Desert Messenger

April 04, 2018

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2 April 4, 2018 At the LDS EOC, Branch Leaders received and analyzed the reports,accounting for all members using a master block list so no one was missed. A Disaster Report was prepared for transmission to Stake leaders in Lake Havasu via Amateur Radio, indicating members unaccounted for. In an actual emergency, this report would indicate number of members in- jured or killed, members homes damaged or destroyed and A REPORT ON THE STATUS OF THE COMMUNITY AND ANY REQUESTS FOR OUT- SIDE ASSISTANCE. Results of our test: Of 141 families, 79 families reported (56%) and 65 families reported availability of 72 hour kits (46%). If your 72 hour kit was left at your summer home, then it will not be able to sustain you if the emergency happens here in Quartzsite. And if the local community mem- bers don't have one to share with you, you may go hungry! This link shows the contents of a 72 hour kit for a family of four. As a community Emergency Operations Center has not yet been estab- lished, ham radio operators were dispatched to the Fire and Police Depart- ments, City Public Works and Ambulance Service in order to relay reports for assistance to these agencies, when the phones are not working. After checking and/or reporting on their blocks, Lois DuPre, KI7HHV, Duane Fraser, KD7WVL, Ed Jones, KI7BUE, Mort Farmer, KI7TID, and Earl Jay- cox, K7EKJ, reported to these agencies to relay any need for emergency services. Robert Strange, K7RES, Branch Emergency Communications Specialist, says "While our fi rst priority is to account for our church members, we are also concerned about the community as well and members are encouraged to support local city efforts to organize and prepare. It is very frustrating in an emergency to not be able to communicate with loved ones or to get help if urgently needed. If the phones are down, and the roads are blocked, then riding "Shank's Pony" (walking) or using a radio are your only options". "A couple of our members on BLM land, widely separated, used Family Ra- dio Service (FRS). Gary Miner, KL7AE, stood on top of his motor home to receive the ½ watt FRS radio signal from the Schafer family some 5 miles away. An FCC change now allows FRS to use 2 watts of power." Another un-licensed radio service is the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) with 2 watts of power AND allows elevated (up to 60 feet), high- gain an- tennas. The radios are more expensive than FRS however. A group in Idaho successfully uses MURS over a very wide area. Another option is General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which requires a license, but no exam, is good for 10 years (just increased from 5 years) and $75 fee. GMRS offers higher power output (5 & 50 watts) and repeater operation. Individuals who may be station operators are Immediate family members, including spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and even in-laws can all operate off the same li- cense! So for $7.50 a year, all these folks can operate from one license, thus having very effective communications and be legal too. Shank's Pony may not be needed so much after all! Check out this link for more up-dated information about these other radio services: bands-gmrs-frs-cb-murs/ Amateur Radio is widely used in emergencies. It requires a license after successfully passing a test, but no fee, and is good for 10 years. Exam fee is normally $15 but this exam is given free in Quartzsite, thanks to generos- ity of local hams. Contact Dave Anderson, K1AN, at 602-616-8338 . Our ERC group had 7 new ham operators this season and 6 participated in our Communications Test. They are Mort Farmer, Scott Bush, Roger Diehl, Bill Scott, Howard Elting, Roger Bowen and Marilyn Young. Following the Comm Test, a Lessons Learned Meeting was held with Block Leaders and Radio Operators. Knowing the location of land-line phones may allow one to communicate in an emergency. Only two members re- ported via land line phone. When the Block Leader is absent or doesn't function, then we get few reports from those block members. Many other suggestions were made as to how we can improve. If you have an organized plan and you practice that plan, then in an ac- tual emergency, your performance will be much better. Thanks to everyone who participated! The life you save may be your own, or your neighbors! Timely communications may be critical to that happening. Plan and Prac- tice now! It will be much easier than trying to put it together during an emergency. LDS FROM PAGE 1 Gary Miner, KL7AE, stood on top of his motor home to receive the ½ watt FRS radio signal SEE LDS PHOTOS PAGE 12

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