Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications

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lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:08 pm

boomerbubba wrote:But from what we were told in the aftermath, the church radio net was not even effective in reaching the stake emergency center in the first place.


During Katrina and the next hurricane that hit Texas, satellite phones were prepositioned with stake presidents (and I believe a bishop or two) and used to communicate with regional storehouses and CHQ. This proved to be quite effective, until other communications were established (HAM) or reestablished (cell/landlines).

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:05 am

lajackson wrote:During Katrina and the next hurricane that hit Texas, satellite phones were prepositioned with stake presidents (and I believe a bishop or two) and used to communicate with regional storehouses and CHQ.


That may explain why there seems to be a lack of interest in getting message from the stake and/or bishop's storehouse back to CHQ.

Ron AC7CJ-p40
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Postby Ron AC7CJ-p40 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:25 pm

northernscout wrote:Hi Ben and everyone

I am just trying to decide on what is best for amateur radio (HAM) communications from ward to Stake and Stake to Bishop's Storehouses, that sort of thing. Has anyone experience with this? I assume there must be some out there and I suppose that the results will very with size of stake and terrain. Where I live there are some hils and mountains that break things up a bit for VHF and UHF radio. There are quite a few amateur radio repeaters and many have mains power and solar photovoltaic arrays with battery backup. Most of what we have around here are 2m and 70 cm. I am considering mounting a Comet GP15 antenna on the stake building and it covers 2m 6m and 70cm even though I will likely settle on a Kenwood 2m transceiver for the building itself. Th reason for that antenna is that anyone called upon to staff the Stake Bldg can, in a pinch, bring in their own radio and be on air and have access to all the VHF, UHF links. I have sone some site work and testing to find out what repeaters I could get into and I know we could benefit from the additional 3 db gain beyond what I have in my old copper J-Pole antenna. Has anyone got any thoughts on this? Any recomendations? I would rather do this right first and not have to come back withhat in hand to upgrade to something more productive ? Of course I have most everything back hime including HF radio and a full wave 80m loop which is about 30 feet above ground, good for NVIS (300 mile radius by bouncing off the ionosphere directly above) at 80m and good for DX on frequencies in the 20m band and above.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Am I going in the right direction? How about you, Ben, what are you using for DX that is compact and yet reliable?

Donn
VA7DH

Dear Brethren,
Being new to the Forum, I was surprised by some of the not too positive comments concerning the value of Amateur Radio during an Emergency Communications Event. Having been a Ham Radio Operator for many years now, I have seen good programs and poor programs. (I used to be part of the old ERRS program some years ago).
In the 3 years since being called by my Stake President to the Calling of Stake ERCC, we have called Ward ERCs in each of the 8 Wards in the Stake. We have licensed approximately 50 new operators and up-graded others in our Eastern Washington Stake.
We have had two rounds of Ham Radio Classes in the Stake with a third scheduled for this coming Autumn.
Our Regional Bishop’s Storehouse ERC holds with-out fail a regular Sunday evening Storehouse Net on one of the locally owned Repeaters. There are also back-up simplex frequencies assigned. That report is then passed by way of HF Radio to the Hermiston Level I Storehouse. I also conduct a Stake ERC Net every Sunday evening following the Regional Net, on a Simplex Frequency.
The Regional Storehouse ERC reports regularly to the Regional Welfare Committee, keeping the Stake Presidents in our Region up to date on Emergency Communications and the ERC program in our area.
Some of you may have heard of forest fire we had here in the SpokaneValley this past month.
All I can say is everything came together. Our Regional ERC activated the ERC Net during the fire, our Stake Presidents were very impressed; in-fact ARES came to us for help. ERCs in our area along with other licensed Ward members knew that when an emergency happens they are to turn on and tune up their radios.
The Bishop’s Storehouse was manned; relief/evacuation shelters were set up at the StakeCenter near the Temple, and then moved to the local High School.
What I am saying, is not to pat ourselves on our backs, but to stress the fact that for any organization to work and run efficiently, there must be constant training, not just once a month or every three or four months. Can you picture a well machined police or fire department only training once a month?
We not only have our weekly ERC Nets, but every 3 months the Storehouse ERC has training meetings for all the Stake and Ward ERC in the Region, but open to all members with a license.
I believe ARES/RACES has a lot to offer in the way of training and putting into practice real life situations, but for those with ERC Callings with-in a Stake or Ward our Mission is somewhat different than the two fine organizations I previously mentioned.
Anyway I hope that I have added something positive to the discussion. May the Lord bless you in your Callings, and with your local programs.
One more thought, leaders must consider being licensed, and there has to be a back-up link/network to and from those leaders. Those Priesthood leaders must be your main support group. The program will only work as good as those Leaders who are over it. There is always room for improvement, and new things to learn.
‘73’
Ron AC7CJ

teksaport-p40
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Great thread! Great Comments!

Postby teksaport-p40 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:10 pm

I just typed in this big comment and hit submit and the system says I'm not logged in, even though this page says I am.

Anyway, ...greatly shortened version...

My 2 cents. I don't believe CHQ needs my ward updates. They are working on the big picture and probably don't need me calling into them directly for assistance. I'll contact my Ward/Stake and they'll contact CHQ or civil authorities, but I trust that CHQ will be sending as much as they can to my area, if they can. Remember that if SLC is hit hard (my local area), so is CHQ and they might need assistance also. Others will likely help, but CHQ may not be in a position to do much at first.

My longer post was much more diplomatic and concise, please feel free to disagree.

Thanks
John
K7ALA
Ward Communications Leader

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:31 pm

teksaport wrote:I just typed in this big comment and hit submit and the system says I'm not logged in, even though this page says I am.


Ouch. You probably timed out. I have mine set so that the site "remembers me" so I don't run into that problem.


teksaport wrote:I don't believe CHQ needs my ward updates. They are working on the big picture and probably don't need me calling into them directly for assistance. I'll contact my Ward/Stake and they'll contact CHQ or civil authorities,


I'm asking as a stake person. Sure, the wards will talk to the stake. How is the stake supposed to talk to the next level up? If someone knows, they ain't telling me.
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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:06 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'm asking as a stake person. Sure, the wards will talk to the stake. How is the stake supposed to talk to the next level up? If someone knows, they ain't telling me.

Not knowing your area, it's hard to tell how the ERC lines of communication are organized. For shorter distances VHF/UHF are used and for longer hauls HF and sometimes linked repeaters are used. I would contact your Bishop's Storehouse, or even a neighboring stake if you're unsure how to contact the next level up.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

Doug W7DZR-p40
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New to Everything - Need All The Help I Can Get

Postby Doug W7DZR-p40 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:32 pm

I am on the HC and have just been given the emergency communications assignment. This is not just for the stake but for our 8-stake area. Earlier this year we were able to hold a class and licensed 22 new hams in our stake, of which I am one of them. The other stakes do have hams but very little has been done in any of the stakes to get organized and nothing between the stakes. I'm looking at joining a local club and the local RACS to learn more. I want to not only get the stakes organized but make connections with the community so we don't have to reinvent the wheel and hopefully, help each other. I'm open to any and all suggestions you might have. Please help. Thanks.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:32 pm

Doug W7DZR wrote:I want to not only get the stakes organized but make connections with the community so we don't have to reinvent the wheel and hopefully, help each other. I'm open to any and all suggestions you might have. Please help. Thanks.


I think it's spelled RACES ;) In some areas it's RACES that is active, in others it ARES. In at least parts of California it's ACS.

You might also visit the next local VOAD meeting. In a disaster the church doesn't work alone. it's best if the local authorities know about the church so they will allow the church to help rather then herding the members out of the area for their own good. Nothing kills a plan quite as fast as a trooper standing at a road block saying "No. Sorry, those are my orders."
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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thomasjking
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Postby thomasjking » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:31 pm

in our unit my wife has a "technician class license" which was easy to get---however we don't have a standby power supply as yet so if the power goes out she cant transmit. at one time our stake wanted every unit to have someone to have a license--but i havent heard much about this idea for a while

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:57 pm

thomasjking wrote:in our unit my wife has a "technician class license" which was easy to get---however we don't have a standby power supply as yet so if the power goes out she cant transmit. at one time our stake wanted every unit to have someone to have a license--but i havent heard much about this idea for a while

Glad to see a nudge for people so inclined to get their license. We have a Technician class starting in 2 weeks for just such folks.

What kind of radio does your wife have? (It doesn't sound like a hand-held.) Most amateur radios operate on 12V, so in a pinch you can hook them to a car battery and operate that way. Another way is to watch the sales on computer UPS's. I've seen 500VA rated ones under $50. Granted, because of the modified sine wave, some work better than others, but by lowering your transmit power, they will last quite a long time.

Mike, KD7MG
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