From Volunteer Center of Racine CountyRacine County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, maintains the amateur radio station WI9VCR.
The facility is staffed and maintained by volunteers and is equipped with the apparatus necessary for carrying on radio communications in the Amateur Radio Service. This station can be used for training exercises and for emergency communications. The station is located in the Volunteer Center at 42.72030 -87.85665 (N 42° 43' 13.08" W 87°51' 23.94")
Father-son amateur radio buffs ready to help in an emergency
MOUNT PLEASANT — Father and son Jim Markstrom, 34, and Sam Markstrom, 9, have a unique hobby in common — amateur radio.
While it’s fun for them to spend time together, it’s also an important skill that they have used in emergencies. On Sunday at the Racine County Amateur Radio Emergency Service's 'Kids Day', they talked about their experience. When tornadoes hit Kenosha County a year ago this week, both were ready to help out with their radios.
A lot of nonprofits do not have their own communication system, Jim Markstrom said. Amateur radio operators stepped in that day and have many other days as well, Jim said.
They helped coordinate Red Cross efforts over radio waves; all along, Sam was there, Jim said.
"I knew I was actually doing something to help," Sam said. "You get that good feeling that lets you know you are making a difference." If he wasn't there helping out with radios, he said he probably would have been at home bugging his mom. He would much rather be helping. "I like to make a difference," Sam said.
Providing communications in an emergency is essential, the Racine County ARES says.
"When the teams deployed in the field need to call in their reports, you don't want them fumbling with a cell phone," said Alex Voss, the assistant emergency coordinator for the Racine County ARES, said in a January 2008 news release. “You can't have everyone calling the same phone number at once, either. Having a dedicated person along who can radio the information back to the Red Cross is essential to get the time-valued information where it's needed fast."
Only a handful of children attended Sunday's event at the Volunteer Center of Racine, 6216 Washington Ave. But that didn't seem to bother Sam, who was busy carrying around his own personal radio.
Sam said that sometimes his dad comes home after 10 p.m., when he is sleeping, and then he doesn't get to see him. This is one way he can see his dad and make a difference, he said.
For more information about amateur radio, contact Jim Markstrom at (262) 909-3996.
1 Year Anniversary of January Tornadoes from Milwaukee SKYWARN
January 7th, 2008 marks the one year anniversary of the tornadoes that struck Walworth and Kenosha counties. While the last Winter time twister was January 1967, its time to remind everyone that storm spotter training classes will soon be forming. Class schedules will be listed on NWS sites and sent out on this MASA e-mail list. Can you identify cloud features that precede a tornado?
January 2008 Tornado Write Up: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/?n=010708_tor
2008 Wisconsin Tornado Summary and Spread Sheet:
Ham radio volunteers assist disaster relief
RACINE, WI- Local Amateur Radio Emergency Service operators were called into action after the outbreak of tornadoes in Kenosha County which destroyed houses and knocked out power late Monday afternoon. The operators, often called Hams, began providing support communications for the agencies responding to the disaster
Volunteering their services, the Hams provided logistical communications at the two relief shelters which the Red Cross opened in Kenosha County. The Hams also operated a station at the Kenosha County Emergency Operation Center.
The areas hardest hit by the storm were the townships of Wheatland, Somers,and the city of Kenosha. Riding along with Red Cross teams, the Hams began their communications routine helping relay assessments of the damage back to the American Red Cross building in Racine.
"Providing communications is essential," said Alex Voss N9RGX, Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the Racine County ARES.
"Cellphones are not up to the task. When the teams deployed in the field need to call in their reports, you don't want them fumbling with a cellphone. You can't have everyone calling the same phone number at once, either. Having a dedicated, trained person who can radio the information back to the Red Cross is essential in getting the time-valued information where it's needed fast," Voss said. Hams keep track of the location of communications teams. They monitor the location of communications teams. "Organization is key. We set up a communications network at the Red Cross building in Racine outside of the affected area. As radio operator volunteers we assign them to a location. Keeping track of the location of each team member and their situation helps maintain safety. When a disaster strikes, we don't want to add any of our volunteers to the list of affected individuals," Voss said.
"We were ready to go when activated. I couldn't be more proud of our volunteers. We will work with the responding agencies as long as they need us. We'll take what we've learned this time and use it to improve our response in the future," Voss said.Emergency Coordinator for Racine County.
With about 20 radio operators deployed in the field, the Hams were able to provide effective communications for the responding agencies.
The Racine County ARES meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at the Volunteer Center of Racine County at 6216 Washington Avenue Suite G. Persons interested in learning more about Ham radio or emergency communications should contact Jim Markstrom, Racine County ARES Emergency Coordinator website: http://www.rcares.org or call (262) 909-3996.
Ham Radio Links
- Racine County ARES
- The Racine Megacycle Club
- The Lakeshore Repeater Association
- Gateway Technical College Amateur Radio Club
- Wisconsin ARES/RACES
- ARRL Wisconsin Section
- ARRL (National)
- [http://www.arrl.org/ares ARES (National)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Federal Communications Commission
- ToneSquelch Ham Radio Search
- Amateur Radio Newsline
- QRZ! Ham Radio Services