The Neighborhood Ham

A new program being developed by the Sussex County AUXCOMM Group, targeting Hams in organized communities to help them serve the community in which they live.  Using their experience in the hobby, they would be the resource to provide a link from communities across the county to the EOC in times of disaster.   The program focus is working with local hams in the neighborhoods and communities to have them develop relationships with their “neighbors”, and with the AUXCOMM Group at the EOC, to facilitate the exchange of information during emergencies and disasters of a countywide nature. 

Program materials, training, guidance, and support will be provided by the Sussex County AUXCOMM Group, and others.  Consultation with experts in HOA acceptable antennas, and help with explaining the program to the communities is a critical part of the support.  As the “local Ham in the neighborhood”, you would reach out to the neighbors around you.  You could share Emergency Preparedness material provided by the county.  You could discuss the possibilities of intra- community communication, perhaps using the Family Radio Service (FRS).  Realizing that in a disaster situation with loss of utility power, most telephone service today, wired and cell, will fail, sometimes in as little as three hours after power is lost. This is more prevalent in the rural areas of the county.    As the community’s interest in planning for a disaster grows, you could direct requests for preparedness programs to the appropriate resource people at the Sussex EOC and DEMA.  In general, you would be a contact, a resource and an asset to your community.

The Sussex County AUXCOMM Group is the Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS) for the Sussex County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Georgetown.  The EOC is the center for disaster response and recovery operations, and the 911 Response Center for most of the County.  The AUXCOMM group operates from a well-equipped amateur station in the EOC, WS3EOC, with three operating positions and a Supervisor position. Coverage of most of the county is quite adequate on VHF and UHF simplex as well as operation into the county’s many repeaters.

Visit the group’s website for more information about the group, its history, activities and management structure.