Bit of a yoyo coupla days in the radio space...
Earlier this week received the sad news that my old friend Robert Cazalet ZL1BNN has gone Silent Key (passed away). This was sad news indeed, as I was quite good friends with him (and also his son Raymond) through the Papakura Radio Club. A bit of googling tonight and I managed to find some email addresses, so have sent through my condolances. Definately sad news to hear - rest in peace my old mate.
On the upside, todays AREC training event in Upper Hutt was interesting. Well turned out (around 50 people) and material covered included Police SAR's perspective on emergency communications (and how Amateurs can - and do - help out) as well as some perspective on LandSAR (especially Wellington) and Civil Defence.
The AREC manual has been updated/replaced (the older edition released in 1997) and the new one looks pretty good at first glance. I'm yet to analyze whats missing/deliberately ommitted and decide if it's of value, though.
Still good to see some consolidation of AREC training material and some logic to its layout and delivery. I think part of what remains, though, is to ensure that individual AREC Sections maintain a level of 'competency' or at least some assurance that they are not 'incompetent'. One would think that meeting more than once a year would be a good start. ;-)
Beyond that it was a timely reminder that in order for volunteers to be of value in an emergency situation, they must first have their own house in order. That means, suitable equipment; power supplies and batteries; food and water; making sure their loved ones are sorted. Living in Wellington this is all stuff that is all too important, notwithstanding any other committments...
Have you got a survival kit?
Have you got a plan for when the Telecommunications networks (phone/fax/email) grind to a halt? (As they will...) [As soon as they are fixed, they'll overload.]