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Amateur Radio Emergency Service —
I think this is a better option for Part 15’er types who want to participate in emergency services. The go packs here on San Juan Island allow access to the internet by using a network of repeaters to reach out of the disaster area. This kind of response allows all kinds of organizations, including local Sheriff and Fire/Rescue units to stay in touch with the outside, in this case off-island, resources and mobilization, because it’s possible that their radio communications online gear could get toasted. Such participation is actually encouraged by the NTS with Homeland Security.
I haven’t taken the tests yet, but that’s where I’m headed with emergency communications. THe ARRL has a number of publications on various aspects of the ARES and NTS. It’s actually fascinating stuff. NHS wants this sort of help, but mainly because they figure hams who take the time to get licensed and qualified will be more knowledgeable and trustworthy, at least enough to recognize when they’re needed as opposed to getting in the way.
EAS/CAP has plenty of coverage … It’s nice to want to help, but I don’t think a Part 15 AM or FM BCB station is the way to go in any scenario I can think of. I’d probably make an on-air plea to turn on legitimate EAS/CAP participating stations and get the heck off the air.
However, broadcasting updated information about local temporary power outages, weather alerts, road conditions during winter storms, ground fog, stuff like that, is a good thing …. I do it all the time. Sometimes I even broadcast info about excessive deer sightings on portions of the roadways (two Augusts ago, we were having 3 road kills per day for a couple of weeks on the island). As a taxi driver, I’m often on point with road conditions. I was out one night wishing I had a resource to tell me how bad the conditions were … when it dawned on me … I AM that resource, because I’m the first (or one of the first) driver to encounter it!
So how would I set up a system where I could get a 2-meter rig to switch my Part 15 station to receive broadcasts from a hand-held or mobile rig in my taxi when in range. It could save someone from getting themselves into a driving situation they can’t handle.