It has been an eventful year in North America, and we are reminded of the important role of amateur radio in a crisis.
While not all club members have the time or interest for monthly involvement with the ARES team, we all need to be aware of ARES activities and come out from time to time for community events. It’s good practice with the HT, wonderful public relations and can be great fun!
In a real emergency, the central problem is one of “Converging Volunteers”, experienced hams that are willing to be helpful and simply show up. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact its a great thing, because the function of the core ARES team is to welcome these ham volunteers and put them to work!
Realistically, hams will NEVER be on the front lines but they will be providing important second and third level infrastructure to civic and agency authorities. Much like the citizens that show up to help fill sandbags on the banks of the Red River in Manitoba nearly every year, we hams will be performing a very important support activity.
Of course 99.999% of ARES activity does not involve an actual emergency – it may never for most of us – but the best form of training is the everyday operation of your HT and mobile, and what better, feel good practice than supporting local community events such as walkathons, marathons and other local events.
There’s no need to have a yellow flashing light mounted on the roof of the family minivan – just come out to a local event and enjoy the sunshine (or light rain) with your fellow hams!