Jul 5

JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP 2014 (April 4th-6th)
A maximum of 8 attendees only!  

4 Spots already taken..

This is a FREE course, With 200 page training manual written specifically for this class.

boot_camp_logoW2IK and The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) located in San Antonio, Texas, will sponsor their 6th annual “Jump Team Boot Camp” in 2014, commencing on April 4th (Friday AFTERNOON) and running through the 6th (Sunday AFTERNOON).

Our “Jump Boot Camp” will concentrate on the ways and means to get a “Jump Team” operational should there be a need to deploy far from your home and communicate in the aftermath of a disaster where nothing is standing.

Just like the other “Jump Team Boot Camps” we’ve taught, this will be an actual drive-and-operate operation and NOT a desktop drill. This is the “no BS, real deal” of emcomm training and is as close as it gets to an actual disaster. The only emcomm boot camp in the country!

You will get very dirty so bring extra clothes! You will test your personal limits.   You will leave with self-confidence in dealing with extreme emergency communications work.

ECs and AECs from any group are especially encouraged to attend so they can bring valuable information back to their group(s) and so they are aware of what any of their members will be facing when you ask them to deploy to an extreme disaster area.

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Jul 1

ares-cl-lrgBexar County ARES meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month, at 6:45pm.

Locations alternate between the San Antonio EOC on odd months (January, March, May, July, September, November) and the San Antonio American Red Cross HQ on even months (February, April, June, August, October, December).

Radio nets to provide over the air training sessions, are held on 147.18 repeater (-, 103.5) on Tuesday nights, when there is no meeting scheduled to be held.

Attendance is open to all licensed Amateur Radio Operators who are interested in learning more about Emergency Communications and the Ham’s roll in disaster response.   Access to either building location after the meeting has started, is very limited due to building security, so please arrive on time or early if you plan to attend.

Red Cross: 3642 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78219
EOC: on Brooks City-Base on Inner Circle Rd, San Antonio, TX 78235

Jun 29

2013_Hurricane_Forecast_MapWith the start of Summer, June 1st marked the beginning of “Hurricane Season”.

It’s been predicted to be a very active period (again). We hope a hurricane doesn’t strike our area, but we must be ready in case it does. Newly licensed hams have joined the amateur radio ranks just in time to become useful communicators should an emergency caused by severe weather arise. There is always a need for trained emergency communications personnel, but this is especially true in the areas which are more likely to be impacted by a hurricane, those regions being the Atlantic and Gulf Coast areas.

However, it takes more than just a license and a hand-held radio to make you a useful part of emergency communications. It also takes preparation, training and practice.

Preparation requires each communicator to develop a cache of supplies to help them in fulfilling their communications duties. There are various web sites you can rely on as basic lists in building your “go bag” of supplies. I realize that most of you are on limited budgets regarding the purchase of additional rigs or other related equipment, so improve on what you have with the addition of a better antenna system and upgraded power sources. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to “run home” to get something you’ve forgotten.

There are NO second chances with emergency communications during a hurricane.

Reminders – If by choice or by wallet your only rig is an HT: The battery pack that came with your HT is NOT enough during a deployment. Make sure you have additional power in the form of extra batteries and a power supply. You should have enough “portable power” to last for at least 4 days of operation.

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Jun 11

I would like to congratulate Stuart Rohre K5KVH – Red Cross AEC in Travis and Williamson County.  Stuart received the West Gulf Division Excellence award – as the EMCOMM Ham of the year 2012.  The presentation was made by Coy  Day, retired ARRL West Gulf Division Director and Dr. David Woolweaver – Director of West Gulf Division ARRL.

In receiving the honor Stuart’s first words were in praise of his team mates – Joe Fisher K5EJL and Bob Morgan WB5AOH who have supported W5KA Red Cross Station in many drills and deployments.

A member of Travis County ARES since 1975, Stuart began working with Red Cross in earnest in 1991.  Stuart had his baptism of fire serving Red Cross in the Jarrell Tornadoes of 1997.  He was the first ARES operator at the chapter and was asked to organize communications for the disaster.  Public Safety communications were out!

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Mar 17

From: “Alex Garcia”
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 10:33 PM
Subject: Texas Severe Weather Conference

Hello Everyone,

The Texas Severe Weather Conference, SkyWarn Training Session is coming up this Saturday at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Registration is required and is FREE. Sign up, if you haven’t
already done so, at www.texasstorms.org.

See you this Saturday.

Alex Garcia

Oct 30

In view of the terrible plight involving Hurricane Sandy, I think everyone needs to read an article I posted in one of my web sites several years ago. Emergency communicators – take heed.

Sometimes Getting There Can Be Your Greatest Problem

Bob Hejl W2IK

So, you’ve joined some emergency support group, taken some training and even done a few drills. That’s great! Your equipment is ready. You’re ready. But, “Murphy” has other ideas. Whether you’re a member of ARES, RACES, SATERN, REACT, CERT or any other group, you need to do more homework than what they’ve suggested. What good is all your equipment, training and confidence if you can’t get to a deployment site? Unfortunately, I’ve never seen any group adequately cover one of the most important steps in emergency communications: Getting volunteers to their final destinations as quickly and as safely as possible. Although this is especially true during natural disasters such as winter storms, hurricanes or intense periods of rain which produce almost catastrophic flooding, it can also encompass volunteers who attempt to deploy during other events such as wildfire emergencies. Can you imagine deploying to a wildfire disaster and almost getting trapped by the flames because no one told you the extent or the range of the fire? Well, it happened to me when I, with others, attempted to deploy during the Long Island wildfires a number of years ago. We were armed with everything we thought we needed…. except up-to-date information. No maps or directions were given so there we were “driving by the seat of our pants” in the dead of the night into what almost was a catastrophe for us all. Luckily, we back tracked and took the long way around finally reaching our deployment points.

Everyone was to blame for this screw-up.

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Aug 26

The San Antonio Office of Emergency Managemenet (SAOEM) is hosting the one day AmTrak Passenger Train Emergency Response Training on your choice of dates, September 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st, at the Emergency Operations Center located at 8130 Inner Circle Road, San Antonio, TX 78235.

This is a one day course that we are offering four days in a row to allow you to have a choice of days to attend. The training is scheduled from 8 am to 5 pm; however, that is contingent upon AmTrak having one of the cars available for students to actually walk through in the afternoon. If the rail car is not available, the class will end at noon.

This training is open to all disciplines: Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Public Health, Public Works, Government Administration, Private Sector, and Volunteers.

If you are interested in attending any of these days, please register on www.preparingtexas.org or email us for registration assistance.

Please help us to get the word out to people about the AmTrak training. So far the response has been very low and we need to promote the training class to insure that we do not have to cancel it.

Thank you!

Mark Chadwick, CEM, TEM
Training Officer
San Antonio Office of Emergency Management
PO Box 23339, San Antonio, TX 78235-0339
Voice: 210.206.8688
Fax: 210.206.8570
Email: mark.chadwick@sanantonio.gov
Web site: http://www.sanantonio.gov/emergency/

Jul 9

Effective immediately, Joe Bruno W5AUQ is appointed as EC for Guadalupe county in District 12.  Joe replaces Joe Thompson W4CTH who became a silent key July 7th.  Joe Thompson was a terrific EC and all around ham and will be missed…

Our thanks to Joe Bruno for reassuming the EC slot.

Tom Whiteside, N5TW
ARRL South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator

Aug 31

“National Guard Helicopters drop supplies to support towns completely cut off due to Hurricane Irene” “No power, phone or roads to towns hard hit by Hurricane Irene”

I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of cars being swept down swollen rivers in Vermont. Who would have ever thought that a coastal hurricane would dump so much water over land-locked Vermont to cause such devastation! This reminds me of the time back in the late 1990’s when I was dropped along with supplies in to a town in upstate New York to supply emergency communications during the North East Ice Storm. It’s just another reminder that emergency communications teams must be prepared for any event. This is also a glaring reminder that we need well-trained “Jump Teams” in every area to assist with emergency communications support. EVERY local emergency communications group needs to have a Jump Team on hand to help cope with this type of disaster. Just as it happened in Vermont, it could happen in Texas. Towns being cut off. No power. No communications.

 If you don’t know how to start a Jump Team, or what your team would need, just go to this website for information and support: http://www.texasmars.com/

 Bob W2IK

Dec 10

An amateur radio operator from Australia, VK4ION, recently posted on her website a story about reading W2IK’s Emergency NVIS antenna construction plans and with some adaptation building her own portable ENVIS antenna system for emergency communications. Her website, VK4ION Emergency N.V.I.S. antenna, shows in detail, with many pictures, her construction of this antenna along with NVIS theories on how low antennas are perfect for local (under 400 mile) emergency communications. A photo of her ENVIS antenna is shown below.

Her report included comments such as when it was used during their “field day” operation it was the “hit of the show”. On her website is also a link to W2IK’s 4 part website on building the original antenna including the adapter for 80 meter and MARS operation. This antenna is the only NVIS antenna posted in the NAVMC MARS websites.

Bob W2IK


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