Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KM4ACK, Sep 19, 2019.
Because "2B" leaves too many questions...
Your experience with natural disasters is certainly much different than mine. Disasters have always pulled our community together, not pitted us against each other.
I recently replied to a similar topic here on the Zed.
To sum that reply up, in order, am I safe, my family, my house, my neighbors....
Radio is the last thing on my mind in a disaster and while the video is more on the subject
of communications (well this IS a ham forum after all) being prepared means much more than
making sure your batteries are charged and comms are working.
The video author is correct when he says that your equipment should be tested in order to find its limits.
He is also correct in having a disaster plan in regards on where family members should meet up.
It's just my opinion, but during a disaster, travel is one of the last things that should be done unless you are
in immediate danger. As above, is my domicile safe? If is it, then that's where I'm staying.
Mr. Neighbor can't contact his family out of state because the phones are down?
There's ham radio, and the National Traffic System. Slow, but it works.
Here in WA, things can happen that can disrupt normal life for quite a while.
I once posted a thread that got a lot of response, "If it were a real emergency"
The bottom line is, once my own safety etc. is assured, then my family, and my domicile, THEN
I'll offer help to the neighbors and try to contact loved ones for them.
The best thing I can do in a disaster is stay out of the way and not become a liability instead of an asset.
As I've said in other threads and posts, I don't live and breathe emcomm 24/7/365.
I DO however take the time to learn new things that can help me during a disaster, and if it's
just helping my elderly neighbor contact a relative, that's good enough for me.
As I sit here watching the Weather Channel, they're talking about a significant snow event
with possible blizzard conditions. Is this a disaster or emergency? No.
Is it a weather event to be prepared for? Yes.
Whenever a hurricane approaches Florida, you see the stories and video of store shelves empty
as people ready themselves for the storm.
A thought, ham radio isn't the only communications I listen to.
There's FRS, GMRS, CB, as well as listening to the local public service agencies on the scanner.
The author makes many great points in his video. With colder weather coming to the USA,
now is the time to prepare your house/apartment.
Make sure your heating system is in proper working order.
Also, the Fire Department recommends that you replace your smoke/carbon monoxide alarm batteries
when the change to Standard Time takes place. (Sunday, November 3, 2019, 1:00:00).
And as a final thought, ham radio is FUN! Go on, take a bit of time, take a small station to a park and
do something you don't normally do. and have a good time doing it.
Not everything has to be a disaster etc., but you know the old saying about an ounce of prevention.....
--KD7YVV, (A man, a plan, a can, and no can opener)
During the 2010 Nashville flood stores were out of trash bags, bleach, N95 masks, shovels, rakes, work gloves, for a while.
I have some emergency stuff and I partake of all the amendments of the constitution. I'm disabled so I'm not going anywhere so no go-bag. (though I do enjoy operating portable)
some movies at Internet Archive
Starfish Prime Interim Report By Commander JTF-8 by Department of Energy
Nuclear Weapon Effects on the Ionosphere
I've been thru a couple of hurricanes and a few earthquakes, so probably not too different. Besides, we were talking about zombies anyway, weren't we?
Being prepared just comes natural to some people...but too few really prepare. Just look at the "PLANNED" power outage in California...millions knew it was coming yet how few really prepared. To bad some people just never learn and then...well you know that story. Be like the Ant and not the Grasshopper in that famous Fable. Prepare like there is no tomorrow because your loved one are counting on you too! 73 my fellow Ham. Never say die! Jason keep up your Good Works!!!
... and they follow that by complaining about the government, the utility, management, etc... all to place blame everywhere but where it belongs- on themselves for not preparing based on the situations that can occur where they voluntarily chose to live.
I live in NJ- and if I don't prepare for an earthquake, well, understandable. We don't live in an earthquake prone area (not that it can't occur). But if I don't prepare for a hurricane or nor'easter, of which we have several per year, there's no one to blame but myself.
Am I prepared for what?
The highest known local risks to life safety are what one should prepare for...both for peace of mind and to reduce burdens to local shelters and emergency personnel. In our part of the country the highest risks are the natural disasters of flooding, blizzards and ice storms. We address those risks by having plans for: Shelter, water, heat, food, medical, and self defense. Key tools also include a generator, gasoline, hand tools and a chain saw.
365 days a year an AM/FM radio and SAME radio are essential to knowing that a disaster might be coming and knowing what's going on outside of your immediate neighborhood and they are especially important during a disaster. Ham radio would be key to knowing what your like-minded Hams are up to in the local area and how you can support each other and local emergency services once it is safe to do so.
If you care about your community, you can also work with your immediate neighbors to make sure they are prepared too.
Back in 2011, there was an earthquake in Virginia. I'd never been in one before. While the building was still shaking, I got out my cell phone and called the wife. We were able to talk only for about 30 seconds and then the cell network crashed. And, not just that carrier - ALL cell networks crashed. It took almost 2 hours for any kind of cell comms, including text messages, to come back on line.
In Puerto Rico, many organizations had VoIP phones. Much of the cell traffic was carried by fiber optic lines. The same poles that carried power lines carried the fiber lines. When those got more-or-less completely destroyed, power went out, fiber lines were cut, land-line phones didn't work, VoIP lines didn't work, cell networks didn't work, and public-safety repeaters didn't work. Everybody thinks that cell, land-lines, and internet are 3 separate modes of communication. They aren't. They all depend on each other. Take out the fiber lines, neither internet nor cell network traffic can flow anywhere. Even the cell towers themselves were anywhere from partially damaged (antennas knocked out of alignment to the point where they weren't going to work even if they had power or backhaul lines functioning (which they didn't so the point was moot) to completely broken off 20-30 feet from the ground.
Widespread grid-down scenarios would be very similar to the experience of Puerto Rico and it would not at all be pleasant. Everyone should not only have sufficient supplies to deal with the immediate aftermath, but in the case of hams, you need to be able to stay on the air for at least a couple of weeks. In PR, it took 2 full weeks before the first fuel trucks started transporting fuel anywhere to anybody. Even FEMA now is suggesting first reponders have 1 week's self-sustainment provisions for their crews. That's up from the 72-hour rule they used to encourage. Since I have personally seen examples of 5-day to 2-week (and in one case of a person I met in PR, 2 MONTH) unavailability of power, cell, and other things, I've achieved having 2 weeks of food, water, and power (including mutiple solar panels for the radios) as my minimum.