May 5th was a long day. It began with the Funeral for Herman Cranman at the well known Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah. We are also in a period of severe weather forecast including severe thunderstorms possibly spawning hail and tornadoes. As part of my ARES weather service duties we activated a weather net on the local repeater.
I asked Mike Hutson (KM4SPL) to fill in as Net Control until I returned from the Funeral. As it turned out, the severe weather did not arrive until I relieved Mike.
We opened the Net at Noon and I relieved Mike about 3:30. I was on the air until after 12:30 am which is when the last warnings were lifted by the NWS.
Here is a blurb from the weather news…
Georgia Leads the Pack in Confirmed Tornadoes in 2017: It seems our weather is spiraling out of control. Georgia is No. 1 in the nation in the number of confirmed tornadoes to date in 2017, according to the National Weather Service. The agency, headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga., reports that of the 510 confirmed reports of tornadoes across the U.S. since January 1, 87 of those swirled in the Peach State.
Here is a summary from my “after action report”.
⦁ Repeater choice: We have an ARES repeater but as most are not used to using or monitoring it, I chose to conduct business on the prime area repeater, 442.700. This would provide direct access to the majority of people, especially as they left places of employment to head home. There was a couple discussions on air regarding the choice, I explained my logic for now and that to use the 146.970 in the future we need a plan to drive traffic there. One commented that 442.700 was likely the best area coverage. This will be discussed further with local ARES Leadership, NWS and the CARS club.
⦁ Directed Net: I chose a non directed net as radio communications was not so intense as to prevent me from accessing as needed. The local traffic that appeared was typically discussing the events.
⦁ Effingham Repeater: I monitored the 146.745 ARES repeater as well and for items of importance to those communities, I directly provided data. This worked ok but I believe it will be more efficient in the future if we open a separate Net on that Frequency. I have a few thoughts on how this could work and will discuss with the EC of Effingham in conjunction with Skywarn.
⦁ Obviously, and we are just getting started so it is understandable, but we will be needing more help. This includes: Skywarn training, Trained Net Operators in both Skywarn and Net procedures, better communication with all counties (I have only heard from 2). We should also have a Net