California HF Emergency Frequencies

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by VE7CUP, Nov 12, 2018.

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  1. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very interesting community resource there! We've started (small) something similar in our city, much much less well organized.

    The S. Baptists (2nd largest volunteer disaster service group in the nation) is putting ham radio back into their menu....after learning the hard way that cell phones cannot be counted upon. If you want some more written documentation of how well (or poorly) cell phones and other "advanced" communications work in the first days after a hurricane, you can read many points documented here; -- and note that

    Now professionally, I'm about to retire from the practice of Anesthesiology (and then continue to dabble in volunteer indigent health care ). How do you think it would work out if I told my patients, "I have the license, but I choose only to use ONE type of Anesthesia -- i do SPINAL ANESTHESIA only -- no matter whether that fits or works for your needed procedure" -- think that would work very well? Nah, me neither. I'm surprised that some people believe such an approach works for disaster response communications...... where I think what you want is people who are pretty facile at LOTS of different modalities and skills.

    Gordon KX4Z
    AG6QR and WZ7U like this.
  2. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    These groups are the logical market for AR resources, but why are they learning the same lesson over and over. As posted above, the Sacramento Red Cross group activates ARES even before comms are disrupted. Just the timely logistical coordination possible plus health and welfare traffic should keep any group of amateurs busy and the NGOs happy.

    I talked to a local Red Cross volunteer—also and ARES member—who deployed to Florida for Michael. The hams he met were untrained and unequipped for Winlink.
  3. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably because many disasters do not completely destroy communications. Thus people are able to get by with cell phones and existing public service radios many times..... until they can’t.

    Volunteers, just like employees, don’t last forever, they are constantly turning over, and those in the agencies as well as those in the amateur ranks Thus lessons have to be painfully re-learned every few years

    The lack of adequate training in amateur radio has been a concern of mine, which we have addressed as best we can with scores of volunteers in the past couple of years. Made the pages of QST this month. We expect to next month also

    Every week now in Florida, close to 50 volunteers complete an assignment in the Florida WINLINK check in net; this week 16 actually succeeded in the esoteric WINLINK radio-only system which does not involve the Internet in anyway (a system completely unknown to many detractors. ) Remember that even the force of 22 that went to Puerto Rico had many with no previous WINLINK skills; The breadth of training most amateurs have leaves a bit to be desired. Of course it is a hobby, that you would think we would do better even then.

    WU8Y and KG7LEA like this.
  4. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N6MED

    N6MED Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ideal situation perhaps in 4-land as you state it and you are, indeed, fortunate to have such ARES members on whom you can depend. (Not sure how the quote is attributed to KG7LEA up Seattle way. &-land certainly has disaster response probs similar to CA.)

    Way out west here in north 6-land we have 24 north central counties in our ARC region. This is changing this year with the loss of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties) and the addition of the three north coastal counties plus Lake County, the scene of several devastating wild land fires the past several years. Our region eclipses the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section with a very diverse set of ARES districts -- diverse in member capability and energy/interest in assisting with disaster communications. During that 0-96 hour initial response period, they do NOT have the "numbers" of other shelters and ARC Regional HQ. Complicate the works with our disasters typically and frequently crossing county jurisdictions -- and therefore ARES Districts -- and ARES members with those aforementioned varying skill sets. They have enough trouble "thinking out of the box" to decide on which repeater systems to press into service when one or the other doesn't have the requisite path back to the ARC Disaster Operations Center ("HQ").

    Too many comments on this thread to find whether or not I mentioned that we had significant cell phone problems during the Camp Fire response with the fire taking out cell towers that otherwise served a couple of our shelters (something I personally experienced). Took days before Verizon responded with a COW to return the RSS from 1 to 4 bars.

    A v-e-r-y important take-away for me from the Camp Fire response was multiple large scale disaster occurring simultaneously with the Camp Fire (Mendocino Complex and Thomas Fires) with multiple large ARC shelters opened, all nearly at the same time, and in operation plus numerous fire agencies ALL with demands for supporting porta-potties, showers, wash stations, food services, etc. etc.

    My major lament: ARES has GOT to really pull its act together at the national level and driven down to the district level with qualified, certified, interested communications responders if it ever wants to be a >service< that garners wide-spread respect.
    Best regards ... n6med
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to know...
    Would please spell out "COW" and "RSS" for those of us not quite up to speed yet? It's probably "old hat" to you.:(:confused: (N0 disrespect meant.)
  7. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This will take some time since many local groups have established their own training standards and their own relationships with emergency managers and NGOs. Each local situation is unique. In hurricane country ARES groups can activate for storms they play out pretty much the same way (until it becomes a category 5 storm, that is). Volunteers know what will be needed and what to do.

    An issue that arose in Michael is a state requirement for background checks for shelter workers. This eliminated many potential volunteers. My answer to that is have the hams set up in the parking lot away from the noise and stress of the shelter. A backgrounded shelter worker can accompany hams to the rest room.
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    o_O ? All that said, there is a REAL difference between monitoring (i.e. receive only) and trying to participate (usually defined as INTERFERING) in emergency comms.:rolleyes:
  9. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    COW = Cell on wheels

    RSS = Received Signal Strength
    N5PZJ likes this.
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    THANK You. (I man that SERIOUSLY, thank you for the clarification.)

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