Greetings – K here. I’ve been invited to share my thoughts here from time to time. Feel free to tell the powers that be what you think in the comments below.
Well, it’s been a surprising year so far, hasn’t it? Six months ago, who’d have figured we’d experience the effects of a global pandemic or persistent rioting in major cities of the U.S.? Okay, maybe Patrick had a clue.
One thing’s for sure – it ain’t over, and probably won’t be anytime soon.
So, what can we do to protect ourselves?
Well, for COVID, the more you can avoid people, the better, lol! (I can sense some of you reading right now are about to scroll away… Covid’s not real, you say. It’s a PLANdemic you say). Believe what you will. Free country (for now). I’m no doctor, but I see lots of them regularly. And nurses. And everything in between, because I get chemo 3 weeks out of 4. There is not one health professional in that hospital that is not taking COVID seriously. And doing PPE. Take from that what you will. I’m a believer.
What about riots? I’m thinking the whole avoiding people thing works here too. 🙂 But we can’t always do that, right?
On a recent road trip to Milwaukee for treatment, (I live about an hour away), I noticed that my WAZE app route kept updating, finding me a ‘faster’ route. This was unusual because it’s a pretty straight shot to where I go.
The first thing that comes to mind is that some of these idiots are out there blocking the freeway. I’d been listening to local ham repeaters all the way down and there was no mention of demonstrations in that area. Nothing on the news. Turns out the Vice-President was visiting town and they were systematically closing down the interstate on/off ramps for security.
Just goes to show though, even a routine trip could be interrupted, so you should be prepared everywhere, especially when you’re away from the relative safety of home.
One way we make decisions is to gather information and process it (verify, corroborate etc.) until it becomes intelligence. When we watch the news, we’re not seeing information – we’re seeing processed intelligence. In most cases, I’d call it counter-intelligence because it’s not designed to help – but to make us think a certain way. Usually the wrong way.
From a tactical perspective, I like to make my own intelligence. Gather information at a local level, vet it, and proceed accordingly.
That’s why I wasn’t overly concerned on my trip to Milwaukee. The area has a VERY active amateur radio community and had there been protesters on the freeway, someone would’ve been on the air talking about it.
Have you considered the prospects of gathering information/intelligence using amateur radio? You should. Your county Emergency Services department does. I’m not saying you have to become a licensed operator, but it sure pays to know one! Besides, you can purchase a radio kit for next to nothing these days. More importantly, with a little planning and just a few friends, you can develop your own local intel unit.
I prefer to leave the clandestine stuff to those more suited to that sort of thing – so I network with my local ham radio operators instead. We have regular radio ‘nets’ where we check-in and share things of mutual interest. There are severe weather nets you can participate in or listen to as well. We have a predetermined frequency, and when there’s a threat of severe weather, we check-in and relay observations to the National Weather Service. In the same way, if a group of protesters was to march through town, we’d report those observations as well. 😉
I found an interesting article titled “6 Items To Carry If There Are Protests In Your State“. One of the items is labeled a ‘Special Communication Unit’. Mighty fancy name for a Baofeng, but okay. The author makes some good points.
- You can communicate with others
- You can monitor first responders
- If cell service is cut, you can still communicate
To that, I’d add:
- You can monitor protesters – have you noticed in much of the live footage that some of the ‘protesters’ are coordinating with radios?
So, what gear do you need in order to stay informed via radio?
At my desk (I work from home now) I keep a ‘Special Communication Unit’, lol, otherwise known as a Handi-Talkie or HT. It can be any brand, Baofengs are affordable and work great, other popular (and more expensive) brands are Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom. I hook it to a much better antenna like the one below to increase my range.
In my truck, I have a mobile radio & CB.
When driving my wife’s car, I grab my HT and plug in a mobile antenna. Patrick tells me some new mobile antennas are coming soon.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to remain ‘connected’ even if cell and internet service is down.
Stay safe – K