The City of Poway is hosting a Nov. 4 disaster communications drill bringing together volunteers from three groups trained to provide critical support in Poway during a disaster.
Members of the Poway Amateur Radio Society, Poway Neighborhood Emergency Corps and the local Community Emergency Response Team are joining the Poway Fire Department to practice relaying critical emergency communications in the event that land and cellular services are disabled or overwhelmed.
“All three groups have a valuable role to play in the event of a disaster in Poway,” Fire Captain Andy Page said. “This is a great opportunity for them to practice working together as they assist our City’s emergency response teams.”
The scenario for Nov. 4 will be an earthquake with major damage to utilities and infrastructure. Organizers plan to place props in 30 locations for volunteers to find and, working with a HAM operator, convey the details back to Poway’s Auxiliary Communication Center at Fire Station 1. In the event of a real disaster, triaged information would be shared with the city’s Emergency Operations Center, which operates out of the council chambers adjacent to the fire station.
There are more than 300 licensed amateur radio operators in Poway, but not all are a part of the PARS network of volunteers. Any licensed HAM operator interested in supporting Poway’s emergency response in a disaster should contact Dan Hober at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PNEC is a grassroots network of neighbors formed in response to the 2003 and 2007 fires in Poway. Their goal is support the community ability to anticipate, prepare for and survive disasters. The organization focuses on disseminating emergency information and has opportunities for community members to get involved. Contact Teri Sorensen at email@example.com.