History has taught us time and time again that the unexpected happens. But, it has also taught us that not everything is unexpected. Often it is ignorance which leads to false assumptions prior to an incident, resulting in inadequate preparedness. Other times it's...
If you look at weather related incidents, for example on these websites:
you will immediately notice that many incidents and emergencies every year are of grand proportions, certainly not local - that's for sure!
So you think we here in Arkansas may have a few tornadoes or some thunderstorms wreaking havoc - locally. Correct! But, there's more. See the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management website:
The NEXT BIG ONE is a matter of WHEN, NOT IF.
So you as an Amateur Radio operator want to rely on VHF voice comms and repeaters? As the history pages cited above show us clearly: to fail to learn from history, is to learn to fail during the next big one.
Chances are nearly 50% in the next 50 years. If the lottery had odds that high, we'd all play!
So what can YOU do while having fun with our hobby? Get your General class licence, it's easy! ...and then get yourself an HF transceiver, load the free NBEMS software suite with FLDIGI and get on the air. Grow as an individual and as a communicator. Do VHF Digital on simplex and voice and digital on HF.
Join the Razorback Net for HF voice and check into the Arkansas NBEMS Net for HF digital. Join a local ARES group. If they are non existent in your area or do not follow the ARES EC Manual in their words and actions, e.g. they offer no training in the various communications methods, then join SATERN, join the Red Cross, join MARS or found a CERT group - your local fire fighters will love you for it. Learn to be a Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR) operator. This hobby of ours is great and your kids will love it too.
Any questions? Just ask. I have great Elmer's and would be more than happy to help you too.
THE AMATEURS CODE
by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA (1928)
The Radio Amateur is:
CONSIDERATE..... never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL..... offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE..... with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.
FRIENDLY..... with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED..... Radio is an advocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC..... with station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
73 de Marcus NX5MK