Welcome to Ojai Valley CERT




This blog provides information to those interested in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) activities in The Ojai Valley, CA. CERT works in partnership with OVARC (Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club) which provides Ham Radio Communications - http://www.ovarc.org/.

http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert is a good place to begin learning about CERT. The fact is, immediately after a major disaster, each of us will be on our own while Emergency Services Personnel (Fire, Hospital, Police, Hospitals, etc) figure out what happened and how to respond. CERT teaches valuable self-preservation skills and empowers each of us to be of service to ourselves, family, neighborhood and community. By integrating CERT with Ham Radio, citizens can effectively communicate actionable information from the field to the Emergency Operations Center -- help will be on the way sooner.

Please check out the CERT Calendar & Map at the bottom of this web-page and sign our Guestbook (top right of page).

Ojai Valley (CERT, Ham Radio, Red Cross)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ham Radio Licensing Opportunity ( 1/11/09)

This is a great opportunity for those interested in earning a Ham Radio License (Technician Class).

The program includes:

-Easy study material prior to taking the day-long class

-Attending class from 10AM to 2PM (in Calabasas, CA)

-Taking the exam between 2PM and 3PM

-Discussing what you can do with radios between 3PM and 4PM. Costs are (in advance) $20, which covers Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks and $4 for the exam fee.

Please see above for more details. Sign-up now!!! The pass rate is very high -- if somehow you don't pass, who cares -- you can do it again soon after!!!

Sunvival -- emergency preparedness supplies

Sunvival offers a new perspective on emergency preparedness and living harmoniously with nature. Most survival plans and resources focus on a 3 day duration. However, in disasters like Hurricane Katrina, or a major earthquake, survival skills and equipment for much longer than 3 days will be essential. Our mission at Sunvival is to help everyone be prepared for such events. Tools and skills needed for longer term emergency survival draw upon nature's renewable resources and can be used for fun in camping and everyday life.

Check out their web-site at: http://www.sunvival.com/home/

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upgrading Ham Radio License

There are three classes of Ham Radio License -- Technician, General and Extra.

The last couple years, I've been Technician Class.

Today I sat the written exam and passed the General Class -- wahoo!! This upgraded class gives a Ham Radio Operator additional frequencies (including High Frequency) and opens the door to becoming a Volunteer Examiner on behalf of the FCC.

The road toward upgrading my license included several forms of learning material:

-ARRL's General Class License Manual Book (www.arrl.org)
-www.qrz (Free online web-site where you can drill sample tests)
-www.hamtestonline.com ($49 for 2 years giving you access to all three classes).

The book is good for learning the material and self-testing by reviewing the questions and answers in the back of the book. Also useful if you're not at a computer.

QRZ is great for doing a quick self-test to see if you are retaining the information -- I found after 1 week of reading the manual my scores where exponentially better.

HamTestOnline is a paid service that essentially replaces the paper-based manual. The good thing is you don't have to flip back and forth to the questions --- they appear on the screen. You get immediate feedback if you get something correct or incorrect. If you were incorrect then it will dynamically ask the same question later (just as your brain is about to forget again!!). Only comment is that the book does a better job of explaining the details of the material.

By using all three forms of learning, I did really well on the exam this morning and was extremely relaxed throughout.

Of course, there are also audio programs (CDs typically) if you do a lot of driving and prefer studying that way.

Whatever your learning style is -- just go and do something!!!


Paul (KI6USA/AG) -- As a suffix to my callsign (KI6USA) the "/AG" means that I have a temporary license to operate with General Class privileges while the FCC processes the new license.