TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 18.16 DATE: April 22, 2018
SUBJECT: EMERGENCY POWER CONSIDERATIONS
Eighteen years ago when the Year 2000 was coming, the world thought the lights would go out. Were you prepared for an emergency by having a complete self-powered station? How about now, are you ready for the loss of power?
The questions you should ask yourself are; Can I operate without commercial power? How long does it take to set it up? If you can answer the first question yes, then ask yourself the second. Many amateurs have equipment that will operate on batteries, or have access to auxiliary power like generators, but have never tested to see if they can operate their station from these sources.
If the power were to fail this minute would you be able to make a VHF contact? How about HF contact? Can you operate Packet Radio, since it does use a computer?
These are all valid questions, and I hope can be answered yes. As a test for yourself, get out the batteries, if they are charged, or get out the generator, if it still runs. Break out the cables to connect the batteries, hook up the station to the alternate source of power and operate for a couple hours in that manner.
Just operating the radios isn't all, remember, this includes working in the dark if you don't have emergency lights, or flashlights.
Operating like this will help us remain familiar with the procedure, which will affect our response time and our ability to communicate in a disaster or emergency.
And remember, keep those items needed, ready and waiting, just in case the power goes off at any time.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV