As most of the Southeastern Pennsylvania region of our section recovers
from the latest winter storm, we are on the threshold of a new event
which threatens to be just as nasty in terms of loss of power and
conventional communications assets. I’m proud to report that those ARES
units that were asked to provide auxiliary communications to shelters
have already served admirably and the cross county support offered was
We are not out of the woods yet, unfortunately, as many of you in
the section know if you have been monitoring the weather forecast. A
winter storm warning is now in effect for our section, and most every
county in Eastern Pennsylvania will be experiencing trouble at various
levels from the new storm closing in. This one promises even more
difficulty with icing, the enemy of wires and antennas everywhere.
Since we anticipate widespread outages, the NTS team in EPA has
suggested, and our Section Emergency Coordinator, Bob Wiseman WB3W, has
approved the use of 3917 kHz LSB as an undirected ARES resource net
frequency at such times when the actual Eastern Pennsylvania Emergency
Phone and Traffic Net is not in formal operation on that frequency,
which is daily at 1800 eastern and other times when warranted.
As some of you may know, I have been an advocate of the
re-integration of the National Traffic System and the Amateur Radio
Emergency Service as it was originally intended many years ago. Our
friends at NTS are experts at passing formal traffic and our ARES teams
are experts at local tactical communications. Together, we can have the
whole situation covered. There will be more about this in the months to
come as I am planning a section summit meeting sometime by this summer.
More detail will follow.
In the meantime, while I hope I am wrong, hope is not a plan. So
make sure that you and your family are prepared for possible power
outages for several days and keep your batteries charged. As per a
well-known cliché, chance favors the prepared mind.
See you on the radio. 73
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section
Section Manager: Robert B Famiglio, K3RF