special by Stephen Bishop KF4SKJ
Local state and federal emergency management officials have long appreciated the unique capabilities and dedication that can often be found in amateur radio. Emergency management officials in Fayette County, Kentucky turned to HAM radio early in the day on Thursday March 5 as the county prepared for a winter storm that earned the hash tag #snowmageddon2015. At the request of the county Director of Emergency Management, Fayette County’s ESF-2 Coordinator reached out to the amateur radio community for reports on changing weather conditions. Not surprisingly the HAM community responded. Reports of changing weather conditions flooded in helping officials in Fayette County, KY brief government personnel and keep vital departments advised so their staff could most effectively respond to the winter weather. As many of of the reports were also posted on the kyham.com e-mail list this information was available to amateur radio operators’ area wide and in-turn was used by multiple local government area wide in planning their response to the changing weather conditions.
As this weather event began early during the business day many Ham’s were busy at work, and as many counties had not officially opened their Emergency Operations Centers, there were not Ham operators staffing communications equipment at these centers or at their home shacks. E-mail became the primary communications media, and while not radio, provided a reliable means of communications.
As ESF-2 Coordinator for Fayette County my responsibility covers many aspects of communication. One of my most versatile assets is amateur radio. I appreciate your interest in radio communications and your dedication to your local community, state and region. As a volunteer in my position, and a licensed Ham, I can truly appreciate the time it takes to volunteer and the satisfaction many of us gain while serving our communities
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Division of Emergency Management