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07 December 2011

Monthly Hamnet bulletin - December 2011


HAMNET THE SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO LEAGUE
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION BULLETIN FOR DECEMBER 2011

This bulletin was prepared and produced by Francois Botha – ZS6BUU

HAMNET (IARU Region 1) dedicated emergency communication frequencies are:-
80m band – 3,760 MHz, 40m band, 7,110 MHz. 20m band – 14,300 MHz.

IN THE BULLETIN TODAY
SCOOL HOLIDAYS
WHEN ALL FAILS - CONTINUED

The Hamnet Bulletin is distributed once a month to all HAMNET members and is also available in text format as well as an audio clip on the SARL web site. News updates are read on the Amateur Radio Today Sunday transmissions and posted on the SARL web site as well as our Facebook site. All Bulletin audio clips are also available as a Podcast. Follow the links on the SARL web site.

HAMNET is a voluntary group of amateurs who make their unique communication skills available to assist and help others in distress during and after disasters. HAMNET is represented on the sub-committee of the South African Search & Rescue Organisation. Training Modules are available either from your Provincial Director or from the National Director via e-mail and is also available on the SARL HAMNET Welcome CD.

HAMNET forms part of the Constitution of the South African Radio League which means that you have to be a member of the SARL to be a member of HAMNET. All information on SARL HAMNET is available on the web site of the SARL at www.sarl.org.za - follow the links!
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

All province schools close their doors on Friday the 9th of December and the heavy traffic season is upon us!

The first ‘long’ weekend prior to the Christmas weekend is from Thursday the 15th to Sunday the 18th of December. We anticipate the first rush over that weekend with the following weekend being the big break from 23 December to Sunday the 1st of January 2012 – traditionally known as the Christmas break for those who only have that week at their disposal for a holiday!

As usual, we request monitoring on our regular emergency frequencies as permanently listed at the top of the bulletin page, but this is the first holiday season we can also take a listen on the various ‘net’ frequencies.

This is a Western Cape initiative and the object is to use these frequencies for calling, checking propagation and other means of creating activity on our frequencies – especially now during the holiday period.

We will also check for activity early evenings on 3,760 MHz but let’s not forget the value of the 10 MHz band especially on 10,135 MHz. This is a good alternative frequency also for calling and monitoring for those who can possibly switch between frequencies.

As usual, there may still be areas where cell coverage is not effective and for that reason, amateur radio can still play a role in proving alternative that trusted means of getting the message through.

We know Rob Byrne of JAMLINE will also appreciate messages from us via cell phone regarding road conditions, flooding and serious accidents and so on. Rob’s all hour number is listed lower down. (084-526.5463).

If you are going to be on the road, we look forward to hooking up with you on HF or when you pass through towns were there are active repeaters.

Please drive carefully and also consider reporting bad driving!

WHEN ALL FAILS – CONTINUED!

The response from the insert in the November bulletin regarding what we should consider when all systems fail, had a ‘fair’ response and although no consensus was reached, we will look at comments and ‘build’ from there. This could take a while which is good. It allows things to get thought through thoroughly as they are published and discussed!

The consensus was that we should look at a plan and some ideas were forthcoming regarding possible regular contacts – like a once a week contact on the Hamnet frequency – something similar to the ‘Fortynet’. Establish the ‘active’ Hamnet operators. On the negative side, there seems to be attitude that the authorities – in general – tend to leave a disaster to happen before they take action! Don’t call us, we will call you!

So, here we go – when all means of communication fails – some very obvious!

If one cannot establish how long such a ‘blackout’ will last, all contingency plans must take effect within 30 minutes of the ‘blackout’ – or as soon as access to equipment allows!

Remember – everything is ‘dead’ – Radio Stations TV cell phones - the lot! And above all – remember – we are ONLY providing an alternative means of communication – and nothing else!

Connect emergency power supply. Get on air! Gather on the Hamnet emergency frequencies – HF, VHF and UHF. Set up local and national networks and Provincial Directors (or 2IC) delegate responsibilities or develop sub-nets! Contact your local D/Management Centre and make yourself available obviously by vehicle – alternatively with radio equipment to contact them directly! If required – set up ‘field’ stations at key points like EMS – D/M – ER24 – Fire Stations – Hospitals – Clinics etc. Liaise with your local ORRU group and establish contact with them – just in case! ?
Comments on what should happen before the ‘candle goes out’!

v Develop – on a regular basis – a good working/contact relationship with your Local Government Bodies – Local and Provincial D/M - Fire – EMS – SAPS, etc. If they don’t know you – they will ignore you! This is probably the most important issue!
v We (all of us and P/D’s) should ‘sell’ Hamnet’ more actively!
v We need to request Local Authorities to add Hamnet contact people to their emergency contact lists – street addresses esp. if there are not other means of contact!
v Apart from annual Hamnet on air exercises – we should develop a quarterly general get-together on air – even if just for chit-chat and exchange ideas!
v ?

This is just a start. Let’s build from here and eventually get a good working document together which can be included in the Hamnet Training Modules!

Comments and additions obviously welcome!

GENERAL COMMENTS

It is with regret we say goodbye to Col. Bert Howes, ZS6HS, who became silent key last week and was a great Hamnet supporter! RIP Bert; you had an amazing 96 years of life and most of it spent in radio communications! To Jenny and his family, our sincere condolences!

INFORMATION FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES!

The following frequencies are purely calling frequencies-
‘Eightynet’ 3.695 MHz ‘Fortynet’ 7.095 MHz ‘Thirynet’ 10.135 MHz
‘Twentynet’ 14.295 MHz Subject to correction/confirmation!

PROVINCIAL DIRECTOR LIST.

PROVINCE
DIRECTOR
CELL NUMBER

WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE
Paul van Spronsen ZS1PVS
083 302-3366
NORTHWEST CAPE PROV.
Daniel Swart ZS3DS
082 884-1200
EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
Serge Smetryns ZS2SJE
084 515-1077
KWAZULU-NATAL PROV.
Keith Lowes ZS5WFD
082 685-6666
FREE STATE PROVINCE
Vacant
NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Chris Viljoen ZS6BYQ
082 857-8641
GAUTENG SOUTH
Chris Gryffenberg ZS6COG
083 543-5668
GAUTENG NORTH
Johan de Bruyn ZS6JHB
082 492-3689
MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
Gert Botha ZS6GC
082 771-0663
LIMPOPO PROVINCE
Vacant
NATIONAL DIRECTOR
Francois Botha ZS6BUU
083 585-3847

For weather information –
www.saweatherobserver.blogspot.com
To send weather information - 076 251 3482 - Text Messages Only!!
Alternatively - sawois05@gmail.com
www.weatherphotos.co.za – Highly recommended for up to date information!

The following numbers are useful in emergencies:-
1. AMBULANCE – 10177
2. ER24 – 084 124
3. Werner Vermaak Direct ER24 real emergencies only (Gauteng) 082 907.4557
4. TRAFFIC – 112
5. WESTERN CAPE ALL EMERGENCIES 021 937-0300
6. JAMLINE - 084 5265463
7. CRIME LINE – 32211 alternatively 08600 10111. HAMNET actively supports the SAPS and CPF to fight crime!
8. N3 Toll Concession Help Line – 0800 N3 HELP or 080063 4357
9. Graham – Maritime Mobile Net 046 648-1071 (Maritime Emergency Only)
10. Sam Maree – Maritime Mobile Net 021 782-2840 (Maritime Emergency Only)
11. MRCC – 021 938-3300 (Only in dire Maritime emergencies)

Comments and suggestions to: jfbotha@iburst.co.za or zs6buu@gmail.com or at 011 679-5260 or 083 585-3847. Fax 086-580.6110.

Bulletin ends.