Chuck Keiper who is a long time Ham Operator and director of disaster preparedness communications for Lummi Island recently sent an email to people on the island who have joined the MURS radio network which is like an island intercom. What he’s trying to tell us is that the island needs more Ham Radio Operators and one no longer needs a 40′ antenna, thousands of dollars worth of equipment or knowledge of Morse Code to qualify:
“Each of you receiving this eMail is either a participant in the Island Intercom Emergency Preparedness Network, is a licensed amateur radio operator, or is an individual whom I believe might be interested in becoming a Ham Operator. (In case you have not heard, Morse Code is no longer required!) After reading this, if you believe you know someone else who might be interested in this activity, please forward a copy of this invitation to them.
Intra-island disaster communication needs are being well served by the volunteer participants in the unlicensed Lummi Island Intercom Network. However, in order to provide Off-island emergency communications to the mainland, licensed amateur radio operators (Hams) will be required.
I hope that you will be able to attend a meeting at the Lummi Fire Hall on Monday, March 5th, at 7:30 PM, to discuss the need for licensed amateur ratio operators to assist in implementation of an Island Emergency Communications Plan. In a disaster situation, these are the individuals who will be the communication link between Island disaster workers and Whatcom Unified Emergency Management. Individuals already reasonably comfortable with computer operations are particularly needed.
Lasting no longer than 90 minutes, the meeting will consist of four parts:
1. Island communication needs and general methodologies useful to meet these needs.
2. Personal introductions, backgrounds and interests; prior communications involvement, if any.
3. Licensing requirements, procedures and reference materials for those who want to become licensed.
4. Hands-on demonstration of (inexpensive) modern radio equipment, computer interfacing and free communications software, plus a look at the fire department’s new “radio room.
Please mark your calendar for three weeks from today, Monday, March 5th, 7:30PM.”