Aug 25

boot_camp_logoAnother Section Of Our 200 Page
“Jump Team Boot Camp” Training Manual

AFTER SITE SURVEY: Assembling Your Tent Structures
by Bob W2IK

tent_2Setting up a tent can seem like a complex task especially for any first-time jump team member.

Tents are a vital  piece of Em-Comm gear, for sure, but many frustrated jump team members have cursed their tent as they’ve tried to set it up in the dark or during inclement weather without proper preparation.

However, once you’ve set up a tent several times, it becomes a familiar routine that can easily be repeated even in the most difficult Em-Comm conditions, and once you’ve mastered setting up one kind of tent, it will then be easier to set up other kinds of tents, be they simple or complex.

Remember that your tents (structures) are just as important as setting up your communications gear. After all, you will be living and working in them for many days. Here are some basic steps that will help you set up your tent structures quickly and efficiently.

Practice setting up your tent before you go to your duty site to deploy. Setting up your camping tent at least a couple times, directions in hand, before twilight is a good idea as you’ll never know what time of day (or night) you’ll be doing it for real. While some camping tents have simple designs, like family tents, other tents have complex designs, like dome tents, which will not be easy to assemble when it’s dark and you’re involved with other jump team duties.

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Aug 9

boot_camp_logoAnother small portion of our 200 page “Jump Team Boot Camp” training manual –  Next Class Is Scheduled for April 2014

(Be sure to read earlier blogs concerning other aspects of emergency communications and the blog about the upcoming “Jump Team Boot Camp” , a 3 day “get down and dirty” training course.)
by Bob Hejl  W2IK

In 1998, I was airlifted via National Guard helicopter to supply emergency communications out of a medium size town in upstate New York. The town had been cut off in every way from the outside world due to an ice storm. Talk about improvising! Talk about pressure! I was lucky enough to find some very helpful people who went out of their way to make sure my communications deployment was successful.

We took turns siphoning fuel from trucks so the two generators could be kept running to supply lights, power to run the boiler system for heat and radio power at the local school which acted as a shelter and gathering place where news could be disseminated. Many of the local homes had wood stoves or fireplaces for heat, but there were some that did not and although drum_firemany who didn’t were invited into neighbor’s homes, about 100 opted to stay at the shelter.

Since many people were hanging out in the area outside the school, I even suggested that if we had some empty 55 gallon drums we could get some heat from wood burning just like you’ve seen in depression movies. (outdoors, of course) A few minutes later several drums were there, in place, fueled with wood and lit. Neighbors who hadn’t seen or talked to each other in a while were standing around these lit barrels trading stories and getting caught up on “local news”. It made everyone feel as if it were one big winter block party! Everyone in the town contributed what they could to help their neighbors weather this event.

I kept in constant contact, via 40 meters, to the state capitol, giving them updates, requests and getting news and answers to questions. The ground was frozen solid so using stakes to erect an antenna was impossible. I had to lash my antenna’s center pole (using bungee cords) to a truck body while keeping the antenna ends secured with cement blocks. After almost a week, the roads were again open but through it all I improvised whenever there was a problem which needed a solution.

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Aug 6

boot_camp_logo_smA small section from our 200 page “JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP” training manual
by Bob Hejl – W2IK

Your Em-Comm deployment group is only as good as the antennas they use. With this in mind, you must use antennas that are “tried and true” yet simple to erect in an emergency. They DO NOT have to be expensive. They should not be an elaborate concoction of wires or elements (NO BEAMS… You are NOT working DX as 99% of all HF emergency communications will be on the lower HF bands and probably not more than 300 miles).

There was only one case in over 20 years where I had to do emergency communications using 10 meters and this was communicating from New York to Hawaii (which had a hurricane) and relay the traffic back to California because due to propagation neither Hawaii or California could hear each other.

Your antennas DO have to work – every time and under a myriad of conditions such as freezing weather, monsoon-type rains, sustained winds or sizzling heat. They must also be stored and ONLY used for deployment purposes. They should not be something you scrounge together before heading out for a deployment. Back up antennas are vital. You need to have redundancy (two of each antenna so if there is a problem, such as a branch falls down on one that makes it un-repairable, or a failure such as a center connector breaking or burning out, it will not prevent you from getting on the air)

There is NO SUCH THING AS A “MIRACLE ANTENNA” no matter what you’ve read in ads or what a few hams “swear” by.

Emergency deployment is no game. If you need a question answered about a particular antenna, feel free to email me:

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Jul 24



Taught As Part Of Our “JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP” program
Bob Hejl – W2IK 
(This is just a very small part of one section under ” Nutrition and Food Preparation”
which follows our 200 page Jump Team Boot Camp training manual)

………….You must also provide nutritional food with plenty of protein.

Protein Depravation

The result of an unbalanced diet may cause “Protein Depravation” which may impair judgment, cause lack of energy, poor sleep, slurred speech and other symptoms. “Cults” use protein depravation to control their members as it becomes difficult to think or reason when your brain is deprived of protein. Sending the wrong “traffic” in a message may cause disaster or heart ache.

Junk food and “sweets” should be kept to a minimum, although some salty snacks should be allowed in moderation as they can help in matters of dehydration if you are deployed in the aftermath of a hurricane where it becomes hot and humid.

Some of the best sources of protein, beyond your food cache of canned meats, canned tuna and canned poultry (all of which you should bring), are servings of beans, such as lima beans, pinto beans and red beans. Beans and rice combination is inexpensive yet can be part of a well balanced meal. Beans are easy to store and prepare and their purchase price is very reasonable.

If you wish, you could store this type of food in the same way “long term food” peppers do. Take a supply of dry beans, pour them into a heavy Mylar bag, add an oxygen absorber and seal the bag by ironing it closed being sure to squeeze any excess air out of it. LABEL the Mylar bag with what’s inside and date it. If properly done, and if the sealed Mylar bag is also protected from punctures and rodents by storing them in plastic buckets, it should remain a viable food product for about 20 years.

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