Stories of the devastating wildfires raging in California, with tens of thousands fleeing their homes, coupled with the homelessness in Louisiana due to widespread flooding, should serve to remind us all of the importance of emergency planning- especially at the family level.
ARRL, the Amateur Radio Relay League is teaming up with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency to emphasize the importance of emergency planning at the state and local level, including the importance of planning at the family level. Most of us are familiar with ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) plus the local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) spread across the country. This new effort however, is focused on family emergency communications planning.
September is National Preparedness Month. As part of its focus on educating and getting prepared, FEMA is offering a “Family Emergency Communications Plan,” which helps families work out their communication strategies in the event of an emergency. ARRL is partnering with FEMA to offer this material to interested Amateur Radio clubs that are willing to present it in their localities during National Preparedness Month.
While the FEMA presentation focuses on the Family Communications Plan and doesn’t specifically mention ham radio, the material offers Amateur Radio clubs a great opportunity to raise their visibility in their communities.
A webinar with FEMA Region 1 Preparedness Liaison Sara Varela will take place on Tuesday, August 23, at 8 PM EDT (Wednesday, August 24, at 0000 UTC), to offer background and training for any club wishing to present FEMA’s Family Emergency Communications Plan material in September. Registration is requested.
Presentation of the FEMA material to local communities should take approximately 1 hour. It will include a PowerPoint presentation and links to worksheets that families can discuss and fill out together.
Clubs are free to offer additional presentations on their activities following the program covering the FEMA material.