911 - What is your emergency?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ham radio team on 15th NE
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Text and photos by Marc Weinberg

When an emergency occurs, do you rely on the ‘911 Operator’ for assistance?  

We see and hear this announcement and the welcoming “hello” on the home phone or mobile whenever we need it. We hear this on recordings every time a daily news show broadcasts a tragedy on our streets. We hear it on TV shows as well and we expect this will be the case for each of us in a time of need. So ‘yes’ I expect most of us in the Seattle area are assured this will happen.

We in the northwest don't see the hurricanes and storms that occur in other parts of the country. If you asked people in Florida, N. Carolina, or Massachusetts you would get a different answer, because they know what happens when cell towers go down and major power is cut off. Ask the folks who experienced 'Sandy' what is was like to not have communications.

Shoreline Communication Van
Field Day Exercise
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

If you want to be connected with family and friends and reach emergency services if needed, there is something you can do. Amateur Radio is alive and well and Shoreline has a team that coordinates communications during an emergency which could otherwise isolate you from needed information about conditions, get messages to your family both in the area and outside, and inform you about what to expect and where you can find help and a shelter (if opened by the Red Cross).

Shoreline's communication team is staffed with citizens like you who volunteer and train every week and month to be ready when needed. This team is called Shoreline Auxiliary Communication Service. You can be a valuable part of this effort too and your assistance is requested.

Field Day exercise runs 24 hours
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

This is your invitation to find out what the team does and how you can participate. Come to the Annual International Event (US and Canada) called Field Day: a practice exercise at the Shoreline Center (sports field just east of the Spartan Gym) starting at noon Saturday, June 27 and ending 24 hours later at noon Sunday June 28. Talk with our members and there's a good chance you may have the opportunity to get on the radio and experience being a team member too.  

If you can't make this exercise, then please go to our website and find out more.



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