This is KI6GOO calling all licensed amateur radio operators in the 94952, 94953, 94954 Zip Code areas. Doesn’t common sense tell us that we must be willing to step up to the plate and be ready to help our neighbors in light of the various natural disasters over the years, such as Hurricane Katrina and the current emergency in Haiti, when thousands of people are left on their own for 72 hours or longer, and often without any one of the regular communication systems operating?

The current CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training courses and the NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) model has been in existence ever since Spring, 2006. Ham radio operators were part of the NERT model from the beginning, as well as a CERT demonstration of how amateur radio can enable residents who are isolated in their neighborhoods might communicate with their local Emergency Operation Center. In fact, over the past three years, 19 of the 100+ CERT graduates have earned their Technician Class licenses. They have been joined by five other grads who already were Hams and they have formed a group called CERN (Community Emergency Radio Network.) These volunteers conduct a weekly NERT Net drill in order to practice appropriate message handling procedures.

CERN realizes that many Petaluma Hams have already registered as volunteer radiio operators with established emergency communication systems sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services (ACS), the Salvation Army (SATERN), the American Red Cross (ARC),, and the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES). There are also scores of licensed operators (N=200+) who live throughout Petaluma neighborhoods, who could help transmit messages when disaster situations occur.

To date, our CERN roster has about a dozen Petaluma neighborhoods represented in its network, although the majority of the city’s neighborhoods have at least one Ham operator living nearby. The main purpose of this CQ-Calling All Hams-CQ message is to spread the word about NERT Net and to invite those Hams who are willing to turn their radios on to a Simplex frequency for use as a Directed Net, whenever a major disaster like an earthquake, flood, or wild fire hits Petaluma, to sign up as a CERN volunteer.

If you are currently a FCC licensed radio operator, who is not already committed to any of the established agencies or non-profit emergency preparedness organizations, please consider learning more about our Petaluma CERN opportunity, using the contact information below. Please remember, it isn’t a matter of IF, but WHEN.

Community Emergency Radio Network – Bill Hammerman, CERN Coordinator – (707) 762-6593 Email: whammer@petalumanet/.org  Website: http://www.petalumaNERT.org