Evidenced by many recent postings, Disasters occur regularly, and just about everywhere! I just finished scanning a series of emails from another organization, called Americans Networking To Survive (A.N.T.S.). There was a tornado in New York just the other day. One of the major issues for this emergency was NOT the supplies necessary for a person in the affected area, but to actually CONTACT this person to get details of their situation and needs. There were many people willing to help this person, but didn’t know how to contact this person and offer assistance.
Here is where people like me come in to the situation. I am an Extra Class Amateur Radio operator, here in Colorado. We routinely study and utilize our skills to help others. In recent emergencies, like: The Waldo Canyon Fire, other Colorado Wildfires, and many similar emergencies, We are there. We provide the broad dissemination of information to many people, both in the affected area, and family / kin far away.
What I am suggesting is this:
Help yourself and others by both learning more about communications, and possibly becoming an amateur radio enthusiast yourself! The first test you take costs about $15, and covers the fees with the FCC and the like. What this enables you to do is get started in learning more about communications, and get active in the survivability of your family, neighborhood, city, etc… You will need to buy your own amateur radio setup, but there are so many people willing to help you get started that you won’t get ripped off! You will also be able to network with others to improve your own emergency preparations. There are even small transmitters that fit in Altoids (c) tins! Can you fit this into your bug out bag?
Here in Colorado Springs, CO, there is a Traffic Net. Actually, this extends to just about everywhere on the planet. This is now it works:
At the prearranged time, you call up on the radio frequency and present your message, recipient, and address, and it gets transmitted to the destination. Get this: This is all done for FREE, by amateur radio operators! In emergencies, these nets stay active 24/7.
Just about every amateur radio operator has their equipment ‘off grid’ capable. This means that they can usually run it off of their vehicles, solar power, etc… Therefore, it won’t be a problem if cell towers stop working, the power grid fails, etc… These operators will be able to get the message through.
In the recent Waldo Canyon fire here, the local law enforcement / governmental system relied too heavy upon cellphone towers. They were swamped and didn’t work for many people. The local TV stations put up messages to their audience to not use their cell phones because the government needed the towers. Us amateur radio operators have been effectively using the radio wave spectrum authorized to us by the FCC, for many years.
The reason I have only mentioned Amateur Radio communications, and not ones like: FRS, MURS, and GMRS, is because these are good only for short range, less than 30 miles typically. Many amateur radio operators have the capability to communicate across most of the country, along with all local and regional communications. Why stop with these other equipment / frequencies (FRS, GMRS, etc…), when you can do much more with Amateur Radio? The equipment costs about the same, and is usually of better quality and more upgradable.
Here is an important link:
If you would more information, please check this link out and let me know if you have any specific questions! -Dave aka ‘Polar Bear Dancer’