CONTACT - September 2016
Vol 14 # 9
In this issue:
September is National Preparedness Month. This is the time to focus your attention on making sure you are well-prepared in the event of an emergency.
ARRL will be posting a ham radio preparedness “Tip of the Day” throughout September on ARRL social media, including the ARRL Facebook page and main ARRL Twitter feed. These will focus on practical ham radio matters, training opportunities, and outreach methods. Take what you need and spread them around!
One of the other items available during National Preparedness Month from ARRL is a PowerPoint on presenting the FEMA Family Emergency Communications Plan to your local community. Video of the August 23 webinar on how to present the material is available on ARRL’s YouTube channel, and the presentation itself is available at the bottom of the main page of the ARRL Library. While ham radio isn’t specifically part of the FEMA presentation, this material is a great opportunity to reach out to your local communities and raise your visibility. You are free to present material on what your club is doing in the Amateur Radio realm after the FEMA material is presented. Let me know if you present the FEMA course to your community, and how it went.
Hurricane Hermine made landfall early September 2 along the Florida panhandle. Kudos to ARRL North Florida Section PIO Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, for getting a story about Clay County ARES preparations before the storm on not one, but two TV stations! Bonus points: The reporter for one of them, Michael Yoshida, is the son of ARRL North Dakota Section Emergency Coordinator Nancy Yoshida, KG0YL.
August 22-28 was Centennial Week for the National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the NPS as a bureau of the Department of Interior. National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) Activators helped units celebrate in force; 174 of the 489 eligible units had Amateur Radio in them, resulting in over 15,000 QSOs for NPOTA during the week. 77 units were active on August 25, the day of the actual Centennial, known as Founders Day. Many thanks to all the clubs and individuals who went out to showcase Amateur Radio to the public during NPS Centennial Week.
We’re always pleased to have more PIOs come on board. Please join me in welcoming these PIOs to the fold:
Kentucky: George S. Leaf, KM4PAA
Michigan: William D. Radtke, W8WDR
Tennessee: Richard P. Ervin, WA4DZW
Indiana: Barry Palencer, KC9WMS
This month’s PR Challenge is to make a presentation to your local community [civic group, church, etc] about what your club does for your local community. With this being National Preparedness Month, use the FEMA talk on the Family Emergency Communications Plan mentioned earlier as the way to get your foot in the door. Send me an email with a report on how your presentation went, along with a photo or two, and I’ll include you in a drawing for a 2017 ARRL Handbook. Reports must be received by September 30.
Here’s some interesting information on how today’s journalists view and use social media as part of their job. There’s some valuable information here that will help you determine the best way to make your pitch to given journalists in your area.
While the recent flooding in Louisiana wasn’t as much of a communications emergency as Katrina was, it was obviously still a major event. Louisiana ARES stepped up and established critical communications at the Red Cross shelters and operations centers. Assistant Section Manager Matt Anderson, KD5KNZ, kept us at HQ informed directly, and there was lots on info available on their Facebook page, too. And of course, the volunteers from surrounding states stepped in when asked.
I heard an interview on the radio last week with a woman who moved to Baton Rouge after Katrina leveled her home. Ten years later, and she’s lost another home. Many others are likely going through the same feelings.
I read a Facebook post from a ham radio volunteer who drove down from Arkansas, who commented that if folks were more willing to share their stuff in general (not just after a disaster), maybe things would be a little bit better. “Then again, a parking lot game of baseball doesn’t hurt, either.”
That may be true. It’s hard to deny the effect of picking up some clothes or a blanket, or even the (temporary) ease that a distraction of a baseball game brings after you’ve lost everything. Then again, as communications volunteers, we know that our skills are pretty valuable during those times. And we give back in a way that few can.
To all the volunteers who helped in Louisiana: Thanks for sharing your “stuff.”
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
ARRL Media & Public Relations Manager