Today’s blog is a copy of the May newsletter for Petaluma ALERT – Alliance of Local Emergency Radio Teams.  Since I am a FCC licensed amateur radio operator, KI6GOO, I have been promoting the use of amateur radios as a means of communication during a major disaster.

Petaluma ALERT – Alliance of Local Emergency Radio Teams – Neighborhood HamWatch Newsletter – May 23, 2015

 The Petaluma Alliance of Local Emergency Radio Teams is a voluntary partnership established between government emergency communication services and organizations like the American Red Cross, ARES/ARRL, Salvation Army, local Amateur Radio Clubs, and Neighborhood HamWatch Networks that exist to maintain communications with nearby neighborhood communities in the event of a major emergency or disaster like an earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire, or tornado when all local power is out and normal communication systems are inoperable.

The  goal of this partnership is to establish an emergency radio network that will allow the participating groups to (1) exchange information during the opening hours (and possibly days) of a disaster; (2) permit activated  emergency service managers with the neighborhoods in their communities and allow them to deliver life and death messages, as well as health, safety, and welfare information as needed, and (3) transmit welfare messages at the request of neighbors to distant family and friends outside the stricken area to relieve concerns about their survival status.

 The need for such a communication network system to function WHEN, not IF a major disaster  occurs is well documented by various newspaper reports and YouTube videos, available on line:

Amateur Radio Today, narrated by the late Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, November 21, 2006       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2r1Y9tlia0

 New Nepal Earthquake Keeps Amateur Relief Effort Going   http://www.arrl.org/news/new-nepal-earthquake-keeps-amateur-radio-relief-effort-going

Ham Radio Operators to the Rescue http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9228945/ns/technology_and_science_wireless/t/ham-radio-op  

Help spread the word about our Petaluma NHW net, open to any licensed Ham in the 94952 & 94954 zip code areas. It is not a separate club or organization, and participation will not interfere with any obligations one has with ACS, SATERN, Red Cross, or ARES. We are simply a local group of volunteer amateur radio operators that step up to the plate and creates a communications network that serves the neighborhood areas of Petaluma during the  first 24-72 hours of a major disaster or emergency situation. Interested Hams should contact Bill Hammerman, KI6GOO, 762-4701, whammer@petalumanet.org