Emergency Preparedness Meeting
July 25, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 using the Zoom Video Conferencing tool, instead of Webex since it’s become Linux adverse. Members present induced Doug/K4DGG, John/WA9OXB, Paul/KM4VRH, Kurt/WB3AFB, Keith/KI5US, Dick/W4NWD. Joe/W0QF, Dan/N1MEO, Dennis/KM4WMC, Ghazi/KN4JRN, Rick/N2VSN

  • Vulnerable antennas backup plan – Joe/W0QF and Dick/W4NWD – Bill/N1CDO quoted a cost of $1750 for the antennas and $400 for the mounts. Joe and Dick will continue to look for funding sources (Dick/W4NWD reported that NI4CE is replacing their antennas. They have some good commercial-grade antennas and he will look into acquiring them when they are retired.)
  • PSOC & KPARC agreements documentation – Bill/N1CDO – Joe/W0QF – Bill/N1CDO is currently working on MOUs for the county and expects to have them done soon (Nothing to report, Bill has not responded yet)
  • Logging program that would not require Internet – Eric/WA4EMN (Nothing to report yet)
  • Club or member liability – Dick/W4NWD Joe/W0QF – (Nothing to report yet, Joe said it’s been very difficult to get access to folks at this time)
  • Continued publicity – Joe/W0QF and Dick/W4NWD (Dick/W4NWD reported Vesta will be distributing emergency preparedness kits to area residents on Thursday 7/30 under the north club portal. He suggested we makeup 100 flyers and get Vesta to distribute them with their handout. Joe/W0QF will take care of this.)
  • FRS testing/deployment status – Dick/W4NWD, Keith/KI5US – Keith reports that testing is going well be he’s concerned with channel capacity we could find ourselves oversubscribed. Perhaps we should consider separate channels for different sections of the community. Continue to reflect on this. Perhaps we should add a second channel to the network testing. Dan/N1MEO says the backup channel documented on our website is channel 22. We need to understand this better. Doug/K4DGG will follow-up.
  • FRS User sign-up and radio sales – Hud/KM4DDD (several sales have been made, the effort continues)
  • Capabilities and intentions for emergency communications – Keith/KI5US – we need to continue to define what role(s) we intend to serve and how this might play out. With so many groups playing a role in disaster preparation, it’s really had to predict what properties individuals might have if we have a true emergency. No clear action plan was articulated. Joe/N0QF will lead the effort to get these things documented.
  • Working relationships with other radio clubs – Joe/W0QF – Region 4 test has been put on hold due to CV-19 and limited access to EOC in region. Bill/N1CDO said he would work on this to see if we could get some limited testing organized. He also said there is a standing SARnet test each Wednesday at 1300 hours. We need to have someone on the net at that time reporting as W4KPR. Joe/W0QF reports all statewide EOCs are generally inaccessible due to CV-19 protocols.
  • Florida Disaster Net – Eric/WA4EMN (tabled till next meeting)
  • Power Out Drill – 6/06/20 – Keith/KI5US – very minor things remain and can be addressed when we have easier access to the clubroom. The conversion to 12V power might be a good opportunity to address some of the labeling issues.
    • Labeling of plug strip cables – Keith/KI5US (will label on day of drill if needed)
    • Safety officer is Bill/N1CDO and alternate – Dave/W4ZAU
    • Fire extinguisher – Dick/W4NWD
    • Power connector test – Dick/W4NWD
    • Generator location – Keith/KI5US (or safety officer)Dick/W4NWD will bring a power meter to test and record power required by radios when transmitting. (will work on this independently)
    • Box fan to approximate potential electrical load
  • Message Net Status – Doug/K4DGG – the message net is going well and we continue to get good turn out and response
  • Message App (Winlink, Fldigi, Flmsg, d-rats) training – Joe/N0QF reported that a training session was held at the Squad Training Center and had a pretty good turnout. Additional training and testing of this sort should continue.
  • Doug checked on Fldigi for Chromebook and discovered an application (called PAT) recommended by Keith/KI5US that provides Fldigi support that works on the Chromebook. Doug will send a message to the group describing this.
  • Joe/W0QF will follow up with Bill/N1CDO on Winlink support and upgrade to Vera
  • Attendees were invited to consider their individual readiness in the event of a weather emergency. What are your plans for preparedness relative to amateur radio and community support? What assumptions have you made? How ready are you? We can discuss this next time.
  • Paul/KM4VRH suggested we develop a set of documents that could be placed on a thumb drive so individuals could have these on hand in the event of an emergency that involved network outages. (Doug/K4DGG and Paul/KM4VRH will collaborate to develop this kind of capability)

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:20 am.
Next meeting – August 29., 2090

Respectfully submitted
Doug Gatchell/K4DGG

Doug (K4DGG)

By Doug (K4DGG)

Retired from the National Science Foundation in DC in 2006 and moved to Sun City Center. Became a ham a few years later.