Wildfires in Utah

Feeding ‪#dumpfire‬ Fire crews.

We are now into Day 3 of the Dump Fire at Saratoga Springs in Utah. Our own Jayce and Neybar live near the fire, and while their homes do not seem to be in any danger, they still left work early yesterday to volunteer to help. Their experience and knowledge has undoubtedly been invaluable to the volunteer effort. They have been keeping us posted on Twitter (@JayceHall and @neybar), and I have seen several of their tweets mentioned and retweeted by others needing information. For those who haven’t been following along, you can keep an eye on the #dumpfire hashtag on Twitter. For any ham radio folks who want to monitor, they’re on 145.23 repeater (131.8 tone). NetOps is at station 2.

Cause of the Fire

It is believed that the fire was caused by people target shooting near the landfill. They were shooting in an area where it was legal to do so, and when the fire started, they called 911 and attempted to put the fire out. They have been cooperative with authorities, and have been helping the effort to put the fire out. Because they were shooting legally and did everything right after the fire started, they are unlikely to be charged criminally.

Being Prepared for Evacuation

In following news reports, I have noticed some things. When crews knocked on doors on Day 2 of the blaze to tell people they had 15 minutes to evacuate, a lot of people scrambled to pack up what they considered necessary. Family photos, pets, medications and a change of clothes. Less prominently featured in the stories were people who decided that they were going to have to evacuate, and started packing their cars long before evacuation orders came in. While I’m sure there were plenty of preppers who already had 72-hour kits ready to take at a moment’s notice, they were apparently not as newsworthy as the less-prepared. Though my family lives in Magna, far away from the fire, we still had one evacuee knock on our door asking to buy a small bottle of shampoo from my wife’s basement salon.

Food donations for the #dumpfire.

This incident underscores not only the importance of fire safety, but also the importance of being prepared and keeping a current 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. Fortunately, several local businesses pitched in to provide food and water at the local evacuation centers, but this is not always the case. Be sure to check expiration dates on the food in your kits and in your food storage in general.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire, and we hope that it will be out soon.

Eton Microlink Self and Solar-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Radio

I saw this on www.slickdeals.net today.  National Geographic is selling the Eton Microlink FR160 Self and Solar-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Radio and USB Charger for about $20 with S/H.

Buy from National Geographic for $14.99

Buy from Amazon.com for $29

Utah County Amateur Radio Emergency Service New HAM night tonight!

HAM Radio
HAM Radio

I received this email announcement from a HAM Radio friend.

For any of you who

  • have recently received your amateur radio call sign
  • are thinking about getting it and want to know more
  • you’ve had your call sign for awhile but never really been introduced to the UCARES organization

This is a good event. You can meet some of the organizers and people who’ve been in it awhile, and talk to them about what the organization is all about. Runs from 7 – 8:30PM.

More info here
put your mouse over the New Ham Night on the right.

Directions

Davis County HAM Radio Class: March 17th 2012

Reader erixun72 sent along a link to the Davis County Amateur Radio Club‘s posting about their upcoming radio class and test. If you’ve seen our posting’s about the Utah County tests, and figured it was too far of a drive, maybe this is a bit closer to you.  There’s never been a better time to get your license, as you can quickly find a local community getting ready for the Utah Shakeout and help out.

If you know of any other classes, please send them along via our contact form, or if you want to post directly, let us know and you can post too. To attend the class, just follow the instructions below.

From the site: Continue reading “Davis County HAM Radio Class: March 17th 2012”

November 9th Emergency Broadcast System Test

If you are like me, you grew up occasionally hearing your TV issue a loud beep followed by “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.” Followed by another loud beep.

Today, Wednesday November 9th, 2011 at noon (MST) Utah time the National Emergency Alert System will be conducting a nationwide test for the first time. The Emergency Alert system system is meant to allow governments at every level to alert their citizens to events that may affect them. The hope is that the system will be usable by local cities, counties and states as well as by the federal government to issue alerts at the national level. These alerts may cover child abuduction/Amber alert notices, sever storm warnings, tornado warnings, terrorist attacks, or pretty much any conceivable notice that a government may want to advise the public of.

As interesting and useful as this system will hopefully prove to be, I think it provides another, far more important purpose. It serves as a great reminder to check on your emergency plans and gear. Take few minutes today to check your car kit and your 72 hour kits. Are they still complete? We often “borrow” gear from our readiness kits and then forget to put them back or replace consumables. Use today as a reminder that as preppers we need to stay on top of our preps. Preps are not a one-time purchase but a commitment.

For more information on the test today, visit www.fema.gov/eastest/

FREE HAM class at BYU – November 19th

Another HAM class is being offered on November 19th 2011 if you missed the last class.

Here are the details from the instructor:

I must limit the size to 40 people so sign up early to reserve a spot. If you must cancel please let me know immediately so I can free up a slot for someone else. If you must cancel please do it as soon as you know you will not be coming to make room for someone else!!

-. …- –… …-

One Day Ham Radio Class for the Technician (entry level) license.

Saturday, Nov 19th, 2011 7:30am to 5pm Continue reading “FREE HAM class at BYU – November 19th”

FREE HAM Radio Class at BYU!

Having a HAM radio is essential to communicate in any kind of a disaster scenario!  But, having one and not being able to legally practice because you aren’t licensed is pretty useless because you’ll have no idea how to use it.  If you haven’t got your license yet, it’s time to get off the couch and get going!  It’s very easy to pass the test, if you pay attention in the class you’re pretty much guaranteed to pass.  With the class being free, all you’ve got to do is go spend a morning at BYU to get it.  The license itself is $14.00 and you’ll still have to pay that.  

Having a HAM radio is essential to communicate in any kind of a disaster scenario!  But, having one and not being able to legally practice because you aren’t licensed is pretty useless because you’ll have no idea how to use it.  If you haven’t got your license yet, it’s time to get off the couch and get going!  It’s very easy to pass the test, if you pay attention in the class you’re pretty much guaranteed to pass.  With the class being free, all you’ve got to do is go spend a morning at BYU to get it.  The license itself is $14.00 and you’ll still have to pay that.

As for your first radio, I’ll be posting this week about the Wouxun radios that are hands down the best cheap radio on the market (they only cost $120).  Once you get your license and radio, there are several nets that do weekly check-ins that keep you in practice with your radio.

If you want to go, you MUST sign up ASAP!  He can only have 40 students and you can’t just show up.

Here are the details for the class (as sent by the instructor):

Continue reading “FREE HAM Radio Class at BYU!”

The night of the Herriman (Machine Gun) Fire

A lot of people have written up their thoughts and their experiences about going through the Herriman “Machine Gun” fire 19 September 2010. I’ve had some friends ask me to do the same. One friend asked me to specifically to highlight the preparedness aspect of our experience.

A lot of people have written up their thoughts and their experiences about going through the Herriman “Machine Gun” fire 19 September 2010. I’ve had some friends ask me to do the same. One friend asked me to specifically to highlight the preparedness aspect of our experience.

We’ve lived in the Herriman area for about seven years. During that time, we’ve seen a handful of fires on the hills south of us, usually ignited by lightning. These have usually been small fires and quickly contained by firefighters. So when we heard there was a fire burning in the hills Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t terribly shocking news.

When we came out of church after 4:00 p.m., the sky was considerably smoky to the point that the light from the sun had taken on an orange-ish hue. That was remarkable, but it still didn’t really concern any of us. We carried on with our plans just as most everyone did.

Continue reading “The night of the Herriman (Machine Gun) Fire”

October 17th 2009 one day Ham Radio class

Congratulations are in order for all those who earned their Technician class license at the last one day class!

One Day HAM Radio Course
One Day HAM Radio Course

Congratulations are in order for all those who earned their Technician class license at the last one day class!

The class was quite successful. 29 students. 26 earned their license. It is really quite easy with a little studying!

Class Details

—————————–

I must limit the size to 40 people so sign up early to reserve a spot. If you must cancel please let me know immediately so I can free up a slot for someone else. I only had 29 come to the class in September so 10 did not show. I had several people who wanted to come but I told them the class was full. Please cancel if you will not be coming to make room for someone else!!
-. …- –… …- Continue reading “October 17th 2009 one day Ham Radio class”

September 19th one day Ham Radio class‏

ONE DAY TECHNICIAN CLASS

ham_antenna
The Technician license is the entry level license for getting started in HAM radio. The Amateur Radio Club of Utah Valley often presents one day courses followed by a test to obtain your Technician class license.

The next class is Saturday September 19th, 2009 on the BYU campus. Seating is very limited so if you are interested please read on to find out how to sign up.
Continue reading “September 19th one day Ham Radio class‏”

Swine flu fact check

Part of prepping is being smart. Educating yourself with existing knowledge and acquiring the skills to accurately and quickly secure and evaluate future information is critical for survival. Preppers should be leaders. People will look to you in an emergency for leadership and direction. Many people already do. As we work to help people understand the importance of prepping, it is crucial that we do it in a way that is not only sincere, but honest. Using scare tactics is not the right approach.

While stories of fear and death may motivate someone in the short term, its effects will not last and will not produce the change of lifestyle required for someone to truly be prepared. Being seen as a conspiracy theorist and a radical nut-job will also not help your efforts to convert friends and family, or worse, progress towards larger efforts for larger subjects nationally and across the world. Regardless of what you believe, where you stand, or which way you lean politically, your actions contribute to the perceived image of a prepper. Whether it’s individual rights, big-brother, small government, war, or the current battle over health care, the way you contribute to the conversation has a dramatic effect over the conversation. Continue reading “Swine flu fact check”

Ham Radio: Emergency Communication


photo credit: w9jim

Ham (“Amateur”) Radio is a reliable form of communication that is used in all sorts of scenarios, from hobby/recreation use to emergencies. This type of radio use is termed “amateur” because such communications are not allowed to be made for commercial or money-making purposes. Note that ham radios are a “step up”, as it were, from FRS/GMRSwalkie talkie” devices.

Licensing

Regulated by the FCC, Ham Radio has three classes—different levels of competency and licensed use. These are Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. Each class offers a wider spectrum of authorized use. In previous years, otherwise interested individuals were often discouraged from Ham radio because of the morse code requirement. However, the FCC phased out this requirement in 2007 for all class levels.

After a short class and a fairly easy exam, any individual (regardless of age) may obtain a license. Once a license is given, a callsign will be assigned as well (as an example, mine is KE7LMI).

Continue reading “Ham Radio: Emergency Communication”