Notes From An Old Ham
(Or Don't Make The Same Mistakes I Have!)
Nick Conner - K5BQJ
1. TIME: Prepare for storm as early as possible:
Food, medication, clothes, rain gear, flashlights, propane tank for the grill, emergency Radio and/or TV with batteries, water.
Have an escape plan! Include insurance papers, valuables; two days before the storm fill your car, truck, etc, and get extra 5-gallon containers.
There are other items which common sense dictates - This does not mean I confess to not having common sense... This might be debatable. :-)
I recommend that all amateurs have an emergency generator:
(A) Fill it with non-ethanol gas;
(B) Buy 15-20 gallons of non-ethanol gas;
(C) Have extension cords long enough to keep the generator outside an enclosed building - 12 or 14-gauge;
(D) Disconnect the meter base from the house power panel - don't kill a lineman!
(E) Have a small a/c unit for the bedroom - sleep is vital:
2. Take down antennas - I have forgotten to do this and have paid a price for it.
Unplug equipment and cover it with plastic or other waterproof covers - I did this with Hurricane Elena not knowing that in a few hours the roof over the shack would be gone.
3. Jot down net frequencies:
4. Learn PSK31.
5. Do not depend on a mobile antenna on top of the refrigerator to be adequate for 2 meters.
6. If phone system is down, concentrate on out-bound messages only. Take only in-bound that you have the means to deliver.
7. Do not be discouraged when some idiot tells you to "QSY - we're standing by for emergency traffic only!"
8. Do not go to the EOC - they do not have room for extra people.
Our job is to monitor other frequencies, such as the National Hurricane Center, and relay to the EOC. If you have a weather station, give wind speed, direction, pressure to the National Hurricane Center, 14.325.
9. If you send a message by a traffic net, recheck that net to see if you have a reply.
10. Do not be in a big hurry to get on HF after the storm makes landfall... Katrina set a record for lightning strikes. Ony one of them took out the regulator in my generator!
Some Non-Ethanol gas locations:
Fox Texaco across from the hospital on Hwy 90
Gautier: Conoco on Gautier-Vancleave Rd South of I-10, Exit 61
Mary Walker Marina (Mid-grade only)
Latimer: North of I-10 at exit 50 toward fire station. Turn back left to Meat & Grocery store
There are more! Ask your friends!
Nick - K5BQJ