Use a radio!!! Dozens of local ham radio operators and enthusiasts descended recently on La Honda Gardens to participate in Field Day, an annual, national event promoting emergency preparedness and communications. The goal is to quickly set up power, radios and antennas off-the-grid to communicate with outside areas in the event of a large scale emergency. Our La Honda club, SC4ARC, has participated every year since 2008, just after the club was formed.
Nearly 300 contacts were made to stations around the country and in Canada with similar field set-ups. In addition, we made an antenna from PVC pipe and bits of a tape measure to contact the International Space Station on its flyover of the area. (photo)
The weather was perfect, and we were fortunate to have Charlie Catania’s permission to use the gardens for the event. This location makes it easy for the community to stop by, ask questions, and play with radios themselves. Many are surprised how many of their friends and neighbors are already involved in this fun, easy, and important activity.
Our group mostly uses local communication on the 146.730 and 440.100 repeaters. We keep each other updated regularly on road closures, lines down, power outages, etc., but also provide radio communications for simulated emergencies, drills, bike races and marathons. Our 2m and 70cm radios cover a large area including La Honda, Skylonda, South Skyline, Butano, Pescadero, San Gregorio and Half Moon Bay. Quite impressive for inexpensive hand-held radios! On Field Day, we use bigger antennas and more powerful radios to reach distant stations.
Our thanks to Charlie, and the many volunteers who made this recent weekend such a success. These same folks also deserve thanks for their efforts throughout the year building and maintaining the communications system that keeps the community informed and prepared for storms and other unexpected events.