Ham Radio in emergencies is more important today than ever. Countless Ham radio groups are affiliated with law enforcement, community emergency response agencies, as well as FEMA, and many others. The vulnerability and weaknesses of our cell phone system is evident almost every time disaster strikes. It's overloaded or just inoperative, but the bottom line is that your cell phone, which should be your life line to help and the outside world, is down more than it is up, especially when it is needed most.
We are always amused by the self proclaimed, high tech experts that take cheap shots at Ham Radio, but find themselves relying on it in disasters, as it is one of the few things that work. So effective and reliable is Ham Radio, that FEMA has taken to rely on it heavily in floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires etc. And, even though the FCC has not approved the use of Pactor 4 for general Ham use, it has sanctioned it recently, on more than one occasion, for use in emergency communications during natural disasters. One of the best pieces of advice that we can offer is to be prepared for emergencies, and to make sure that Ham Radio is part of your preps. Boy Scout founder, Robert Baden Powell (back when they were boy scouts) was once asked by a reporter, "be prepared for what?" His answer was, "why, for any old thing." Sounds like really good advise!!!!!
During the net, we will be hearing from several organizations that to one extent or another, rely on Ham radio as part of their programs. One note of caution here. Not every local group in these organizations, makes Ham Radio a part of what they do, (or some just don't rely on it much at all.) Our recommendation - check 'em out and make sure that they use this effective and proven tool properly and sufficiently.
The groups that we will explore are SATERN, ARES, RACES, CERT, AMRRON, and Team Rubicon. What follows will be information and links that will enable you to begin your homework. There are two new kids on the block and we think they are worthy of your consideration, as they offer very impressive operations. They are Team Rubicon and AMRRON. The remaining groups likewise deserve your consideration, for they have a well earned reputation for service and effectiveness.
- SATERN https://qso.com/satern/
- AmRRON https://amrron.com/
- Team Rubicon https://teamrubiconusa.org/