Do you do Em-Comm /ARES / Skywarn /....etc?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by KK4NSF, May 5, 2021.


Do you do Em-Comm / ARES / Sywarn / ...ect? (pick as many as are applicable)

  1. YES! I think EmComm and/or ARES are very important. I'm properly trained and ready to deploy

  2. I'm fully trained, and ready to deploy.... but wonder if EmComm is still relevant in today's world

  3. I think EmComm / ARES are good ideas, but do not particiapte

  4. I participate in Skywarn / Weather Spotting and think it's a good asset for the community

  5. I like the idea of Skywarn / Weather Spotting, but do not participate

  6. I think Skywarn / Weather Spotting are relics of the past, and are not needed nowadays

  7. I think EmComm / ARES programs are relics of the past and not needed nowadays

  8. I think all of the folks who participate are mis-guided, but their hearts are in the right places

  9. I think the folks who participate create problems.... or just get in the way

  10. I think the folks who participate are fat old CB leftovers who are playing at being self-important

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all!

    I've been wondering about something for a while: What are your attitudes and thoughts about ham radio participation in Emergency / Disaster Communications / ARRL ARES / Skywarn / Tornado Spotting and that sort of thing? Since I value all of your opinions, and I really want to know what the current consensus of opinion is on the topic, feel free to tell it like you see it.... good, bad or ugly. You can pick as many choices as you feel are applicable..... and if none seem to fit, just tell us in the comments. (please try to be civil, though.... even when the opinions expressed are different than your own)

    NOTE: if you want to partictipate but are not yet trained, tell us below. I forgot to add that as an option

    Personally, I've deployed during hurricane disasters several times at the request of various state agencies, as have some of my friends..... but most hams, even those who claim to be "involved in EmComm" never seem to be able to help out in a real emergency, and very few are actually trained according to ARRL / FED /State guidelines. Those that do show up are sometimes untrained, and/or incompetent. Sometimes they are well-meaning but untrained techs. Sometimes they are beer drinking bozos that have no real purpose... but other times they are sharp, competent, well-equip professionals. It's always a mixed bag.

    In a similar vein, several of my friends enjoy setting up local nets during tornado warnings, driving around, and reporting what they see to the local weather folks / local EMA. I don't know if it helps a lot, but they seem to enjoy it.

    And of course, a lot of folks think the entire concept is a relic of the past.... and others think the whole idea is just stupid.

    .... what do you think? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
    KO4ESA likes this.
  2. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think there is a big place for the trained, prepared citizen who can act as a conduit between groups like FEMA and untrained citizens. I think the weather nets have lost a lot of significance, except in the case of things like tornado spotting. Groups like the FBI Infraguard used to summon images of neighbors snitching on neighbors, but it has not turned out like that, I don't think.

    FWIW, I have the mandatory FEMA IS courses bookmarked, but have not had appropriate time to focus on them. They deserve much more attention than a quick memorization.

    But yes, I see having trained, level headed people in every neighborhood as a very good thing.

    And let's admit it - we can't and shouldn't count on FEMA to cover us.
    KO4ESA, KO4PYL, N8AFT and 1 other person like this.
  3. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    ok.... we have a few results and I noticed an early vote for:
    I think all of the folks who participate are mis-guided, but their hearts are in the right places
    That's interesting. I wonder if that's going to be a popular sentiment?

    I also changed MY vote: While I do have questions, I'm sure I'd depoly again if requested by the proper authorities.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of the reasons I've pursued a career in property-casualty insurance is that it is in my nature to think about bad things that might happen, and ways to respond when they do.

    For that reason, I have a natural inclination towards emcomm. I was active in MARS until the demise of Navy MARS put me in a position of nets being at lousy times for my schedule, and other demands made it impractical to continue, and I had fun playing with the local ARES crowd until (again) other demands for my time interfered and I realized that my responsibilities towards my family (my wife has health issues...) severely constrain what I could offer in a "when all else fails" situation.

    Because of my interests/nature, I think emcomm is fascinating. However, I think many who profess the interest have a disconnect between their expectations and those whom they might assist. That and other related disconnects seems to put much of the emcomm sub-hobby in the realm of (at best) aspirational, rather than useful.

    There are several notable exceptions to that...but they are exceptions.
    KO4ESA and KK4NSF like this.
  5. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    update on this morning results: So far the leading opinions are:
    I think the folks who participate are fat old CB leftovers who are playing at being self-important
    I think all of the folks who participate are mis-guided, but their hearts are in the right places

    oddly, none of the respondents so far have said that EmComm and Weather spotting are relics of the past....
    BUT, the sample pool is still very, very small. So.... it will be some time before a real view of what Zedders think can be determined.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    So.... we're almost at a full day, and it is starting to look like most QRZedders don't care one way or another about EmCom . BUT that in itself is a result! IF it were important to them either way, they'd vote..... so my take so far is that it's a non-issue with the community. Interesting!

    But, the survey is young still....
    KO4ESA likes this.
  7. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    In order to be of value there has to be a need or relevancy to what you have to offer and ideologically, technologically and be feasibly put to use.

    In order for that to happen people in the gov't agencies have to come to the conclusion and admit they may not or do not have everything covered and may need help from unpaid, non-gov't employees who are seen as a liability in many ways even if training is provided. Afterall, volunteers aren't even obligated to help if needed.

    Realistically, that's asking a lot of people who have grown up in a world full of highly advanced technology at their fingertips for much, if not their whole lives. To them, radio understandably doesn't seem so advanced or useful as it once did to someone who grew up in the between the 1940s and 1980s when other options were not so readily available.

    That's a lot to overcome even if you can find a way to be of use with what amateur radio has to offer.
    KO4ESA, KK4NSF and PU2OZT like this.
  8. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember in the '60's way before all local goevrments were flush with the latest and greatest comms technology...
    Back then amateur radio was quite relevant during weather related emergencies as was citizens band...
    Those who had any know-how and ability to communicate outside of telephone and were mobile were great assets.
    Nowadays? Not so much other than Skywarn. NWS sees value in trained eyes able to communicate directly with them.
    I'm not involved in activities of the emcomm sort. Just a hobbyist as many others are these days.
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    KO4ESA and KK4NSF like this.
  9. NI4TG

    NI4TG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. Too many training requirements
    2. Too many meetings, not enough time
    3. If the power is off for a week or other emergency arises, I must take care of my wife, on oxygen, take care of
    My property, and then myself. Cannot deploy
    KO4ESA, K0UO and KK4NSF like this.
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Gave it a try in the early '60s and spent a week at a firehouse providing communications back to the county complex during a large forest fire. That was many years before the advance in communications systems we see today. High on the list would of course be cell phones.

    If it's something that gives you the satisfaction you do not require approval of any person and certainly not participants on the Zed. You do what you enjoy in life what others think is of minimal if any consequence.
    KO4ESA, K0UO and KK4NSF like this.

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