Skywarn season has started, and we’ve had one week on call as Net Control Station (NCS) without event. We can always use more volunteers, contact Roy, his email address is earlier in this newsletter. Metro Skywarn will have an NCS training session soon, and they have several spotter training sessions on the calendar. Spotters provide “ground truth” to the National Weather Service, which confirms what they are seeing on radar and gives them more data. The Net Control Stations relay reports from spotters in the field to the NWS. Even in our highly connected world of internet and cell phones, amateur radio is still important because storms can take out communications just when you need it the most. We can take reports from spotters out of cell phone coverage, and when the cell phone and internet are down.
The NWS will be holding tornado drills on April 15th, and a Metro Skywarn NCS will be on the air for each of them. Call in to practice reporting.
Good news, volunteer opportunities are starting to open up again! The Bike-MS rides are on the schedule for this year. And with Covid precautions, they are going to have double the SAG (Support And Gear) vans, so they will need nearly double the communications volunteers. Being a communications volunteer for these events is great practice for the net control protocol we use in emergency communications. Details for these events and how to sign up have been sent to the club email.
We have a couple tentative events this fall that are always a lot of fun. The Osseo Lions Club Parade is on Sept 11th, and the Twin Cities Marathon is on October 3rd. Save the dates!
The AERO 101 and 102 classes are available again online. These are great courses to learn the basics of public service and emergency communication. The basic FEMA ICS classes are prerequisites and teach you the basics of the FEMA Incident Command System. ICS-100 and 700 are required for AERO 101, and ICS-200 and 800 are required for AERO 102.
Benton Jackson, K0BHJ