But It’s A Dry Cold

Monday, January 18th, and Saturday and Sunday, January 23rd and 24th, Hendry Emergency Management opened cold weather shelters.

The United Way House on Bridge Street in Labelle opened for all three evenings, and the Taylor Auditorium in Clewiston for the first two.

Hendry EM reservists and paid staff all put in time to stock and manage the shelters, from scheduling shifts to driving between Labelle and Clewiston with supplies.

Photo courtesy WD4RCC
Photo courtesy WD4RCC

Temperatures dropped to around 40 at both locations, dangerously cold for anyone outside for an extended period without suitable coverage. Historically, the shelters are not taken advantage of by the homeless population, and those families without the ability to heat their homes. However, the mandate to open them was issued by the BOCC and the department stepped up to the task.

Kudos to the Hendry Sheriff’s Office and the City Police in Clewiston for safety checks on the shelter personnel.

This was not a “ham radio” function. It does, however, underscore the importance of public service volunteers to cross-train, and be as ready as possible to take on any task at any time.

Photo courtesy WD4RCC
Photo courtesy WD4RCC

Followup: Shelters were opened several more times in January and February. Thanks to reservists and our NGO partners!

Comms Room

When it doesn’t have a pack of hamsters running about, our comms room at EOC is actually kept quite tidy…

Photo courtesy WD4RCC
Photo courtesy WD4RCC

The kit on the right is an 800Mhz base station for EMS dispatch, should we need it.

Tuesday Self Test – Extra Class

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 4 Extra Class Question Pool:

E1A01 (D) [97.301, 97.305]

When using a transceiver that displays the carrier frequency of phone signals, which of the following displayed frequencies represents the highest frequency at which a properly adjusted USB emission will be totally within the band?

A. The exact upper band edge

B. 300 Hz below the upper band edge

C. 1 kHz below the upper band edge

D. 3 kHz below the upper band edge

Post Earthquake EmComm

From @arrl_SFL, a good article from the Nepali Times

“As phone lines were jammed and the internet went down in Nepal after last April’s earthquake, the only way Manju Sunar could find out if her daughter was safe was to ask an amateur radio operator in France, where she worked, to contact another radio hobbyist in Nepal who then sent people out on motorbikes and found Sunar’s daughter safe.”

Photo: GOPEN RAI

Laxmi Khanal is one of 20 female ham operators in Nepal.

QRV – January #2

With the recent occurrences of severe weather and tornadoes affecting our neighboring counties in the past week, the topic of this article is more important now than ever. There is a program here in Hendry County that is a great way for you to get involved in your community, learn some new skills that may save a life, and make new friends while you are providing a much needed service to your community.

The training is free and it is open to people of all ages, it’s called the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, for short.

Click here for the blog post written by Hendry County Emergency Management’s own EM Planner, Amy Howard, FPEM, about the program that she is very passionate about.

– – Brian Newhouse, Director of Emergency Management

Tuesday Self Test – General Class

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 3 General Class question pool:

G1A01 (C) [97.301(d)]

On which of the following bands is a General Class license holder granted all amateur frequency privileges?

A. 60, 20, 17, and 12 meters

B. 160, 80, 40, and 10 meters

C. 160, 60, 30, 17, 12, and 10 meters

D. 160, 30, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters

Hendry County CERT

Hendry County Emergency Management CERT meets the first Thursday of each month at the Hendry County EOC on February 4th, 2016 at 6:00 PM.

– – –

FEMA began promoting the nationwide Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 1994. Since then, teams have been established in hundreds of communities around the country, including Hendry County.

CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations or workplaces in basic response skills. The CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for the area.

If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the County’s professional response, CERT members can assist community members by applying basic life support response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives.

Team members maintain and refine their skills by participating in training exercises and other activities throughout the year. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring organization or other agencies to further their skills and expand their knowledge base.

Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve Hendry County’s emergency preparedness. Once the training is complete, team members will participate in a final exam and exercise or drill to put into practice the skills they learned. This training consists of twenty (20) classroom hours and can also be tailored to fit the community’s needs.

CERT training will teach each participant to:

  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities.
  • Describe the function of CERT and their role in immediate response.
  • Take steps to prepare themselves for a disaster.
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces.
  • Work as a team to solve different problems.
  • Apply techniques for basic first aid, conducting triage, performing a head to toe assessment, selecting and setting up treatment areas.
  • Identify planning and size-up requirements for search and rescue situations.
  • Use safe techniques for debris removal, victim rescue and describe ways to protect rescuers during the search and rescue effort.

The CERT program has been in place in Hendry County since 2006 and has provided training to many people over the years. Each CERT trainee that completes the training will receive a CERT KIT (containing tools to use as a CERT member), as well as a Certificate of Completion. The classes are free of charge and are taught by the County’s Emergency Management and response personnel.

If you have received this training in the past, and still want to participate, we need to hear from you to update your contact information. If you have never taken the training but would like to learn more about it, please contact Hendry County Emergency Management at 863-674-5400.

The EOC is located at 4425 West State Road 80, about 6 miles west of LaBelle. It is located on the south side of SR80 about a mile past the old Berry Plant.

Amy Howard, FPEM
EM Planner, Hendry County Emergency Management

Tuesday Self Test – Technician Class

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 2 Technician Class license question pool:

T1A01 (C) [97.1]

Which of the following is a purpose of the Amateur Radio Service as stated in the FCC rules and regulations?

A. Providing personal radio communications for as many citizens as possible

B. Providing communications for international non-profit organizations

C. Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art

D. All of these choices are correct

Happy New Year

The Hendry hams got off to a good start for 2016 with a full slate of planned projects, special event field days, nets, and meetings on the agenda.

First off was our inaugural net for the year on January 5th, with ten check-ins, comments from the Hendry County Director of Emergency Management, KJ4WIC; Hendry Emergency Coordinator, WA4PAM, and a few brand new hams fresh off their Technician exams.

Nets are the first and third Tuesday of each month at 1930 local.

Field activities and workshops are based out of the Hendry Emergency Operations Center, west of Labelle on SR80.