When all else fails, amateur (HAM) radio works

Over the last week, wildfires have been raging across most of the state of California.

On Wednesday, one of my life-long best friends named Donna, who lives about an hour south of San Francisco, Calif., and some of the fires out there, had internet but no phone service in her town of Belmont, California.

Donna posted two photos commenting: “This is the smoke in the Bay Area! Smells like a bonfire. The firestorm is about an hour away. We are fine here, but in the northern Bay Area there are 115,000 acres destroyed and fire is still raging. Praying for their safety ”

Seeing that, I posted a reply expressing my happiness at finding out she and her family were alive and well. But I also wanted to offer any help I could provide, be it from my tiny town of Waldoboro, Maine, over 3,000 miles away, even without my having a currently set-up FM radio rig and antenna that could reach her.

Using the resources I had access to, namely the internet, to assist, I posted an online link for her to see California’s online fire maps and their containments and a link for her to hear online scanner Police/Fire/EMS calls in her county.

Read rest of the story here.

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