We have a few pictures on Flickr and are working on the after-action report from our participation in the Contra Costa County-wide CERT activation and communications adventures.

Thank you to our 24 amazing volunteers who made this a great experience! Some of the lessons we learned:

  • Our local FRS/GMRS radios work better than expected, as long as we’re not using the same channel as another nearby City.
  • Learning about radio traffic (FRS and ham) was really helpful when we added a background conversation on our cell phones, explaining what was going on, answering questions, and sharing experiences. (Thanks Cliff, we’re going to do more of this.)
  • Pairing up newly trained volunteers with some of our more practiced volunteers worked well. (Thanks Steve, good tip.)
  • Scribes who helped record our radio traffic were really helpful in documenting what went on. We need more scribes to help at each command post. Our Emergency Operations Center (the comms trailer parked in front of City Hall) was very fortunate to have two scribes for our four radios and three radio operators. Looking back, the event makes a lot of sense through these records.
  • We were not set up to use fldigi to send digital information with our radios. Passing messages was “old school,” asking people to slow down and repeat their messages so we could get all the detail in. More practice is needed.