Cal Poly ARC Members Respond to Power Outage
When the power went down for more than 145,000 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers in San Luis Obispo County, California, on June 23, members of the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club (W6BHZ) sprang into action to provide needed emergency communication. The response by student and alumni members consisted of collecting status information from remote stations and relaying information obtained by net control through official channels, the club said in a news release. “CPARC demonstrated the importance of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications support in a professional and timely manner, providing the most current firsthand reports to the community,” the club said in its news release. The situation was exacerbated by the absence of coverage on broadcast news outlets, in some cases due to the outage, and by a call overload on the PG&E information number. “Fortunately some residents have radio scanners and were listening to the radio net managed by CPARC on 146.67 MHz,” where the countywide SLOECC net had opened, CPARC said. Some of these listeners credited the net with providing timely and independent reports. The outage, attributed to a power substation problem, lasted about 2 hours.