FEMA – National Preparedness Month – Locating Loved Ones

This article from FEMA as part of National Preparedness Month has some great insights.


Locating Loved Ones

Have you ever thought about how you will communicate with and locate your loved ones in the event of a disaster? You never know where you will be or with whom you will be when a disaster strikes. This week, the focus for National Preparedness Month is, “How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster.” Use this time to build a family communications plan. Your priority will be to get to a safe place, contact your loved ones and reunite with them as soon as possible. The best course of action is to have a plan for each of the common locations where you spend most of your time – home, work, gym, or place of worship.

Below are some tips on how to get in contact with your loved ones in an emergency.

  • Complete a contact card for each member of your family and have them placed in purses, wallets and book bags;
  • Have a contact that does not live in your area that each family member can notify when they are safe if unable to contact family in the affected area. An out-of-area contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members;
  • Remember you can use text messaging when calling does not work because phone lines commonly have network disruptions after disasters; and
  • In addition to text messaging, use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, to alert family members that you are safe. You can also use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program.

Check out America’s PrepareAthon! to participate in other drills and exercises with your family, and practice the communications plan you just developed as part of National Preparedness Month.

Here is a real-world example, watch the movie:

Abby’s Story

With two autistic children ages three and five, Abby’s life revolves around her family’s routine. Between therapies, school and gymnastics, she manages over 30 appointments a week. She says, “Routine is everything to autistic kids. It reduces their anxiety.” On a warm day in May 2013, Abby saw the routine she had carefully constructed destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma and neighboring Oklahoma City.

Although forecasts that day called for severe weather, Abby and her husband wanted to take advantage of a rare day off and went to a movie. She says, “We thought, we are going to a movie, it is two hours, [it’s] not even raining outside, if something is going to get bad then it will get bad later tonight.” About halfway through the movie, Abby got a call from the daycare center across the street from where her children were playing—a tornado was coming and they were evacuating the children to a storm shelter.

Find out what happened by watching the latest .”

All-Ham Contingent Carries Olympic Torch to ISS; Crews Prepare to Swap Places


All-Ham Contingent Carries Olympic Torch to ISS; Crews Prepare to Swap Places


NASA’s Richard Mastracchio, KC5ZTE, Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and Japan’s Koichi Wakata, KC5ZTA, arrived at the International Space Station November 7, expanding the ISS crew complement to nine members. The new crewmembers carried the torch that will be used to light the Olympic flame in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Games.

The arrival of Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata brings the station’s crew complement to nine, marking the first time since October 2009 that so many people have served together aboard the space station.

The crew will return to its normal complement of six on November 10, when Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg, and European Space Agency Astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, return to Earth, wrapping up a 166 day mission. Expedition 38 begins upon their departure, with Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov at the helm.

Kotov, Russian Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and NASA’s Michael Hopkins, KF5LJG, will return home next March. At that time, Wakata will become the first-ever Japanese commander of the station for Expedition 39. Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata will return to Earth next May. — NASA

Amateur Radio Aids Post-Typhoon Rescue and Recovery Effort


Amateur Radio Aids Post-Typhoon Rescue and Recovery Effort


Officials in the Philippines are still assessing the extent of damage wrought by Typhoon Haiyan (locally called “Yolanda”), which hit the central Philippines November 8. The death toll is at least 100, with many others injured and some 500,000 people left homeless. The typhoon (hurricane), with sustained winds approaching 150 MPH with gusts to 170 MPH, swept away homes and buildings, blocked roads with fallen trees and debris, and disrupted electrical power and communication facilities. Ham Emergency Radio Operator (HERO) Thelma Pascua, DU1IVT, said hams were handling essential traffic, as the rescue and relief effort continues.

“We have established a good HF communication link with Tacloban City,” she said. “Exchanges on air are for emergency, priority or welfare traffic to and from Leyte Province. This may take days while other means of communications are yet to be restored.” DX5RAN (RADNET or District 5 Radio Amateur Network) is operating at the Tacloban City Hall powered by a generator and using a wire antenna. Tacloban City is on Leyte, the hardest-hit island and one of six islands that the typhoon slammed into on Friday.

Survivors sheltering in damaged homes described how the noise sounded like a jumbo jet was flying above their roofs. Pascua said that the National Telecommunications Commission was monitoring the traffic on the HERO networks on 40 and 2 meters. “Also, even without commercial power, an amateur club, DX7BC in Bohol is with us on 7.095 MHz, ready to relay, in case propagation becomes poor between DU1 and DU5,” she explained. “Bohol is on the eastern side of Leyte. We admire these hams, with such a short break from their relief and humanitarian operations [from an October earthquake], here they are again ready to help out in communications. They are in the Governor’s place as the command center.” High-ranking government officials are expected to use a HERO link, with Nathan Eamiguel, DU5AOK, as the operator, to communicate with the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Council.

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) activated the HERO operators in advance of Typhoon Haiyan, and it has been in use ever since. After leaving the Philippines the fast-moving typhoon is headed across the South China Sea, and other countries China and Vietnam among them, lie in its projected path. — Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

Things learned from Hurricane Sandy

One of my friends, KE7VNE, passed along this great post from someone who experienced Hurricane Sandy.

By Frantz Ostmann
< http://www.facebook.com/frantz.ostmann >
on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7:13am

  1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3
  2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
  3. Yes it can happen to you.
  4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
  5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
    1. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage
  6. Should have as much fuel as water
    1. Propane
    2. Gas
    3. Kerosene
    4. Firewood
    5. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)
  7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up… (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
  1. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
  2. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
    1. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
    2. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.
  3. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
  4. Stored water can taste nasty.
  5. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
  6. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
  7. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
  8. Your 1972 honda civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
  9. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
  10. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
  11. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. (Love you Steve!)
  12. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
  13. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
  14. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
  15. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
  16. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
  17. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
    1. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
  18. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
  19. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
  20. You can never have enough matches.
  21. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
  22. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
  23. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
  24. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!
  25. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,
  26. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
  27. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty” hahaha
  28. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of ramen and a box of poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)
  29. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
  30. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
  31. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
  32. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
  33. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
    1. Computers,
    2. Phones
    3. Radios
    4. TV
    5. lights
  34. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
    1. Fridge
    2. Toaster
    3. Freezer
    4. Hot plate
    5. Microwave
  35. When it gets dark at 4:30pm, the nights are really long without power.
  36. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi- warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
  37. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
  38. Things that disappeared are never to be seen again for a very long time.
    1. Fuel, of all kinds
    2. Matches, lighters of any kind, etc.
    3. Toilet paper
    4. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
    5. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
    6. Milk
    7. Charcoal
    8. Spark plugs (generators)
    9. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
    10. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
    11. Extension cords
    12. Medicines (Tylenol, advil, cold medicine, etc)
  39. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.

There were also many things that were not learned from hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely wife/husband, that my Heavenly Father is really in charge, period, and finally that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am .. Wherever that is… hahahaha..

God Bless!!!

Singing the praises of unsung ham heroes | Urgent Matters


Singing the praises of unsung heroes

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with David Sumner, the CEO of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which represents the amateur-radio community. Sumner was to be the keynote speaker at the Radio Club of America‘s annual awards banquet in New York City a couple of days later. Since it had been a while since I last spoke with him — far too long, really — I thought this would be a good time to catch up.

He told me that amateur radio was alive and well. This surprised me, though I don’t really know why. I suppose it’s because a lot of things that were popular in my youth — hula hoops, for instance — have fallen by the wayside in this era of technological one-upmanship that makes the Cold War arms proliferation look like a potato-sack race.

Sumner completely understood my reaction. "The perception is that we’re stuck in the Sixties," he said. "But the number of licenses continues to grow. In fact, this is the sixth straight year of growth."

He attributed the increased popularity in part to the do-it-yourself movement that is sweeping the country — if you doubt this, then spend some time surfing your cable or satellite system’s program guide. According to Sumner, DIY clubs are popping up from coast to coast. He told me of one in Washington, D.C., that operates in a church basement.

Members can access a wide variety of equipment and tools — the type of gear that is problematic to store if one dwells in a condo or apartment, as many D.C. denizens do — that can be used to build an even wider variety of things. A few members started to build ham radios just for kicks, and this led to the formation of an amateur radio club, Sumner said. He further predicted that more of these DIY clubs likely will be spawned as the reurbanization of America continues.

Periodically, we have written stories about the vital role that amateur-radio operators play in the aftermath of a major disaster, when commercial and public-safety communications infrastructure often is rendered inoperable. I recall that the hams were the only source of information for several days following the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people and displaced 1.7 million more.

Sumner told me about the role that hams played in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Though public-safety communications systems fared very well in the 10-state region impacted by the disaster, that didn’t stop the amateur-radio operators from getting involved. They worked with the American Red Cross to establish communications at dozens of shelters that popped up across the affected area. For many victims, the hams were the only way that they could get word to family and friends that they had survived.

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their service. Amateur-radio operators tend to do their thing in anonymity. But when it hits the fan, they are front and center, right where you need them. America is better for it.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.

Mark LeckCEO

Direct: (801) 877-2887
Main: (801) 437-0106 x 115
Fax: (801) 437-2215

Sent from my iPad

BBC News: County Tyrone radio ham saves US plane after contact lost


County Tyrone radio ham saves US plane after contact lost

15 November 2012 Last updated at 09:29

Benny Young’s intervention saved hundreds of lives
A radio enthusiast from Castlederg in County Tyrone has been praised for saving the lives hundreds of airline passengers, from his shed.

Benny Young was turning the dial on his radio when he picked up a Mayday call from a United Airlines flight from Dublin to Boston.

Mr Young said he heard the mayday call just before moved to another frequency.

He then relayed information between the pilot and ground control at the airport.

“I heard two people talking about Hurricane Sandy and that’s what made me stay on the Pacific frequency and I heard the mayday call,” Mr Young said.

“I ended up talking to the pilot for about 17 minutes and I got the man operating the emergency net to come up to my frequency.

“He could hear me, but he couldn’t hear the pilot because of a problem with the transponders on the ground which had been taken out by the storm.

“We were able to get the plane diverted because the winds were measured at 95 miles an hour at Boston.”

Mr Young also helped another plane over the United States on the same night.

“The other plane automatically scanned the frequencies and must have found us.

“I didn’t have the time to strike up a conversation this time.

“There was great excitement at the time, it was great.

“I felt good after it anyway.”


Where are some places people are using this program?

Here’s a few of the recent areas of the world that people have requested more information on this program from:

  • Four Corners Ward, Salem, OR
  • Doubleview Ward, Perth, Australia
  • Alamo/Danville, CA
  • Mountain Oaks Ward, Sandy, UT
  • Allen 2nd Ward, Lucas, TX
  • Fulham Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia
  • Shelley Idaho Stake, Shelley, ID
  • Anaheim 10th Ward, Anaheim, CA
  • La Habre Ward, La Habra, CA
  • Gridley First Ward, Gridley, CA
  • Chaparral Ward, Murrieta, CA
  • Lake Elsinore Ward, Menifee Stake, Lake Elsinore, CA
  • Yellowstone Ward, Ucon, ID
  • La Quinta Ward, Indio, CA
  • Riverton 19th Ward, Riverton, UT
  • Kerman Ward, Fresno California West Stake, Fresno, CA
  • Fountain Valley 2nd Ward, Fountain Valley, CA
  • Pueblo Colorado Stake, Pueblo, CO
  • Monument, CO
  • Erda Ward, Erda, UT
  • Columbus II Ward, Indianapolis IN Stake, Columbus, IN
  • Santaquin North Stake, Santaquin, UT

If you know people interested in Emergency Prep, send them this site’s information! Good luck with your preparations!