I don’t know where the time goes, but the last post here was back in January. We all have so many more projects than time to make progress . . . This time last year MSFC was closed for nearly a week, as we had been saturated with storm damage after a major tornado outbreak – and most of north Alabama had no electricity. Many of us were helping friends and neighbors clean up. On this anniversary, we re-visit these events in our minds to remember the lives lost, and to pay tribute to the first-responders and the recovery teams that helped our community.
This response and recovery effort was enhanced by the participation of hundreds of Amateur Radio operators, that jumped at the chance to fill in where ordinary lines of communications were not available. This is an aspect of ham radio that many of us find greatly rewarding, as we plan and prepare for such situations. Historically ham radio has proven itself to be of great value after earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.
Many of our club members participate in the ARRL’s ARES program, and are registered and participate on a formal level with agencies such as the National Weather Service, the US Army MARS program, and the Huntsville-Madison County EMA. Now that our Marshall Amateur Radio Club has begun to function again, we are pleased that the Marshall Emergency Management organization has taken an interest in who we are, and what we might be able to do to assist them as well. They have approached the club looking for some basic information, and intend to send a representative to our next regular meeting (which happens to be this Thursday, 3.May,2012), to open this dialog.
Here is an extract from the email response sent back to them last week :
We conducted a survey this week, and had response from 11 members, (~20% of our group). From the questions we asked, here are some representative results to indicate the level of interest in activities that might be of value to the EOC: -NWS Skywarn Storm Spotter, 7 members reported receiving this training within the last two years, and 5 reported receiving this training more than 3 times. -FEMA ICS-100 online, 6 members report having completed. -FEMA ICS-200 online, 5 members report having completed. -FEMA ICS-700 online, 5 members report having completed. -CERT , 1 member reported completing CERT training. -local EMA, 4 members report regular monthly meetings. -local and state-wide on-the-air training nets, 6 members. -Simulated Emergency Tests (local & statewide), 4 members. -field deployment & tabletop participation, 5 members. -annual ARRL Field Day exercise, 8 members report regular participation, with 4 of those reporting participation from our 4622 club station. Again, this response is from only 11 of our 50 members, but likely with more participation the trend would likely remain proportional. This is a very motivated and functional group that appreciates the value of community effort.
This could well be a valuable meeting for the Marshall EOC, for our club, and for the community at large. If you have been to our meetings, please plan to attend this one on Thursday. If you have had an interest in ham radio in the past, or have only recently learned about this interesting hobby, please feel free to visit our club radio station in Building 4622 for this meeting.
Again, the meeting will be held Thursday (5 to 6pm) May 3rd 2012.
Some of us get there as early as 4pm to get ready, so please drop in.
Building 4622 is located on Centaur Street, west from the southern end of Rideout Road (turn west onto Fowler Road for about 1/4 mile, and Centaur splits off to the left). We are the 2nd building on the left (the one with the 100 ft radio tower and big antenna…) HERE is an earlier page with maps.
Thanks for your support and participation… /;^)