On September 1st., the beginning of National Emergency Preparedness Month, the Sonoma County Radio Amateurs sponsored a panel presentation and discussion devoted to how Sonoma County will be able to communicate when a major disaster (like an earthquake) occurs and most normal communication systems are inoperable. The following amateur radio groups in Sonoma County were represented on the panel and answered the questions (below), following the introduction of panel members.

Auxiliary Communications Service – Sonoma County (Dan Ethan, WA6CRB).
http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/FES/Emergency-Management-Communications-Service/

Auxiliary Emergency Communications Service – Santa Rosa Matt McGarey, KK6LJI)
http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/dep[rtments/technology/AECS/Pages/default.aspx

Amateur Radio Emergency Services – Sonoma County (ARES) (Rep Absent)
http://www.arrl.org/ares

Petaluma Neighborhood HamWatch Network –
Bill Hammerman, KI6GOO, Tony Kamby, KD6WYH, Bill Paxton, KI6NKF)

Sonoma County Radio Amateurs Em Comm (Brian Torr, N6IIY)
http://sonomacountyradioamateurs.com/wp/our-club/about/1.

Questions – Moderator: MichaelVon der Porten, AD6YB
1. What is the history of your amateur radio service?
2. What authority establishes your service?
3. What frequencies do you use?
4. What locations do you use in an emergency?
5. How do I volunteer for your service?

What most Petaluma Hams don’t remember is that a special report TV show by PCMG and monitored by Brad Bollinger in 1995 asked a similar questions; “Can Sonoma County Communicate?” Here we are 20 years later asking the same because WHEN, not IF a major disaster strikes Petaluma and/or Sonoma County, and all elect5ric power is lost and most regular forms of communication are inoperable, how will Sonoma County communicate and exchange information with its citizens?

Stay tuned and return to this blog site for additional reminders about how to be ready and prepared to communicate at the neighborhood and community level during times of extended power outage.