Our Neighborhood has more ham radio operators of any neighborhood in our city. That is excellent news for all living in it and in the city. All of the operators participated in a recent citywide Emergency Drill at all levels of the emergency organization in the city, communicating reports from Block Captains up to Neighborhood Command Centers on to Area Command Centers and finally to the City EOC.
In a real emergency, Neighborhoods will use both runners and ham operators to communicate the needs of the Blocks and Neighborhoods up stream to the Emergency Command Center so it can respond to our needs as a result of a disaster or emergency event.
However, about half of our Neighborhood ham operators will soon be leaving to attend college, get married and continue on with their lives. We need more city residents to get ham licenses they can help not only their immediate family but the folks in their Blocks, Neighborhoods and Areas.
In our part of the country, there is a wonderful organization of ham operators that teach regularly scheduled amateur radio classes so residents can easily obtain a ham license with a little work, reading and successfully taking an amateur operators test.
You’ll find a similar organization in your area by doing an Internet search for them. A schedule of the classes and the dates tests are offered will be on their sites.
Training materials are available from numerous sources including the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) site.
Be sure to become a licensed ham operator as part of you emergency preparedness activities. You very well may be instrumental in saving not only the lives of your loved ones but of other residents in your community, state and nation.
Family Communications Plan
Each of us also needs to create a Family Communications plan. It should contain the pertinent contact information for every member of our family as well as an out-of-state contact and a family meeting location plan in case we have to evacuate the area.
Free – downloadable family communications plan forms are available from the Federal Ready America site.
Create your Family Communications Plan and keep it current. Be sure that each of your children has a copy of it in their school packs. Wallet sized forms are among the selections from the Ready America site so they will easily fit in your children’s packs.
In our family, I produce a laminated family communications wallet sized cared for all of our children and their spouses every year. They are passed out on Thanksgiving. We have met together and have determined our own family meeting locations if we have to bug out. The plan is in always current and because it is discussed regularly by our overall family and in each of our children’s families, each member is aware of the content, contacts and intentions of our family / families in emergencies.
Our wallet-sized communications cards have already been used in an emergency. They have saved a great deal of trouble and consternation at a time when those typical responses would be most detrimental. Make your own plans soon! Regularly review them with your family.