A great way to familiarize yourself with using a hand-held radio, or to practice what you’ve already learned, is to participate in our regular Sunday evening Radio Roll Call on Channel 5 at 7pm. It’s also a handy way to make sure your equipment is working properly. Last but not least, its an opportunity to communicate with a group of your neighbors and make sure everyone is doing OK. That was particularly reassuring during the pandemic!
The Radio Call-in is done from your home, with the best reception usually achieved by going outside on your deck/patio or yard.
The format is relatively informal and is run by “Net Control”, the “traffic cop” or moderator of radio communications. We have a couple of regular Net Control operators (usually Don or Ben) but we encourage others to take the helm to gain experience. In a real disaster, we have no way of knowing who may be at home or physically able to run the Net. Assuming the role includes a calling off of the streets in our neighborhood, usually in alphabetical order. When your street name is called, Identify yourself with your first name and street name. (so, “Susan on Oneonta, Checking in.” Wait for a clear space to speak as others may try to talk at the same time. Net Control will acknowledge you and thank you for calling if he can hear you.
If you hear someone check in who is not acknowledged by the moderator, you can help out by relaying the check in. It goes somehting like this:
Susan: “Don, this is Susan on Oneonta with a relay”.
Don: “Susan, go ahead with the relay”.
Susan: “George on Oban checked in.”
Don: Thank you George for checking in and thank you Susan for the relay.”
We provide a script and a spreadsheet with blocks and neighbors to note as they check in.
We usually have about 25 check-ins and the entire thing usually takes about half an hour. Several children participate with their parents. Its a fun family friendly activity for a Sunday evening.
Photo of Suzy as Guest Net Control
If you are interested in serving as Net Control one Sunday, send an email to mailto: email@example.com Also, contact us if you need a radio. We have radios available to those who donate to our nonprofit.