Several years ago, when the Petaluma CERT program (Community Emergency Response Team) was supported by the city (2005-2011), 24 members passed the FCC amateur radio exam (Technician Class) and formed what was called the “Petaluma Neighborhood Ham Watch Network.” It’s main purpose was to provide radio communication in the event of a major disaster or whenever electric power went out and most forms of electric communication were inoperable.

Now, five years later, there are still 19 volunteer Hams who continue to provide radio communications for their neighborhood area. The primary objectives of a NHW Network is to: (1) provide simple conversational contact with amateur radio operators in other neighborhoods, (2) establish two way communications with an amateur radio station located in the local government Emergency Operator Center (EOC), and (3) provide health & welfare messaging services for neighbors to distant relatives.

Just last night, 10 local Hams checked-in on the weekly Petaluma NHW Net and tested their ability to communicate on a 2 meter repeater frequency (146.910-88.5b MHz.), their main 2m. simplex frequency (146.535), plus one of four backup simplex frequencies, chosen by the Net Control Operator: 145.030, 145.090, 146.560, or 147.420.

Any licensed Ham, residing in Petaluma, is welcomed to join this group of amateur radio operators. There are no special training requirements, or any dues or membership fees; just one’s volunteer time and their use of their equipment. For more information about how to participate, please contact Bill Hammerman at whammer@petalumanet.org