes and tsunamis are a question of WHEN not if, and also where the bulk of the people are, I would think that amateur radio would have a place.

    Los Angeles in particular is filled with aging wood frame houses that were built cheaply by long gone real estate speculators for their maximum profit. The speculators simply didn't care about earthquakes or anything else, they simply wanted maximum profit for themselves. Today, Los Angeles is riddled with wood bungalows that are up to 80 years old, and many of which have been poorly maintained by absentee landlords. And that's not getting into all the soft story 1960s apartment buildings that are held up by thin concrete pillars, so that cars may be parked underneath. On top of all that, geologists generally agree that the last truly huge quake in the area was in 1812, when the basin was populated mainly by nomadic Indian tribes, with some scattered cattle ranches.

    After the next big one, it's likely that whatever comms infrastructure remains will be overloaded by frantic survivors. TV and radio stations will likely be largely unable to operate. FEMA may have its own radios, but everybody else will be on their own, and the feds will likely be unable to restore order to such a large, densely populated area for weeks if not months. Water and food will quickly run out, especially if the California Aqueduct, which crosses the San Andreas Fault, is cut. Interstate 5 and US 101 will likely be cut too, and all other freeways lead to the desert. In that case, the only real communication that 15 million + people will have with the outside world will be ham radio.
    WU8Y, KM6CND and KD5BVX like this.
  10. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Having lived on the So Cal coastline since 1964, I am very happy to support the CARA repeater on Catalina Island. It runs on solar and at the highest elevation (airport) it is safe from tsunami and fire. Meanwhile on Santigao Peak, there are hundreds of antennas on several towers, surrounded by trees. If the power line burns, there are generators...until the fuel runs out.

    California is WAY PAST DUE for a serious earthquake. My parents house was built in the early 60's. It went like this:

    Build frame
    Wrap exterior walls with thick, black backing paper
    Wrap exterior walls with Chicken Wire
    Spray stucco on exterior walls.
    Add insulation and dry wall inside

    That house has been through many quakes, I have my doubts about these older homes are gonna make the 7.0+ ride.

    Catalina covers Southern Mexico to Santa Barbara and 50 miles inland. When the quake happens, we'll be ready.

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