delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 2
Ben Schwab, W8AXEDelaware County Emergency CoordinatorIs it a bunker under the house built to survive a direct nuclear blast, with enough food and water the last 10 years, or is it as simple as a couple batteries thrown in a junk drawer to run a weather Radio? we all have our own way prepare individually based on our households, capabilities ,budget, and mindset.First and foremost you need to have a plan. What are some scenarios that are likely to happen around here? tornados flooding or chemical spill would probably be the most likely for Delaware County. Let's start off by making a simple plan for tornadoes as an example. Once you get the warning where you will go in your house in the case of an immediate threat? Do you have a basement? Or are you going to an interior bathroom/closet? How will you be getting the warning? do you have an NOAA weather radio or are you relying on a cell phone? Does your HT receive on the NOAA frequencies? (162.550 MHz for Delaware county) Will you be able to get updated information from where you’re Sheltering at? All of these are things to think about when making an emergency planThe most practical form of preparedness next planning and training would be an emergency kit. FEMA suggest a basic emergency supply kit should include the following items:•Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation•Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food•Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert•Flashlight•First aid kit•Extra batteries•Whistle to signal for help•Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to Shelter in place•Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation•Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities•Manual can opener for food•Local maps•Cell phone with chargers and a backup batteries(Information pulled from https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit)What can be added to this list for hams? a-couple things come to mind right off the bat ,extra CHARGED batteries for HT’s, because what good is an extra battery if you can't use it. A generator or other backup power source for the shack Plus the fuel needed to power it. or an off grid source to recharge battery (such as a solar panel or wind turbine) the latter would be in a very extreme case of power outages i.e. Puerto Rico. The same idea is used when making a “go bag” to have ready for ARES activation just on a smaller scale. Bring enough water for the day, I like to use a one gallon camel pack but a couple of 1 liter bottles will work as well. A couple granola bars or fruit snacks things like that survive very well in the pocket of a backpack or duffel bag. The HT and a charger is also very important. Don't forget any medications you might need (with the proper prescriptions if necessary) and store them with a simple first aid kit. Other items would be things like multi-tools and jackets or rainwear depending on the season and weather. (fresh pair of socks is a must). One thing to keep in mind when making a kit is to not follow a certain checklist, butt instead use recommendations as a guideline to help tailor the kit to your needs. Finally how will you be getting in touch with family or loved ones in the case of a disaster do you have plan to meet somewhere or way to get the word out that you're safe? All of these are things to think about and is just scratching the surface of emergency preparedness. Hopefully you would never need to put a plan like this into action but as always it's better to have it and not needed than to need and not have it.
Want some fun? Try being a ROVER!
Here is their account of a successful rover category trip for the Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest last month! Button up!•In 6 hours, we drove about 92 miles, and visited 7 counties (Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Wayne, Stark, Tuscawaras, and Carroll)•Each operating site had about 4 minutes of setup, 10 minutes of operating, and 4 minutes of teardown before we headed to the next location•We had a total of 148 contacts across 6m, 2m, and 70cm that were in 17 different counties (one in PA).•46 of the contacts were on 6m, 74 were on 2m, and 28 were on 70cm•The equipment was a Yaesu FT-857d into a Diamond V2000a on top of a 25′ mast mounted to the trailer hitch on the truck. We also used a Motorola XPR-4550 and a Yaesu FTM-400 for some of the contacts while mobile, and the FTM-400 did double-duty as the APRS transmitter.It took a couple of weeks of planning, including antenna and radio planning and building, mapping out the best operating locations in several counties (best meaning highest place along a reasonable route with places to pull off and set up), choosing and laying out a route, setting up logging, and getting some of the rules clarified with the organizers.
Reminder: Statewide tornado drill February 5
Stan Broadway, N8BHLOhio Section Emergency CoordinatorSec Article for February 2018ARES VHF Contest: Scores SMASHED for 2018! The annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex contest was held in early January. Unfortunately, nobody told the ~bands~ we were coming, but there were some openings. All who turned in scores said they had a lot of fun, and that was one of the main goals! Another was to be able to plot our simplex ‘footprint’ for times of emergency when repeaters were not functioning. The average was around 6 counties per station, and that’s actually pretty good! So if we had a “black sky” event we know a little better with whom we should be able to make contact. We had good numbers- 10 scores more than last year. There were 10 counties operating (several had multiple stations) so we did feel the pinch of stingy bands just a bit. The top station score was submitted by the K8GQB crew using the Lisbon Area Amateur Radio Association’s callsign in Columbiana County. Their station score was 1656, with 92 QSO points (including the bonuses) over 18 counties. That’s great reach! The Sarge, W8SGT, was not exactly hopping but I managed to work 9 counties for second place. But, wait! There’s more! This year’s TOP score was 7267, racked up by the rover crew operating W8WTF. Man, these guys made a career out of this day. There were 17 counties with 213 QSO points! They made a tight schedule through Cuyahoga, Summit, medina, Wayne, Stark, Tuscarawas and Carroll counties! Not only did they cram all that driving in, but they picked the highest elevation points they could find! They operated from above 1200 ft. to 1304 ft. in Summit county. Jason McCormick, N8JDM and John Wagner, N8CD not only smacked the score records around, made some serious rover contacts, but they put together a video on how it was done!A huge “Attaboys” to the intrepid crew! Maybe this is planting some ideas in ~your~ head for next year? Sounds like fun to me! Spring Activity Plans FinalizedThere are two major events for Ohio ARES coming up before you know it! First, our Ohio ARES State Conference is set for April 7. We will hold our session at the Marion Tech health lecture hall as we have for the past two years. This is MUST SEE for EC’s and above, as well as general members. As you probably know, a committee led by Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, has completed a report on changes that need to be made to bring the ARES system into this century. The changes were approved by the Board at their January meeting. While the report isn’t finalized yet for publication, Dale has agreed to come let us in on his committee’s work- and what we can expect not only in Ohio but across the country for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. I’ll be sending out more details on the conference, and again we’re waiting to get absolutely final agreement on the location but we don’t anticipate any problems. While you’re waiting, it’s not too early to start planning for this year’s Ohio NVIS Antenna Day. We have scheduled that for April 28, a Saturday. There’s just no denying it’s fun to fiddle with antennas! It’s a basic part of our hobby- and the ability to make solid close-by contacts is even more critical with the bands in the terrible shape they’re in. So get a gang together, plan on a great BBQ lunch, and unroll some wire for Ohio NVIS Antenna Day! The original planIt was about 17 degrees, windy, and snowing when we got to our first site in Cuyahoga county. The snow came and went throughout the day. In spite of the weather we were able to stick to our original plan pretty closely, with enough time to help push a couple of ladies out that were stuck in the snow and make a couple of stops for refreshments along the way. After the Cuyahoga county site, we setup in the Giant Eagle parking lot in Richfield for Summit county, then Top O’ Ledges picnic area in Medina county, followed by operations from a park in Doylestown for Wayne county. The Stark county location was a few miles south-west of Navarre on a ridge near a couple of commercial towers. It’s always reassuring to see commercial towers where you are operating VHF, because it means someone else thought it was a good place for VHF transmitters as well.After Stark county, we headed south through Tuscawaras county and made a few contacts while moving before doing some operations from the Roxford Church near Dennison Ohio. We didn’t setup the mast here and the altitude was a little lower than we would have liked, but it fit into our driving schedule better than some other locations. Finally we worked our way along some country roads and pulled off the side of Cougar Road SW just inside Carroll county for our last operation. Here we picked up several more southern counties that we hadn’t worked before. All along the way we used APRS to report our position, and had a few people following us via https://aprs.fi to keep up with our operations.