Is the Sky Falling?

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The article below was published in the Xenia Gazette  in September 2008. It was written by a member of XWARN.
You will have to ask your self if you think that any day soon "The SKY may be falling" 

 

Is the Sky Falling?

 

            On Sep.18 2004 Congressman David Hobson wrote in these pages about the need for a family "Ready-Kit". Bill Taylor recently wrote about the "Readiness" of Ham Radio operators. The Boy Scouts motto is "Be Prepared".  Even most churches often ask "Are you Ready?"  It kind of sounds like Chicken Little, doesn't it?

            Consider this - If any of the Florida residents whose homes weren't completely destroyed still had some supplies of water, batteries, and food stores left from their "Millennium Rooms" (remember the Y2K scare?) they had food and water and batteries for their radios and flashlights ready for their use in the aftermath of the recent disasters. It's a good bet they had some extra blanket and clothes set a side as well. Those folks were prepared.

 But what about communication?  How can you prepare yourself for that loss. In the aftermath of even a small disaster when 911 isn't working, telephone lines and cell towers damaged or so overloaded you can't get a word in edgewise, and only half of the police and fire radio systems functioning, how are you going to call for help? How will you let your family in the next county or across the country know that you are alright ? You can't just stand in the middle of your decimated neighborhood and yell "Help".

            Ham Radio, baby, that's how! The hobby is as old as the hills, just as the manual can opener and a pair of pliers and the wheel, but when modern technology fails due to tornadoes, hurricanes, or terrorists with a death wish strike, Old Technology Works! Always! Wheels will still go round, that can opener will still open a can of beans, pliers will still grip and Ham Radios will still be heard. As long as you have that radio in your pocket, You Will Be Heard! And caring people from everywhere will respond. 

For Example - There are over 700 licensed Hams in Greene County. Less than a third of them are involved in any way  with the local radio organizations. But on September 9, 2000 when a tornado dropped down on Xenia again, many of those Hams who you never knew existed were on the air that evening. We had over a hundred unsolicited offers of help from Hams from all over the area, and many more were listening- waiting to see if they were needed.

And Ham radio technology has evolved  too. Today you can get radios about the size of a cell phone that are more powerful and more useful than cell phones, for less than the cost of a cell phone. FCC Regulations have changed as well. It is not nearly as difficult to be a Ham as it used to be. For simple explanation of what it takes, check out  the XWARN site at www.xwarn.net, You can Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  write to us at XWARN, P.O. Box 562 Xenia, Ohio 45385.

I urge you to take the advice of the many public spirited officials like Dave Hobson and agencies like the Red Cross and Ready.gov, and get a family "Ready Kit" set aside for your peace of mind as well as your safety. Do it this weekend! I also urge you to look into Ham radio, so that when the sky does fall, 'someone will hear you scream'.

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