I received an email today from a company I deal with on Long Island, NY. The email is speaking about the damage in the area and to the homes of staff members living in the area. One part of the email says, “There is, however, no internet service or cell service. Phone service is sporadic.”
Instant communications has become such a part of our life today that we don’t realize just how much we depend on it until we don’t have it. As result of Hurricane Sandy many areas of the East Coast of the United States are without power and without communications and at the writing of this post it will probably be several days before all is restored.
This is when we as ham radio operators need to be ready to assist and provide necessary communications. It is our privilege to get on the air and talk to our friends or work some DX station but it our responsibility to assist in times like these after a catastrophe. There is no place on planet earth that is exempt from disaster. We need to be ready as much as we can.
Part of this preparation includes taking some online courses from FEMA. The minimum we need are IC100, IC200, and IC700. IC800 is now also recommended. Things have changed from the old days when we could jump into our vehicle with the mobile rig and run out to help. You need to get your name on the list of hams that can be called and wait until you are called before responding. If you have not completed these courses you won’t be called.
You can learn more about the Incident Command courses and the Incident Command System (ICS) at http://www.hamradio.arc.nasa.gov/ICScourses.html this site has links to the tests.
Being prepared is not just for boy scouts.
Please use the comment section below and tell me how you are ready to meet a Sandy type incident. Also if you helped tell me what you did.
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