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#30357 - 08/16/04 03:23 AM Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but there's been no mention at all of Ham radio in regard to the disaster in Florida. Not even the ARRL.ORG site makes so much as a mention of it, and I've deep-searched the news using Google News Search, Yahoo News Search and found only ONE news article that even mentioned ham radio operators in the context of the hurricane and aftermath, and the link to that article in the Sun-Herald seems to be dead.

Is it possible that ham radio has quietly become irrelevant to the emergency operations plans of municipalities? I know for a fact that we've had a few large-scale emergencies where I live and not once did anyone at the command center propose bring in the ham radio operators, and even though I have a license and even carry a portable most of the time, my concern is that I'm just carrying extra weight.

Does anyone have any news of actual ham radio activities down in Charlotte county in support of emergency operations?


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#30358 - 08/16/04 03:58 AM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
leemann Offline
Soylent Green
Addict

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 622
Loc: At the soylent green plant.
I'm sure they have been activated using handheld and mobile xcvrs .The hurricane watch net was activated before the storm hit ARES is very much alive in the US. And yes it does matter in an emergency.

73's
AC7KT
Lee


Edited by leemann (08/16/04 04:06 AM)
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#30359 - 08/16/04 05:37 AM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
stargazer Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Idaho, USA
Martin:

I would like to say HAM has a place in emergencies, but I have seen things lately to the contrary.

One of our biggest problems here is the local Chief of Police who steadfastly believes the HAM club here is a bunch of Johnny do Gooders! Never mind the fact one of his very own (a Sgt.) officers is the club president.

A lot of HAMS in this "RACES" group consistently show up in a pair of old sweatpants and a white t-shirt with a radio microphone (AKA lapel mic) clipped to the neck collar. These folks want to be taken seriously, but their attitude and demeanor suggest otherwise. Ask yourself this question?

Would you want someone dressed like this in your EOC? Most of the HAMS I know are decent people, but they act and dress the complete opposite.

I too carry a small ICOM 2M/70cm radio (IC 24-AT) HT radio with me while ?on-duty? with the ambulance. Sometimes, I feel like I am carrying dead weight as well, but I keep doing it in case it is needed and it really doesn?t weigh that much hiding out in my briefcase. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Take care,

Stargazer

ASAP = Always Suspicious, Always Prepared

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#30360 - 08/16/04 05:40 AM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
stargazer Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Idaho, USA
Lee:

Since you are in Utah do you use the Intermountain Intertie network?

Stargazer

ASAP = Always Suspicious, Always Prepared

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#30361 - 08/16/04 12:10 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
arrl article - there is a link on their front page

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/08/13/7/?nc=1

_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#30362 - 08/16/04 04:09 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
Anonymous
Unregistered


In all honesty, Ham bands were pretty quiet during and right after the storm.

They're picking up more and more after the storm.

Are they important? You bet, when telephone, cell, and internet is down, what else is there? <img src="/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

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#30363 - 08/16/04 04:30 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
In fact I just got an email from the league - they are looking for folks to move traffic out of that part of Florida right now - it seems that there is NO phone (land or cell) in that area, and FEMA has all the Satphones tied up
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#30364 - 08/16/04 04:41 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
brian Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
I just spent $300 on a Kenwood F6A and am working on a tech license so I sure hope they aren't "on their way out". I got mine mostly so I would have a means to communicate after a personal emergency (broken leg, etc) when hiking in the far off places of the world where it is hard to even get a decent analog cell signal, but it would also be nice to be able to help out others in times of major disaster such as hurricanes. I'm still researching this so correct me if I'm wrong but the way I understand it even in the most remote areas where a repeater isn't available, if I know the satellite rotation schedules I can dial up a satellite for emergency comms if needed. That in itself make the HT HAMs second to none except maybe a satellite phone. With the F6A its also very nice to have AM/FM radio and NOAA Radio in the same small lightweight package. I carry and extra battery pack for specifically that purpose. On a side note I'm looking at various specs for building a lightweight antenna with major antenna gain so if anyone has any brilliant ideas I would love to hear them.
_________________________
Learn to improvise everything.

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#30365 - 08/16/04 07:42 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Maybe HAMS aren't making the front pages, but I'm still glad you guys, and the folks like you, are out there.

It's probably like knowing CPR: you may never need it, but....

'Pup

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#30366 - 08/16/04 08:32 PM Re: Does Ham Radio Matter in An Emergency?
williamlatham Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 235
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
I am not a ham, nor do I play one on TV, but here is a website you may wish to peruse

http://www.cebik.com/radio.html

A number of antenna designs. You are primarily looking at a yaggi (high gain, very directional). Mhams in the local clubs will know way more than this.

Bill

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