Tag Archives: Emcomm

REPOST: Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

REPOST from Oct. 28th, 2011

What is the Radio Amateur’s responsibility for Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness?

Yeah, let’s get that answered and out of the way.

In absolutes their responsibility is “none” – zero, nada, zilch – none.

Personal Emergency Communications Preparedness, even for those of us who are ARRL members, is not a requirement.

[ Wipe Brow and Sigh here ]

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REPOST: Why I only do Independent Personal Emcomm….

REPOST from Nov 28th 2011

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I’ve been asked why I limit my Emergency Communications involvement to little more than Personal Preparedness?

There are a whole raft of reasons:

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Why I only do Indepependent Personal Emcomm….

I’ve been asked why I limit my Emergency Communications involvement to little more than Personal Preparedness?

There is a whole raft of reasons:

Staying off lists.

I’m not interested in being on targeted lists.  In the best of times they lead to requests and demands I may have never intended to offer my services for, and in the worst of times they are ready-made radio confiscation lists.  Perhaps having a bit of  a background in doing the government side of working lists & information has made me edgy, as I basically want to keep my “private citizen, not involved” status whenever possible.

Family, neighbors, coworkers and community come first.

I don’t want to have some semi-official status pulling me away from doing what I have committed to do first – that is taking the best care & contributing where I can for Family, Neighbors, Coworkers and my very local Community first.

Not interested in “playing army” having really been a Soldier.

A real put-off is the paramilitary feel and games some parts of organized Emcomm have taken on.  While I understand the need for discipline and a standard methodology, I have enough experience at the real military that I’m not going to play around pretending I am still in service.

There are other forms of organization, motivation and coordination that can work for a volunteer group rather than the paramilitary model.

Just because you’re licensed longer, take more meds, and have plenty of spare time doesn’t mean I can trust your leadership.

One of the ways people arrive in leadership in many Emcomm groups is to have the time available to them.  This often means the energetic young leaders are expected to follow good folk who circumstances have put a lot of time in their laps.  Not every everyone who has retired, happens to be out of work, or is medically off work, makes a leader a volunteer can trust.  Many are great folks having their first stab at leading volunteers, which can be rather “interesting.”  Unfortunately some are prone to leadership flaws that keep them from being effective.

Demands that I compromise personal safety by disarming to help Emcomm are irresponsible demands.

This is a personal pet peeve.  Maybe these Emcomm Leaders don’t understand he life experiences I have had that leads me to select appropriate protection when prudent, but I am not delegating my individual personal safety to them.  Sitting back in their grant money funded Emcomm bunkers one could argue that they don’t even have enough skin in the game to say anything at all how a rover or home based Emcomm volunteer keeps themselves safe.

This demand to disarm by Emcomm crosses an non-negotiable infringement on how I keep myself safe, and I am certainly not altering my stance to volunteer.

Knowing the games played to place truthful information flow under political control, can a person keep their integrity intact in organized Emcomm?

Time has leaked out so much about the attempts to control information during Katrina – when cellphone systems were shut down to meet information control goals, that one wonders if  they can ethically be part of any repeat?  The moves to obscured transmissions and encrypted internet type traffic for Emcomm is not all about getting the information out there, is it?

I really didn’t get into this hobby to play traffic cop.

I love too much the varied aspects of Amateur Radio and originally became involved for technical interests with a special interest in the old HF long distance aviation navigation system for overseas flights.  I’ve built some of my own gear and have experimented with leading edge (and “bleeding edge”) gear throughout the 20 plus years I’ve been involved.

It wasn’t a civic duty as a focus that drew me to amateur radio.

So what do I do?  Independent Emcomm a.ka. “Freecom”

There is a lot an individual can do to be an Independent Emcomm ready – a Freecom Amateur.  I’d taken almost every ARRL pre-FEMA on-line course, have built up a very modest but well proven portable station and have kept abreast of the latest in Emcomm.

Having a generator and batteries to operate off grid, a selection of portable antennas, and enough gear to go to the field is useful.

Most important though is gaining enough knowledge and technical references to build & repair gear.  And to improvise.

All of this is a lot of fun – from building transceivers to satellite antennas to mobile-shack accessories.

All without attending a meeting, a drill or playing games.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

What is the Radio Amateur’s responsibility for Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness?

Yeah, let’s get that answered and out of the way.

In absolutes their responsibility is “none” – zero, nada, zilch – none.

Personal Emergency Communications Preparedness, even for those of us who are ARRL members, is not a requirement.

[ Wipe Brow and Sigh here ]

That out of the way, it would be an extraordinary Radio Amateur who didn’t have some level of interest in Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness.

That interest could range from simply being glad there are ARES/RACES Groups, to having a grid-independent multi-mode station with portable personal go-packs.

What you do is completely up to your interests, resources, whims and desires.

Some years ago the Freecomm idea of active Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness without the formal structures & obligations was floated.

As a response to the increasing professionalization of existing Emcomm organizations the Freecomm idea is to share techniques, operating pricinples and ideas, without an imposed hierarchy and operating procedure.

Freecomm is most able to use innovative techniques and adaptive structure to accomplish Amateur Radio’s emergency communication desires, where Emcomm is about meeting the served agencies’ requirements in the ways & methods they dictate.

It could be argued that Freecomm is Emergency Communications for the True Patriots in our society.

Very curious what readers think of the distinction – am I making too much of the Freecomm/Emcomm difference, or is it as important as I’m seeing?

Comments welcome,

73

Steve
K9ZW

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A Decade of Remembrance and Our War with Ourselves

Today our prayers and thoughts are with those who perished and also those who were touched by the Terrorist attacks ten years ago today in New York.

God’s Mercy on those who died, were injured or had their loved ones taken from them.

It was a wake-up call to two tiers of evil – a religion infected with evil doers who were the terrorists, and that greater religious body that did little to take care of the evil sheltering itself under their mantle.

It was also a wake-up call that it seems we’ve never lost our fear of the “monster under the bed” leading us to all sorts of self-imposed limitations on our society, and curiously we fear death enough to not properly & freely live our own lives.

Many aspects of the changes we have inflicted upon ourselves are subtle – monitoring what books are checked out at the library & reporting it to authorities, the hassle to renew a passport or the new oilfield worker’s cards, – and some are very overt – Police Units with their own tanks, the Military Units moving with Government VIPs creating virtual no-go zones during visits inside their own country.

Some seem so daft – like the book reporting.  You have to question this as would recent immigrants bent on terrorism even have the language skills to check out complex studies of their own doctrine in what is to them a foreign language? Or wouldn’t they already be indoctrinated before they set off from their homes to our country for a mission?  And why would they break tradecraft to set off an alert system, unless it was just to yank our chains?

We’ve greatly spent the decade in negotiations – negotiations against ourselves on why we should accept all sorts of unconstitutional set-asides, why we should abridge our inalienable rights, and why we should accept limits to our lives to fight terrorism.

It could be argued that our Hobby has been degraded little, perhaps in response to the support Amateur Radio gave to all the post-9/11 communications needs and the role it played in the response to the actual event.

Or has it?

Today many repeaters are now grant money sponsored and now located where Government holds control of the on-off switch.  We’ve periodically been asked to listen for “chatter.”  We’ve made participation in Emcomm subject to various “reliability” background checks and Government training to “indoctrinate” to not our hobby’s standards, but to the government’s plans.

We’ve negotiated away some of our hobby’s Liberties with barely a whimper.

That is minor compared to the games played spending millions imposing various security programs on the populace & workplace, which here in the Heartlands misses that it seems that our risks remain higher from government mistakes (like the gunrunner fiasco) than external threats.

We’re building all sorts of Emergency Centers of various types, justifying with the false illusion that the “money is free” rather than recognizing we paid in taxes for these white elephants.

We remain at war with ourselves, diverting our rights & money against an imagined foe – that “monster under the bed” – rather than decisively dealing with those who support terrorism (for which pushbutton weaponry should be intended) and imagining that we can either effectively or economically police the world.

Even the lose of some few thousands – a fraction of what we loose to Heart Disease and Cancer EACH AND EVERY DAY in this country – should not have brought our economy to its knees.

It is “We” who brought the economy down to its knees by being afraid, and by doing to ourselves the damage the terrorists could never actually do.

Our media holds much guilt for the spread of fear and its results.

As do we as citizenry for basically wanting to believe we were somehow doomed for a single attack on the innocent.

Not even a hundred of such attacks should ever take down our spirits, or lead to our giving up our inalienable rights to mischief done by our own leaders under the false flag of a security for all we know they can never begin to deliver.

We pray today for those who were lost, and who lost their health and who lost their family members.

We also pray for our own weaknesses and that after a decade of fighting ourselves that we will again put our principles and trust in those principles ahead of fears we imagine in our weak moments.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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KB9MWR Speaks on “ARES/RACES is a Waste”

Steve KB9MWR makes some very valid observations on the ARES/RACES situation:

Everyone’s opinion on ARES/RACES will differ, but Steve KB9MWR has captured many of the issues with ARES/RACES and “Paraprofessional Emcomm” accurately in his presentation.

His points are 100% a fit with why I have been advocating the self-preparation plan Freecom as a replacement for Emcomm.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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