Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Don't let winter leave you stranded #Prepared2014

Some parts of the country experience extreme winter weather including blizzards. If a blizzard traps you in your car, do you know how to survive?
Taking the following steps can help you stay safe until you are found:
  • Don’t walk around in the snow to look for help. You might lose your way or become exhausted;
  • Remember to occasionally check your tailpipe to make sure it’s free of snow.  Clean the pipe to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when the engine is running.
  • Keep yourself moving! A car offers very little room, but exercise is essential; and
  • Make the car visible for a rescue! Hang bright colored cloth or plastic from the windows. If the snow has stopped falling, open the hood of the car as a signal of distress.
If you have a cell phone call 911 to ask for help. Do not hang up until you know whom you have spoken with and what will happen next. You can also sign up for wireless emergency alerts before you travel to receive life-saving alerts wherever you are.
Items found in your vehicle emergency supply kit can assist you until help arrives. Take a look at this video from The Weather Channel showing how to prepare your winter car supply kit.

Thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this information.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Red Badges Day coming

Happy New Year

If you are celebrating this season, please do so responsibly.  Remember those who are less fortunate than you.  Encourage one another.  Enjoy your friends and family.

I plan to be on "Red Badges Day" for at least an hour.  Check my twitter account for where and when.  One can maybe catch me on WX5ASA on Echolink or IRLP Node 8115.

The Section Leadership wishes all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Unbroken ... the movie #tweko

The Japanese are upset.   "Now the same groups are turning their attention to protesting Jolie's big screen adaptation, branding it a work of 'pure fabrication', insisting it has 'no credibility', and accusing the star of racism."

In fact, @CBJapan1 tweeted  "Actually, we are mad as hell. Here's why

It seems that Unbroken, the book, had some similarities to the movie.

I am sad the Japanese are upset.  Maybe it is the realization of why American servicemen, to this DAY, will not buy anything with industrial giant names on them.  After all, those same names were either prevalent in the 1940 attacks on the allies or they were names of the slave labor factories where the Allied servicemen were "guests".

For example, Mitsubishi Motors produced the Zero airplane with forced labor, Honda, Nikon, Aso Mining Compay, and Toyota were among the names the servicemen remembered.  Some were found guilty while some were only guilty by association.  How can one ignore "Foreign Ministry investigated and announced on December 18, 2008 that Aso Mining had, in fact, used 300 Allied POWs at its mine during World War II."? 

I am sad the Japanese are upset.  Read the book to see what "The Bird" did to Allied servicemen. The movie audience was shocked by the scenes in the movie.   The movie did not reveal every day of Japanese "treatment".

In case one is wondering, the Germans were just as guilty.  The sentiment was and still is equal among the POWs returning from there.

While the movie mentions faith, there was one omission.  Read the book for the rest of the omissions.

Of course, one does not need to take my word for it.  One can read the movie critics.

Read the book, free at your local library.

I sincerely hope the Japanese get over it.  There are some Allied veterans who still won't forgive, yet at least one Allied soldier, a Christian, has chosen to do just that.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

So Jesus was not born on December 25.  The date was set by Julius 1 and some churches celebrate in January

The Holiday ... even the word comes to us from Old English and means Holy Day ... comes to mean so much because of tradition from the Norse and Roman traditions.

Yet, the first century Church did not celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Rather, the first Church would have celebrated His Birth, Death, and Resurrection all at once, probably daily and from house to house.

Christmas cards?  Singing carols?  Christmas trees?  All are traditions born from the Pagans, a word which originally meant civilian.  Even some of the early colonists in America did not celebrate Christmas, as we know it today, and at one point, there was a ban in place.

So what does this mean?  How about having Christmas ALL year long?  If we acted Christ-like, wouldn't the world be a better place?  If we honored the Birth of our King, wouldn't the lines at Walmart be shorter?  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Old but still useful #ARRL #hamradio

Google Groups: "" is USENET technology which was (and still is to some) popular from the days of the internet over dial-up.

This group and Rec.Radio.Swap offer digest messaging which gives users the ability to get ONE email per day, rather than every message, plus one does not have to use USENET with their primary email address, thus eliminating SPAM.

What is your favorite online ham radio information source?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What can you do in a drought?

Last week, we talked about how to conserve water outdoors since many communities are experiencing droughts, especially on the West Coast. It is critical that everyone also be mindful of indoor water maintenance and conservation. Did you know the average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year? Droughts affect everyone from farmers to those of us just trying to take a shower. Even small efforts, like being mindful of whether or not your faucet is completely off (dripping faucets alone lose 2,700 gallons of water a year!) make a huge difference.  
There are many things you can do to improve your conservation, from purchasing water-saving technologies to how you do your laundry. Test your knowledge and check out these effective conservation strategies:
·        Choose energy and water-efficient appliances;
·        Check all plumbing for leaks;
·        Avoid letting the water run while you shave or brush your teeth;
·        Only use your dishwasher when it is full and on the “light wash” setting to use less water;
·        Avoid using running water to thaw frozen meats and foods; and
·        Wash your clothes only when you have a full load.

By practicing these tips every day and making them part of your routine, you will save money and preserve this essential resource during drought season.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Smokey Bear - Take the Pledge #OKfire

Can you do your part to prevent #wildfire?  Take the Smokey Bear Pledge:

It's free and you get a nice price as a result

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Assistance to Firefighters Grant opens #AltusOK #OKfire #tweko

Dear Fire and EMS Personnel within FEMA Region 6,

We are contacting you as a courtesy to inform you the application period
for the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant will be opening soon,
tentatively in early November. Region 6 has developed a recorded web based
workshop which any department can access online at any time.

Region 6 FY 2014 AFG Recorded Web Workshop (available 24/7 using Adobe

Region 6 will also host two live webinars to allow for questions and
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM CST at
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM CST at

Now is the time to do some preliminary work on your potential grant
application.  Following your local procedures, determine what needs exist
and confirm costs as appropriate.  This will make the application process
less cumbersome once the final Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is
released. Departments can also begin compiling department information on
budget, population served, call volume, current age of equipment, etc. in
preparation for the application.

As a reminder, all recipients of Federal grant funding must have a valid
registration in the System for Award Management or SAM (
Take time now to confirm that your department’s SAM registration is up to
date and active.  Below are several links to documents on the AFG Program’s
FAQ page. The first link is to the slide deck used for the web workshop.
The last two links provide user friendly training videos on how to prepare
an AFG grant application, and specifically how to prepare a grant
application for a vehicle.

FY 2014 AFG Regional Workshop Slides

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - Most Frequently Asked Questions

Training Video: Getting a Grant - Assistance to Firefighters Grant

Training Video: AFG Vehicle Grants

We thank you for the daily work you do for your citizens and look forward
to the opportunity to help you in providing that service. Our goal in
Region 6 is to provide you with the best possible support in applying for
and managing your grant. Please do not hesitate to contact either myself or
Brad Cole at (940-898-5310) or if you have questions
or need additional information.

Very respectfully,

Nick Zotos
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Division
DHS/FEMA Region 6

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Preparing Older Americans #OKready

Partnering with older Americans and engaging them in preparedness efforts can make a significant difference in communities before, during, and after disasters. On July 11-12, the Delaware State Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hosted a two-day Disaster Preparedness class at the Barclay Farms Senior Community in Camden, DE.  40 staff members and residents received fire extinguisher training in preparation for a digital fire suppression exercise, and participated in several other activities.
Everyone has a role in disaster response. Here are a few ways you can engage older Americans in your community and empower them to prepare for disasters:
Remember preparedness is vital for everyone! For more information and resources on engaging older Americans in disaster preparedness, read’s Preparing Makes Sense for Older Americans or visit the Red Cross website.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coming Soon: The Great ShakeOut #OKready

The September 30, 2014 National PrepareAthon! Day may be over, but another exciting preparedness initiative is just around the corner! Join the millions of people, schools, and organizations worldwide who will participate in earthquake drills as part of the Great ShakeOut on Thursday, October 16 at 10:16 a.m. Participants will Drop, Cover, and Hold On, practicing the appropriate protective actions to take in response to earthquakes.
Sign up and be counted! Make sure to register your participation on the ShakeOut website. Can’t participate on October 16?  No worries – You can select another day during the month of October.
To learn more about Great ShakeOut, visit You’ll find valuable information about this initiative, including an earthquake preparedness guide for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
Practicing for disasters is a great opportunity to engage your entire family in preparedness. Check out FEMA’s new animated video “When The Earth Shakes” to see what you can do to prepare for earthquakes.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

End of An Era: KWTV To Take Down Historic Broadcast Tower - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

End of An Era: KWTV To Take Down Historic Broadcast Tower - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |: "By the fall of 1954, we reached the widest coverage of any station in the southwest with the view from the top reaching a 60-mile horizon."

Which brings us to the question "What happens to your repeater when the Big Stick goes away?".

For example, radio operators looking for new repeater location.  That news was replicated months ago in the New Mexico section.

What are your options?

One would be more digital resources such as Echolink, IRLP, and Allstar.  Another solution would be MORE repeaters scattered about on the same frequency with different tones, ex. 146.79 in Oklahoma City and Edmond.

The cost, either way, will go up.

What are you doing today to plan for the day the Big Stick goes away?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

"You should get on HF more"

At a recent hamfest, an attendee told this attendee that.

In spite of the fact that I don't LIVE on ham radio and some insist that I live on Twitter, what are the ways I am on HF during the week?

I have HF in the personal car, the City truck, and at the Emergency Operations Center.  I am known to frequent 29.6 FM, 14.300 for the various nets there, 7.290 Traffic Net, the various Military Auxiliary Radio System nets, and some of the Oklahoma Section Nets.

Please remember that I have remote base access at a number of places on Remote Hams.  I also enjoy working the frequency agile remote base in Las Vegas on AllStar Link System on 29.6 FM.

Please know there's the Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship net on 3.930 every day except Sunday.  I also check in periodically to the South Coast Amateur Radio Service net on 7.251 periodically and try to use their VOIP net on Saturday mornings.  

Perhaps the attendee did not really mean I needed to be on HF more.  :)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Abby's Story #OKwx #OKready

With two autistic children ages three and five, Abby’s life revolves around her family’s routine. Between therapies, school and gymnastics, she manages over 30 appointments a week. She says, “Routine is everything to autistic kids. It reduces their anxiety.” On a warm day in May 2013, Abby saw the routine she had carefully constructed destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma and neighboring Oklahoma City.
Although forecasts that day called for severe weather, Abby and her husband wanted to take advantage of a rare day off and went to a movie. She says, “We thought, we are going to a movie, it is two hours, [it’s] not even raining outside, if something is going to get bad then it will get bad later tonight.” About halfway through the movie, Abby got a call from the daycare center across the street from where her children were playing—a tornado was coming and they were evacuating the children to a storm shelter.
Find out what happened by watching the latest America’s PrepareAthon!disaster survivor video, “It Started Like Any Other Day.”

Thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this information.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"If you can find a better car, buy it." #ARRL #hamradio

Lee Iacocca said, more than once, "If you can find a better car, buy it."

Lets apply this to amateur radio for a moment.

Lets apply this to the American Radio Relay League.

Can you find a better "National Association for Amateur Radio"?

Does this other organization offer insurance for its members, representation before the Federal Communications Commission, an office in Washington, DC, friendly staff at Newington who answer phone calls and emails?

You have found a better National organization?

Do TELL!  What organization is it?

If not, then join the League.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A Lawyer Responds to Amateur Radio #ARRL #HamRadio

When one looks at what the American Radio Relay League does, remember this post.

It appears the ARRL defended spectrum against those who would want to use it for their benefit.

Remember all the benefits the League offers and the spectrum the League, virtually single-handed, protects.

A Lawyer Responds to Amateur Radio:

'via Blog this'

What benefit do you enjoy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Preppers get communication.

When hams think of communication, they think of ham radio as the ONLY form of communication during disasters.

When Survivalists think of communications, they think of ham radio as the BEST form of communication during disasters.

While hams have the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Skywarn, the Preppers think about themselves, their family, their friends, their neighbors.

Ham Radio, The Only Form of Communication After T-SHTF | - The Ultimate Prepper & Survivalist Blog.:

Are you serving the public with your ham radio station?  Do your neighbors know?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things To Remember When Everything Is Going Wrong.

"Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them."

'via Blog this'

Do you see any insight here?

Emergency Managers excel in dealing with life's little problems.

How do you deal with yours?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What can you learn from "Into the Storm"? #Skywarn #AltusOK #OKready

Into the Storm is a popular movie now showing in the Altus Area.

From an emergency management standpoint, there are some educational moments in the movie.

1.  During a large disaster, traditional responders, i.e. Police, Fire, Emergency Medical, are overwhelmed.  If there's only one fire truck for 50 fires, for example, your closest help may be your neighbor.  This played out in real life during Hurricane Iselle when folks noted the sound of sirens was replaced, almost overnight, by the sound of chain saws.

If your neighbor or classmate has a mother who was a nurse and they paid attention, that's magnificent.  Otherwise, you AND your neighbor should take Community Emergency Response Team training so you can help one another.  A First Aid and CPR class from the American Red Cross.

2.  Communications will fail.  This was portrayed time and time and time again in the movie.  The movie, however, did not show how Amateur Radio could have helped.  When the cell phone towers crumple from the storm or become overloaded with use from people who really did have foresight to have multiple ways to get their batteries charged, amateur radio operators will be able to talk to one another.  

Check out a local club and study materials from the American Radio Relay League.

There was NO mention of SMS text messaging in the movie.  It seems that the text side of cellular service is less congested in disasters.  Those messages may go through when a phone call can't.

Do you know how to text?

3.  Would you really evacuate a school in school buses and then evacuate those students into a storm drain?  Schools are getting better and better at the severe weather game.  A better plan would have been to be weather aware and adjust events to days when the killer of all tornadoes is not on the table.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers templates and training for school districts nationwide.  It's free.  Your taxdollars are working here.

How is your school, daycare, church applying FEMA information?  What is their plan?

What did you learn from the movie?  What will you do different because of the thinking it caused?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Ladies love this felon's mugshot #SMEM

Ladies love this felon's mugshot

Sometimes Social Media has the strangest results.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Rain Barrels

Altus --- "People in Jackson County are thirsty for rain barrels," said Lloyd Colston, Emergency Manager for the City, after the partnership with Coca-Cola to give away 100 rain barrels to Jackson County residents.

The 100 free barrels that were available were distributed in a very short time.

"Obviously, had there been 250 more barrels, the volunteers could have moved them," said Wayne Cain, Jackson County Emergency Management director.

People have been asking where to buy barrels, said Colston.  As well as recommending local stores such as Atwoods and Fox Lumber, two online vendors are:

*  The Rain Barrel Depot (404) 829-2647
*  UpCycle Products (815) 735-9583

"There may be future availability for another Coca-Cola barrel project," said Colston, "but I encourage people who NEED a rain barrel to obtain one from the vendor of their choice."

Thanks to Elizabeth Gray, Altus City Administrator, who developed the idea of obtaining rain barrels, as well as the Coca-Cola Company for providing the RainRecycle Kits with their free barrels.

For more information about emergency management, please call Cain at (580) 482-0229 or Colston at (580) 481-2260 or visit on the Internet.

Coca-Cola and local emergency management volunteers distributed 100 rain barrels to residents of Jackson County Tuesday. (Emergency Management photo)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doc, WB4QIZ wrote:

THE GODLY HABITS OF A CHRISTIAN  from the Bible Fellowship Net Trumpet


“If you live like there is no God, you had better be right!” 

A Christian is a follower of Christ, therefore, his lifestyle and habits reflect the habits of the Savior. 

I. THE HABIT OF FORGIVING. Ephesians 4:32 

II. THE HABIT OF PATIENCE Psalm 40:1; James 5:7; Hebrews 6:15 

III. THE HABIT OF PRAYER. 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthew 7:8 

IV. THE HABIT OF LIVING LIKE WE ARE DYING. Psalm 39:4,5; Galatians 2:20 

V. THE HABIT OF LIVING BY FAITH. Hebrews 11:6; John 3:16 




Summary: By His grace, we can live these habits through the power of the Holy Spirit; glorifying our Savior 

and Lord. Oswald Chambers said, “Make sure your god is not your little Christian habit.” 

 Thanks to Doc, WB4QIZ for this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Dear Emergency Management Directors,

We would like to introduce the U.S. National Response Team (NRT) Emergency Responders Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) system, coordinated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). We are sending this to you because we know you share our mission to protect American workers. The ERHMS system provides guidelines for protecting emergency responders involved in various types of emergencies and settings and can be used by anyone involved with the deployment and protection of emergency workers.

The attached Portable Document Format (PDF) flyer provides information pertaining to ERHMS and FREE training courses that are now available online. ERHMS training courses include the following:

·         Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) System

o   Provides the necessary tools for implementing health monitoring and surveillance of emergency response workers.
o   Outlines important procedures for pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment.
o   Offers continuing education credits for those who complete the course. Credits include: CEU/CE; CHES; CME; CNE Contact Hours; Pharmacist Contact Hours; and AAVSB/RACE.
o   All emergency response coordinators are encouraged to take this course.

·         Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) System: Leadership Training

o   Introduces the ERHMS system to leaders in organizations responsible for planning and executing incident response activities.
o   Optimizes the health and safety of response, remediation, recovery, and volunteer workers.
o   The intended audience includes local, regional, state, tribal, and federal personnel who are responsible for the occupational safety and health of responders.
o   Offers 0.1 continuing education units for completing the course. 

We hope that you take advantage of the valuable information provided and participate in the training course offerings. We encourage you to visit the ERHMS website at:

Please pass this information on to others you know aiding in emergency preparedness and response.

Thank you for your service.

Michelle Martin

Michelle R. Martin
Public Health Advisor
Field Studies Branch
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies
1095 Willowdale Road
Morgantown WV  26505 MS-2800

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oklahoma has water but will it be enough to meet needs? #OKdrought #AltusOK

By Rick M. Green, Capitol Bureau
Hundreds of thousands of people in central Oklahoma depend on underground water that is plentiful but requires careful management to ensure supplies remain adequate for the region's growing population.

That's the message from Oklahoma Water Resources Board officials after a ground-breaking study of the water system beneath 3,000 square miles of the most densely populated area of the state.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Google Voice - Features – Google Voice #HMRD

Recently the folks at Humanity Road were commenting on Google Voice.

Some of the features that were quickly mentioned were:

1.  Transcription of voicemails.  While the transcription is not perfect, it's sent by email so you can decide the urgency of the call.  After all, no voicemail, no returned call.

2.  One number for five phones.  This means that small teams can get a call and take care of the call.

3.  Saves cell phone minutes by making calls in Google Voice.  Many cell phone providers have free incoming calls anyway but with the cell phone app, one can call and text, leaving your minutes and data available for other times.

4.  Call recording allows the caller to give you detailed instructions that you can recall later.

5.  Call blocking and "Do Not Disturb" allows one to have calls from "undesirables" to get that "number is no longer in service" while DND directs all calls to voicemail.  The latter is beneficial during meeting times.

Are you using Google Voice?  What other features do you like?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Can we really expect folks to follow #SMEM

Can I notice something?

I'll pick on #hamradio folks.

I'll pick on the #HamRadio folks using 10 meters.

There's two email reflectors for that topic, plus one more for FM only.

There's a twitter account for 10-ten Net. 

On Facebook there's a Unofficial Ten-Ten International Net and 10 Meter Ham Radio

Do I need ONE more outlet for discussing #hamradio?

Now, I want folks to follow the official feeds for weather.  I also want folks to have three ways to get weather information.  At some point someone is going into information overload.

How much is TOO much?

What tools do you use to manage the overload?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jesus and Amateur Radio

It seems to me that Jesus would have been an amateur radio operator, though, realistically, He would not need a radio, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, or Google+ technology to reach the hearts and minds of men.

However, I'm a Christian ham ... a member of the Christian Amateur Radio Fellowship and have participated in the Bible Fellowship Net.

Here's some others who mix their hobby with the Faith.

Idaho Christian Resources - Amateur Radio and Christian Links, MP3's and PDF Files

"Sunrise Bible Study Group"

Hams for Christ

"World Association of Christian Radio Amateurs and Listeners"

"Ambassadors for Christ Net meets daily on 7.280 MHz. Monday thru Friday at 18:00 UTC, Saturday at 19:00 UTC"

A number of RemoteHams stations are dedicated to Christian Networks.  Can't reach your favorite net because of propagation?  Check the remotes.

Are there others?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Content is King #SMEM

In the early days of blogging, proponents encouraged folks to bring content to the table.

One can not expect to have any followers without writing something.  This is all the more true in social media.

Think about how many followers one would have on Twitter, if the person did not tweet.

Below is a link help you find content for your Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, Blogger, Google+ accounts.

For example, over at WX5EM, one will find a twitter account that is automated.  Something goes out from there, provided by the weather service offices that cover Oklahoma regularly.  Tweet the account and a live person answers, if an answer is required.  While there are not a terribly high number of followers, all the followers would care about Oklahoma weather.

Do you write something every week?  Is it interesting?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Here's some Wednesday humor for you.

An old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard.  I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.
He followed me into the house, down the hall, and fell asleep in a corner.
old tired dog 499x750 Old Tired Dog
Old Tired Dog
An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.
The next day he was back, resumed his position  in the hall, and slept for an hour.  This continued for several weeks.
Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: “Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.”
The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: “He lives in a home with ten children — he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?”
–Author of this story is unknown

Track this satellite (Thanks N2YO)

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