If Cell Phone and Internet service fails, and you can’t reach 911 or Emergency Services...
How Will You Keep Your Family Safe?
Over 50% of US Homeowners and 70% of Renters depend entirely upon cell-phones to stay in touch with our friends, our families, and Emergency Services. Cell phones, in turn, depend upon billions of dollars of technology not to fail.
But the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in the frequency and intensity of storms, fires, and power shutdowns – events that disrupt our vital communications services and place lives at risk.
As the recent PG&E power shutdowns have shown, El Dorado County is no exception. Critically, we are in the middle of a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone according to CalFire.
How will you keep yourself, your family and friends safer in a disaster when landline, cell phone, and Internet service fails?
Our Neighborhood Radio Watch Program offers a solution...
Radio For The Rest of Us
For years, Amateur Radio Operators (aka "Hams"), have used radios when normal communications fail. Radio also aids First Responders during disasters. However, it’s become increasingly critical for "The Rest of Us," our families, our friends, and our community, to also have access to reliable communications when cell phone and Internet services fail.
Getting a Ham Radio license requires passing a test beyond the interests of most. But there are radio alternatives that citizens can use without passing a test.
The El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club helps local Fire Safe Councils, Homeowners Associations, and Public Officials to set up Neighborhood Radio Watch programs to stay safer during emergencies. Working with Community Leaders, we help residents learn how to use simple, affordable, GMRS Radios to communicate when the power is off and cell phone and Internet service is disabled.
Links to Our Neighborhood Radio Watch Resources:
- What is "General Mobile Radio Service" (GMRS)?
- GMRS FAQs
- GMRS Channels and Frequencies
- GMRS/Radio Term Glossary
- Getting Your GMRS License
- Radio Safety Nets
- GMRS Radio Equipment and Costs
- Documents and Brochures
Our Neighborhood Radio Watch Program:
- Free Talks on the vulnerability of our public cellular and Internet communications system
- Free Workshops on How To Use Police and Fire Scanners, How To Use Two-way Radios, Understanding Fire Behavior, and the Incident Command System
- Testing and Advice on the best radios to buy for you and your family
- Community Radio Repeater installations to extend neighborhood radio coverage
- Assistance in setting up community “Safety Nets” and storm-watch “Check-in” Nets
NOTE: Neighborhood Radio Watch Programs ARE NOT a replacement for Emergency Services such as Police, Fire, the Sheriff's Office or 911. These programs are intended solely as a backup communications solution When All Else Fails.
The El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club is a "not-for-profit," all-volunteer Community Service organization. Members are not reimbursed for their Membership or for services provided to the Community. All of the Community Radio equipment we furnish is provided at or below our out-of-pocket costs, and our general support services are offered free of charge. Radio acquisition, programming, and training workshops provided by our Club Members are free of charge. If people need help installing their equipment at home, unpaid Volunteer assistance may be available. Donations to the Club to sustain our efforts are gratefully accepted but are not required nor expected.