Results of the FEMA Alert Net
The Five County Ham Radio Enthusiast (FCHRE) conducted a net with the support of the Carolina 440 UHF Link System . Carolina 440 is a 501 (C3) organization. The net was planned with short notice the day before the scheduled FEMA Alert Test the day before.
The net was promoted on the FCHRE group io account on October 3 with 410 subscribers and various Facebook postings. The group started the first no charge volunteer examiner team in North Carolina through Laurel VEC. So far the period between 1/1/2023 and 10/6/2023 223 applications has been processed through the Laurel VEC teams.
An email was sent to the Carolina 440 net just before the start of the net. The net started on October 4 at 2:15 PM .
The Carolina 440 system had 20 stations check in. The map showing locations of the amateurs is attached. I received text messages from 6 individual hams indicating receiving the alert. That map is also attached.
The amateur radio system has modernized itself with the addition of the internet to many network systems. Amateurs have the ability to connect with communities all over the world in certain amateur networks allowing that technology.
According to the reports the alerts started at 2:18 PM. The FEMA website stated the time was to start at 2:20 PM ET. There were reports indicating family members of the amateurs reporting they received their alerts at a different time. Individuals also reported networks set up for the NWS did not go off. For example the Carolina 440 network did not get an alert.
Suggestions were made during the net that the settings on the personal cell phones be checked to make sure we receive the alerts we are interested in.
During an emergency power and internet systems could fail and the amateurs will still have the ability to communicate with each other by using their personal radio and portable power systems. The amateurs know how to go to certain frequencies and get information and help.
The fact this was planned on short notice is a part of the test. If this had been an actual emergency there will be short notice. That unpredicted ice storm for example. Ice storms can bring down power and communication lines. Fires can melt fiber optic cables cutting internet.
The amateur radio operator and amateur are for qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. These services present an opportunity for self-training, intercommunication, and technical investigations.
I have a couple of observations. A new ham checked in and made a call without going thru net control. This is not a criticism of him. In response to this I will be conducting the net on our regular Sunday night October 8 net on the Carolina 440 net system at 7:00 PM . The topic “What hams can do in an actual emergency.” Those without the ability to receive the net May listen to it on the web Broadcastify