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)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ventura County Announces Recipients of the 2009 Emergency Planning Council Awards

The Ventura County Emergency Planning Council will honor ten organizations and two individuals for their contribution to emergency services in 2009 on Thursday, December 10, 2009. The presentation of awards will be held at 9:00 a.m., during the quarterly Emergency Planning Council Meeting, at the Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Justice, Pacific Conference Room, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA.

Best Emergency Preparedness Training – Countywide CERT Training and CERT Refresher Training – Ventura County Fire Department

Best Emergency Community Program – Countywide CERT Training – Ventura County Fire Department

Here's the full story from Fillmore Gazette

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ham Radio Rapid Response equipment show-and-tell

Tom Sullivan (W8MKL) gave a very informative presentation during today's Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club Monthly Meeting -- 8AM, Third Wednesday at Holy Cross Pre-School on Maricopa Highway. The public are always welcome.

Tom is part of the Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service (VCACS) Rapid Response Team -- this means that he is ready to roll at a moment's notice with a bevy of radio communications equipment to deploy on-site where needed.

In this picture you can see the truck's wheel holding in place an extensible pole with various antenna attached - Tri-band high-gain, directional antenna, High Frequency Buddipole. Upon arriving on-site, this antenna system can be assembled in less than 30 minutes. Of course, you can also see the antenna farm on the truck's cab which is permanently mounted.

In this picture you can see a custom-built storage unit which holds the various pieces of communications equipment, with the capability of sliding out components if needing separately.

Components include:

- Icom IC-706 (High Frequency Radio) for long-distance voice communications
- Pactor III modem (connected to Icom) for sending long distance packet (text) traffic.
- Alinco DR-135 (2 Meter for both voice traffic and local packet (text) traffic)
- Kantronics KPC-3 (TNC modem) - similar concept as Pactor, but local communications
- Radio Shack 25 AMP power supply if able to plug in - otherwise on deep-cycle batts
- Laptop for using Packet Software.

Paul (KI6USA)

H1N1 Clinic was a success in Ojai

The Ojai Valley Emergency Response Team Triad (CERT, Ham Radio and Red Cross) were in full force at the recent Ojai H1N1 Clinic.

Over 20 Ojai Valley CERT members responded, primarily managing vehicle traffic in the Parking Lot (brrr...), guiding cars to correct parking lots (there were several events that evenng), and ensuring pedestrians could enter/leave the clinic safely. CERT also volunteered inside the clinic providing crowd control and other services.

Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club assisted by programming the AM 1610 Radio Station with pertinent information about the clinic, including securing flashing road signs on Highway 33/150.

American Red Cross were kept busy assisting with various paperwork processing for over 860 vaccinees throughout the day.

Ventura County Public Health Staff were very impressed with the volunteer turnout, including the relatively large response from those seeking vaccinations.

(Crowd Shot)

(Volunteer Command Post - we followed Incident Command System Structure and all CERT members carried two-way radios).

(CERT members with bright ANSI vests)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mass Vaccination Clinic (H1N1) comes to Ojai

Ojai Valley CERT Graduates:

Details for Mass Vaccination Clinic (H1N1):

Overview: This is a great opportunity for Ojai Valley CERT to be recognized as a viable pool of volunteer talent to be called upon when requested by County agencies

Event: Mass Vaccination Clinic (H1N1)

Requesting Agency: Ventura County Public Health Department requests Ojai Valley CERT to provide volunteer assistance (crowd control, parking lot management, other assignments as needed)

Location: Ojai Nordhoff High School, 1401 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, CA.

Date: Tuesday, December 8

Time: Covering shifts between 1PM and 9PM (ideally working 3 to 4 hour shift). Note: If only available for a smaller shift, still consider volunteering.

Attire: CERT Vest, Long Sleeved CERT Shirt (if available), Flashlight. No need for full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

ICS: This event will follow the Incident Command System - you will only be receiving specific instructions from Ken Williams or his CERT IC replacement.

Web-Site: Additional information from Ventura County Public Health on H1N1 --http://www.vchca.org/h1n1

If interested in volunteering, please email Ken Williams (Designated Ojai Valley CERT Incident Commander) at miramontecert@roadrunner.com. Provide your name, contact number and hours available.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review of the Icom IC-V8-SPORT (2M Ham Radio)

For those looking for an inexpensive 2M Ham Radio for around $100 new, please take a look at the information provided by Tim Shates (K6CTS)

Review of the Icom IC-V8-SPORT

This 2-meter, handheld transceiver could be the ideal radio for the newly minted ham coming from CERT and interested primarily in emergency communications. Currently available at AES for only $99 (http://www.aesham.com/index.html), this rugged radio is very affordable. Running on low power it is ideal for local area CERT operation using assigned simplex frequencies.

As to performance, we used it at the 2009 Oxnard High School Band Competition and it exceeded our expectations. On low power (0.5W) it easily hit the Olivas Park repeater, and it ran all day on six AA batteries. Out of the box it was first tested on high power (5.5W) and from the Pacific Palisades coast easily hit the CARA repeater (http://www.cara.nu) on Catalina Island over 20 miles away.

Quality, simplicity, anywhere Tough construction. The green polycarbonate front panel and aluminum die-cast chassis will provide years of durability. The 54×132×35 mm compact ergonomic body is easy for carrying anywhere. 16 button keypad for easy-to-access functions The function guidance is labeled on the 16 buttons. So you can easily manage all of the functions equipped on the IC-V8 by pushing Function key and shortcut keys. In addition, a channel number or an operating frequency can be entered from the keypad directly. Channel selection, volume, squelch and subaudible tones can be assigned to the up/down switches or rotary selector at your convenience. Set mode and initial set mode By adapting set mode and initial set mode menu, set mode allows you to arrange often-used menus easily and quickly. 5-character alphanumeric display Letters and numeral character names provide easy recognition of each channel. S-meter, keylock, tone and duplex setting icons show various operating status at glance. Up to 100 often used channels can be stored into the memory with channel name, tone and duplex setting. Furthermore, one call channel provides one touch channel access for a frequently used channel. CTCSS and DTCS operation standard 50 CTCSS and 38 DTCS tone squelch operation codes (encoder and decoder) provide quiet standby and allows you repeater access.

CERT class starts in January, 2010

I'm pleased to announce that CERT Training will be offered - sponsored by Ventura County District 1 Supervisor Steve Bennett - this coming January, 2010 in The Ojai Valley.

It is important to fully seize this opportunity by having residents (minimum 18 years old) register and attend classes. This is also a great opportunity for those that are needing make-up classes to complete the training.

The program is covered over 6 Tuesday evenings and 1 Saturday AM. Times and dates are: 6:30PM to 9PM on January 19th, 26th and February 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and concluding with a Graduation Exercise on Saturday 27th from 9AM to noon.

Location is the Oak View Park and Resource Center -- 555 Mahoney Ave, Oak View.

Please register by calling Cindy Cantle at (805) 654-2703.

Ojai OK! Drill 2009 Results

Here are the results of the Ojai OK! Drill (performed on October 14th, 2009).

This is a link to my post on the OK Drill Web-site.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ojai Valley News - Best of Ojai 2009 Award

It was a nice surprise to see this year's Ojai Valley News "Best of Ojai" 2009 -- awarded "Best Volunteer".

While humbled, I would be remiss to accept the award solely, as my efforts are only realized through the great teamwork I enjoy within the Ojai Valley Emergency Response Team (Collaboration of Ojai Valley CERT, Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club and American Red Cross).

Ojai Valley CERT has made great strides in the last couple years in its participant growth, leadership and organization.

Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club has had some impressive growth in the last year and the Ham Operators continue to show a level of professional concern and response within their duties.

The Ojai Team of the American Red Cross is a fun group to work with and are always there to assist (Ojai OK! Drill) and have participated together in events (July 4th Parade, Ojai Day, etc).

It's really awe inspiring to work hand-in-hand with three separate organizations that have strategically different and distinct skill-sets and roles, yet can all mutually work together in times of need.

Thank you to the Ojai Valley News and those citizens that voted -- I accept the award on behalf of OVERT (Ojai Valley Emergency Response Team).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Article about Ojai OK! Drill in Blog - In Case of Emergency Blog

My new friend in the Blogosphere (John Solomon), is the author of the popular Blog -- InCaseOfEmergencyBlog.com

He recently wrote an article that does a great job summarizing what the Ojai OK! Drill is all about.

Please go to: http://incaseofemergencyblog.com/2009/10/08/ojai-ok-youre-ok-so-communitys-ok-readiness-drill-involves-public-cert-responders/

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ojai Day - Saturday October 17th - requestng assistance

Ojai Day is on Saturday, Octboer 17th in Libbey Park.

We are looking for CERT Graduates to assist with managing the booth.

Please sign-up here:


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Registration reminder for Certainly CERT

Operation Certainly CERT (Ventura County CERT Refresher) is just around the corner -- Saturday, November 7th (all day).

Everyone needs to make sure you go to the following link to register. Print out the release forms for photo and liability and bring completed forms with you.

Operation Certainly CERT

Friday, September 18, 2009

CERT Volunteers needed for Ojai Day -- October 17th, 2009

Mid October is going to be a busy month...

October 14th at 7PM is Ojai OK! Drill -- http://okdrill.org

October 15th at 10:15AM is Great American Shakeout -- http://shakeout.org

October 17th all day is Ojai Day -- http://www.ojaiday.com/index.htm

The Ojai Valley Triad (CERT, Ham Radio and Red Cross) are going to be grouped together for this event.

We are looking for CERT Grads to be willing to spend some time at the booth talking about CERT, and also assisting with Ham Radio and Red Cross.

Please email ojaivalleycert@gmail.com to let me know your availability.



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Inciweb - Incident Information System

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:

1. Provide the public a single source of incident related information
2. Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community

A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.

Please visit this very informative site at: http://www.inciweb.org/

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Certainly CERT Refresher Training - Sign-up!!!

Certainly CERT Refresher Training

Operation Certainly CERT, our first ever countywide CERT drill, will put 250 Ventura County CERT (including Ojai Valley CERT) members to the test in a full day series of exercises in each of the 4 CERT core competencies: fire suppression; search and rescue; simple triage; and rapid treatment. Several Ojai Valley CERT members have put a considerable amount of effort into the planning of this drill being held by Ventura County. I will be in charge of the "Cribbing & Lifting" exercise and am looking forward to seeing a great turnout.

Register *NOW* to reserve your place in this unprecedented event slated for Saturday, November 7, 2009, at the Ventura County Fire Department Headquarters Training Facility at the Camarillo Airport.

Pre-registration for the first 20 Ojai Valley CERT members is open *NOW* on the VCFD/CERT web page:

Participation will be limited to the first 250 people. To help equalize regional participation, each of the 10 Ventura County CERT regions will be allowed time *NOW* to pre-register up to 20 local participants.

Once our alotted 20 Ojai Valley slots are filled, anyone else who wants to take part will be invited to apply again beginning August 31, when registration will be open to general CERT membership on a first- come- first- served basis to fill any remaining spaces.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can register at any time.

A liability waiver and photo release forms will accompany registration. Please print, sign, and bring them with you to check-in the morning of the event. Instructional handouts, schedule, and a map will also be available from the site soon.

For more information, call Alexander (389-9722) or Ramona Armijo (910-9585) of Ventura County CERT.

Register *NOW* on the VCFD/CERT web page:

Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Shakeout Exercise - 10/15 at 10:15AM

45 Days to the 2009 ShakeOut!

At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, millions of Californians will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in The Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill ever!

September is National Preparedness Month, and you'll be hearing from many organizations about how to update your disaster plans and restock your disaster supplies kits. It's also time to register for the 2009 ShakeOut! If you participated in the 2008 drill or not, this is your once-a-year chance to practice how to be safe during earthquakes: Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Over 5.4 million southern Californians participated in the 2008 ShakeOut. As a statewide drill in 2009, this number could be doubled... but we can only include if you register at www.ShakeOut.org/register. As of August 31, over 3.7 million participants are registered statewide!

There are many ways to participate in the ShakeOut in 2009. At the least, plan a "drop, cover, and hold on" drill involving everyone in your household. You can also discuss your overall disaster plan with your family or roommates, secure the contents of your home so they won't fall, and restock your supplies. The updated ShakeOut.org website is the central source of information for how to participate, learn about your area's earthquake hazards, and find local events, news, and participant lists for all California counties.

Everyone can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and organizations are all invited to register. Talk to your employer, neighborhood association, faith-based organization, or others about registering as well. Your involvement in the ShakeOut insprires many others to register and hold their own drills!

Register today at ShakeOut.org

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Letter re: Flu Season

Emergency 72 Hour Kit

Emergency 72 Hour Kit
What is an Emergency 72 Hour Kit?
• This is the bag you grab as you go out the door in an emergency “incident” (Earth Quake, Flood, Hurricane etc.) It will help keep you more comfortable until help can finally get to you. It will also help you sleep better knowing you are ready for the incident when it occurs
• If Murphy's law prevails when the incident occurs it will be in the dark of night, in the rain, on the coldest night of the year. Plan for that
• There will probably be no..Electricity, gas or water. Plan for that
• Police, fire departments and ambulances may not be able to get to you. Plan for that
• Inspect Kit every six months (batteries, shelf lives etc)

Shelter and Warmth
• "Emergency" space blanket or bag
• 5-Heavy duty plastic trash bags (2.5 mil) (many uses)
• 25' of small gauge rope
• Poncho/ rain suit
• At least one change of clothes
• Gloves
• Hiking shoes/boots
• Hat

Communication equipment
• FRS radio (1 set) with charger/extra batteries
• Hamm Radio with charger/extra batteries (if qualified)
• Transistor or wind up radio
• Cell Phone with charger/extra batteries

Food and Water
• Rotate food and water every six months (or by expiration date)
• One gallon per person per day (2 quarts drinking 2 quarts cooking)
• Iodine water purification tablets
• Canned juices
• Instant coffee/Tea
• Only get food you like, try the food before the incident
• Individual ready-to-eat canned food or
• Freeze dried camping foods (MRE’s, LERPS etc)
• Comfort items ( hard candy, gum, nuts, dried fruits, Trail mix etc,)
• Protein or fruit bars (Cliff bars etc)
• Soup
• Jerky
• Peanut butter
• Dry Cereal
• Crackers
• Sugar, salt, pepper
• Vitamins
Heat, Light, and Signaling
• Waterproof match case
• Waterproof strike-anywhere matches
• Disposable lighter
• whistle on lanyard [beware of metal whistles they freeze to lips in cold]
• Stainless steel double-surface signal mirror
• AA or AAA flashlight with fresh and spare batteries
• AA or AAA headlamp with fresh and spare batteries (you may need both hands)
• Portable cooking device ( Sterno, Coleman etc)
• Light sticks (Cyalume)
Knives and Tools
• Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
• Wood axe
• Gas shutoff tool
• Can Opener (if not in SAK or Leatherman)
• Something(s) to cook in (Pot/ Pan)
• Knives, fork, spoon, ladle, etc (Mess kits are easiest)
• Re-sealable plastic bags
• Duct tape

First Aid
• Prescription Medications
• First Aide Instruction Booklet
• Triangular bandage
• Flexible fabric band-aids of various sizes
• Hand wipes or hand sterilizer
• Insect repellant
• Sun screen
• Aspirins or Tylenol
• Pepto Bismol / Anti acids
• 5 -3"x3" sterile gauze pads
• 5-4”X4” sterile gauze pads
• 1 roll 2" cling bandage
• decongestant tablets
• Blister pack of throat lozenges
• Neosporin antibiotic ointment
• Extra safety pins
• Scissors
• Thermometer (non mercury non glass)
• Tweezers
• Adhesive cloth tape
• 2 pair sterile gloves
• Instant cold compress
• Burn ointment
• Eye wash solution
• Anti-diarrhea medication
• Laxative

• Telephone change
• Money at least $50.00 (small bills) (credit card machines probably won’t work)
• Pictures of family, roommates, pets (in case they get separated)
• Extra pair eyeglasses in unbreakable case
• Deck of cards/ small set of checkers etc
• Copies of important docs (wills, birth, marriage certificates etc)
• Copy of important phone numbers

Personal Hygiene
• Disposable razor
• Comb/brush
• toothbrush
• toothpaste
• toilet tissue
• feminine hygiene products
• soap/shampoo

For the Baby
• Formula
• Diapers
• Bottles
• Powdered Milk
• Medications
• Moist Towelettes
• Diaper rash ointment
• Favorite doll or toy

For your Pet
• Food
• Water
• Chew toy
• Medications
• Leash
Use a quality Back-Pack(s) or Duffle(s) to carry all the above
Put an ID on your bag Keep where you can get at it
Keep a light source at the top of the pack, remember Murphy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moonlight at the Ranch -- Santa Paula Fundraiser for Fire & Police

Moonlight at the Ranch is an annual fundraiser for the Santa Paula Fire and Police Departments that offers guests a not-to-be-forgotten, fun experience.

Moonlight at the Ranch started in 2007 and with each year's unique theme has become "Ventura County's signature event!" featuring delicious cuisine, fine wines and hearty brews from the region's best! Live music for dancing and other entertainment make each year's Moonlight more than a fundraiser, but rather THE celebration of the year!

With legendary astronaut and Apollo 11 rocket hero Buzz Aldrin as Honorary Chairman, the August 22 "Moonlight at the Ranch III: Out of This World!" promises to be a never to be forgotten space adventure.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the Atlantic Article on Craig Fugate (FEMA Admin)


Craig Fugate, the new head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Barack Obama, is an unusual choice for the job, historically speaking....

Article by Amanda Ripley

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Attaching a $5 Gas Wrench to Gas Meter

This is a picture of my building's gas meter with attached instruction card and inexpensive ($5) gas wrench I purchased at local hardware store.

Discuss with your CERT instructor for specifics on how to use a gas meter wrench.

We learned that it's important to inspect, after an earthquake, the meter for gas leaks (hissing sounds). Do NOT automatically turn off the Gas Meter without checking first -- it will turn off all the pilot lights in the building, and then the Utility Company has to show up to turn back on again.

(Rotate picture clockwise, if necessary.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ojai OK wear

Hey... it could happen.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Good Samaritans in California are now protected from civil liability

Schwarzenegger shields Good Samaritans from lawsuits
Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Good Samaritans in California are now protected from civil liability, under legislation signed this week by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The two new laws, which took effect immediately, were drafted in response to a state Supreme Court decision late last year that said state law only partially protected those who voluntarily act as Good Samaritans from possible negligence lawsuits.

"Now Good Samaritans have no reason to hesitate to responsibly help someone in an emergency out of fear that they might be sued," said state Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles.

His legislation -- Assembly Bill 83 -- affords protections to anyone assisting at the scene of an emergency, regardless of whether they are trained personnel, unless they act recklessly.

The bill, which passed the Legislature unanimously, was supported by the Civil Justice Coalition of California, a tort reform group.

"This legislation encourages Californians to look out for each other at a time when public resources are all too scarce," Feuer said. "I'm proud of the broad coalition that came together to make this common sense law possible."

A second civil liability-related bill - this one by Republican Sen. John Benoit of Riverside -- expands legal protections for providing any emergency care. Senate Bill 39 shields volunteer workers who perform disaster services.

"Good Samaritans should never again have to second-guess the consequences of helping," said Benoit, a former Highway patrol commander. "Thankfully, the chilling effect that last December's court ruling had on people willing to help in times of emergency has been drastically diminished because of this law's immediate implementation."

In December the state's high court in a controversial 4-3 ruling found that California law protects only medical professionals from civil damages when they attempt to care for someone in an emergency situation.

The case followed a 2004 Halloween night crash in which one woman pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle. Her rough handling of the victim, who suffered spinal injury, is believed to have contributed to the victim's paralysis. The paralyzed woman then sued her co-worker who tried to help her.

In 1980, the California Legislature enacted a law that states "no person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages results from any act or omission."

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CERT-Los Angeles CERT refresher - 8/16/09

CERT Los Angeles is holding a refresher on Sunday, August 16th. CERT began in Los Angeles in 1985, so they've got quite good at this.

This is open to all CERT Graduates (even those outside Los Angeles).

Please go to this web-site to register, if interested:

You will need to register, including faxing down your Ojai Valley CERT certificate.


The next CERT refresher will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2009, at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks.

The drill is open to all graduates of CERT training programs.

Come practice and refresh the skills you learned during the CERT Basic Training.

Get more information and sign up now at http://www.cert-la.com/refresher.htm

Linda Underwood for www.cert-la.com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Upcoming Ham Radio Licensing in The Ojai Valley!!

Calabasas to Ventura to Santa Paula and now to The Ojai Valley...

When: Saturday August 29th 2009
10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Sign in, Study & Snacks)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Exam)

Where: Oak View Community Resource Center
555 Mahoney Avenue
Oak View, California

Sponsors: Ojai Valley CERT
Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club
Ventura Harbor CERT Group

Contact: Sean Kellythorne

Cost: $25.00 covers snack, expenses and the $4.00 Exam Fee

Registration is limited. Pre-registration required.
Reserve your space now! Mail a $25.00 check to:
Sean Kellythorne
133 Don Felipe Way, Ojai CA 93023
We email you all the study materials on receipt of your check.

NYT article on Ham Licensing in Calabasas

Kudos to Norm Goodkin for pulling of another very successful Ham Licensing Class -- for 75 teens.

Other kids are consumed with cellphones, text messages and Tweets, e-mails and Facebook postings.

But 75 teenagers in Calabasas have become licensed amateur radio operators and hope to lead a new wave of shortwave enthusiasts.


Fun with moulage (disaster make-up) in Fillmore

On Saturday July 18, the City of Fillmore Fire Department hosted a simulated mass causality incident at the El Dorado Mobile Park. The goal of this event was to provide members of the El Dorado Block Captain Program the opportunity to practice basic first aid and triage skills they learned about during a previous weeks training.

The training scenario included a magnitude 7.0 earthquake triggering the collapse of the community clubhouse located within the mobile home park. Approximately 25 victims were placed inside the clubhouse tangled amongst various obstacles and debris. To add to the realism the windows of the building were blacked out, the lights in the building shut off and theatrical smoke added to the area – all to simulate post-earthquake conditions.


Priority Pre-Registration for Certainly CERT Exercise open Aug 24th

The Certainly CERT Exercise on November 7th will open up for priority pre-registration between August 24th and August 30th. They will only accept 20 participants from each CERT Group (for example, Ojai Valley CERT). After August 30th, the registration will open up again and cap at 250 registrants.

I will keep this blog posted when the Ventura County Fire Department opens up the web-link for registration.

We are looking for a good turnout (20 registrants) and representation from The Ojai Valley for CERT graduates that want to participate in the exercise.

Please note that if you are planning to participate as support staff (victim, Exercise Supervisor, etc) then there will be a separate registration for that.


The priority pre-registration for Op CC is August 24th - Aug 30. I encourage all our members to enroll on August 24th to ensure that they get a slot for the Op CC exercise. Each area is limited to 20 slots.

After August 30th there will be open enrollment for anyone. Enrollment will remain open until 250 are enrolled. I recommend that our CERT folks who do not get enrolled during the closed enrollment week that they enroll on August 31 anytime after 12 midnight.

This will be a great experience for those participating, so make sure you get enrolled early.

For those participating in support roles you will be enrolled as CERT support personnel and not included in the 20 person restriction for participants.

An option is to volunteer for a support activity. There are a number of openings still available:

Victims - see what it is like from the other side. Must be willing to moan. 50 needed
Communicators - ACS and ham licenses require. Willing to listen. 5 needed
Parking personnel - help park cars, hand out lunches (eat as well). 15 needed
Team leader - Fire suppression, Can put out fires lead a group and keep cool 1 needed
Gophers - get stuff, return stuff, move stuff, find stuff, not lose stuff, 10 - 15 needed
Assistant Safety Officers - make sure exercises are safe. Be willing to work all day. 5 needed.
Altogether we will need at least a hundred support personnel to make this exercise work.

Every one will get lunch and there will be plenty of water. There will be no shortage of work so you will not get bored.

Major pay off - learn a lot of things, meet a lot of fellow CERT folks, and have a good time.

For more information and how to get involved contact your CERT Neighborhood Area Coordinator right away.

Sean Kellythorne
Chief Planner for Operation Certainly CERT
November 7th 2009
0800 - 1700
Ventura County Fire Department
Regional Training Center
Camarillo Airport, Camarillo.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness (August 9 - 13)

Take a look at this document to see the list of speakers and agenda items.

Looks like Citizen Corps (which includes CERT) is really being taken serious by FEMA and other agencies.

Congratulations to Roger Kehr and his team from Cottonwood, Utah for being one of the finalists within the Collaborative Preparedness category. We've shared many stories and ideas over last year.

Roger will be chatting with Craig Fugate (FEMA Administrator) about our OK Drill.


Friday, July 31, 2009

In Case of Emergency Blog - worth reviewing

Check out this Blog -- tons of great info within it on Personal Preparedness.


Ojai OK Drill -- Weds, Oct 14th at 7PM

It's on again!!!

The Ojai OK Drill is set for Wednesday, October 14th, starting at 7PM. Counting completes by 8PM with a radio communication completed by 8:30PM. Our goal last year was 250 and we counted 700. This year, the goal is 1400 signs counted.

Please go to: http://okdrill.blogspot.com for more details. Twitter: OKDRILL

If you are a member of CERT and are needing clarification, or to be put in touch with your local coordinator, please reach out to me.

Paul Garth

Head of FEMA commenting on Personal Preparedness

FEMA Head Says Personal Preparedness “Must Be National Priority”; Requires “Considerable National Attention” — “Every Elected And Appointed Official At Every Level of Government Must Make It A Priority”

Pretty clear directive from head of FEMA -- Craig Fugate.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Great Southern California Shakeout (Oct 15th)

Get Ready to ShakeOut!

At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, millions of Californians will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in The Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill ever!

Now is the best time to register, so that you have time to plan your drill. If you participated in the 2008 drill, we hope that you will register again to practice how to be safe during earthquakes, improve your disaster plans, and get prepared. To see which organizations are already participating in your area, visit your county’s web page on http://www.shakeout.org.

Over 5.4 million southern Californians participated in the 2008 ShakeOut. As a statewide drill in 2009, this number could be doubled! But we can only count you as a part of the ShakeOut if you register at www.shakeout.org/register. As of July 15th, nearly 2.7 million participants are registered statewide.

There are many ways to participate in the ShakeOut in 2009. At the least, plan a "drop, cover, and hold on" drill involving everyone in your organization or business. Or you can exercise your full emergency plan. The updated ShakeOut.org is the central source of information for how to participate, regional earthquake hazards, and local events, news, and participant lists for all California counties.

Everyone can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and organizations are all invited to register. Your involvement in the ShakeOut insprires many others to register and hold their own drills. Please encourage others to follow your lead.

If you were a registered participant in 2008, you can log in with your access code and simply update your information. You can request your access code if you have forgotten it.

Register today at http://www.shakeout.org!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

VCFD web-site with slick CERT info & video

Take a look at the Ventura County Fire Department web-site. It's displaying a loop of the "People Like You" CERT DVD.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

CERT Supplies - Online Store

At the recent July 4th Ojai Parade, one of our CERT members was sporting a CERT ballcap and t-shirt.

Checkout http://www.cert-kits.com/ for more details.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ojai Valley CERT marches in Ojai July 4th Parade -- and wins a prize!

(Photo Courtesy of Steve Adams)

The Ojai Valley CERT marched in Ojai's July 4th Parade, in series with Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club and American Red Cross. Everybody had a great time and the numbers were a noticeable increase from last year. We found that twirling the Neighborhood banners was a crowd pleaser, so will continue efforts next year with CERT pom poms. Along with an increase in marchers, we also proudly towed the City of Ojai's Mass Casualty Unit Trailer.

I had placed our entry this year for judging, and... WE WON!!! First Place Category Winners Section (Marching/Walking).

Thank you to all who participated and cheered us on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

President Obama message about Personal Responsibility

Interesting comments from our President on personal responsibility needed in preparation for any disaster.

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Posted on Fri, May. 29, 2009
Obama: Hurricane readiness is residents' responsibility
Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Ahead of Monday's official start of the hurricane season, President Barack Obama urged Americans in vulnerable areas to take responsibility for their own safety and to get ready now.

He said all Americans should make plans now for how they'd handle an emergency, and to have a ready stock of non-perishable food, water, first aid kits and radios.

Obama said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency that the federal government is determined to be ready for an emergency. However, he stressed that the first responsibility falls with individuals, and then with the state governments.

"We just saw some statistics coming out of Florida indicating that a huge percentage of people in hurricane areas simply don't make plans. They don't have a plan, they don't have a set of contingencies that will allow them to respond in an effective way," Obama said.

He said those who can prepare themselves should do so now, lest they burden the government during an emergency and distract it from helping those who can't help themselves.

"I hope that message of personal responsibility sinks in," he said.

Obama was among the many Democrats who criticized the response of the federal government to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, particularly the response by FEMA and its former administrator, Michael Brown, who had little disaster management experience. President George W. Bush at first praised Brown with his now famous comment, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," then later fired him.

After a briefing at the National Response Coordination Center, Obama praised newly installed FEMA chief Craig Fugate, a Florida emergency response veteran.

"We've welcomed Craig Fugate, who has hit the ground running and is already doing an outstanding job not just leading this briefing but leading this excellent agency," Obama said.

At the White House, officials stressed that Americans who've moved since the last hurricanes into areas such as Florida probably don't know how to get ready or what to expect.

"Areas that have been hit recently actually tend to be more responsive to this," said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

"We are particularly concerned for areas where there's been a tremendous population growth and have not experienced a hurricane, where these people do not really fully comprehend or understand the types of dangers that face them."

Thanks to steady migration to cities in Florida and up the East Coast, he said, nearly 50 percent of the population hasn't experienced a hurricane.

He urged all Americans to check a government Web site, www.ready.gov, that is tailored to local areas for tips on how to prepare.

"Waiting 24 hours before a landfall is too late. It's too late for making plans and in many cases it's too late to even evacuate," he said.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

CERT Class -- Starts June 17th (Register Now!!)

Ojai Valley CERT is extremely pleased to announce an upcoming CERT class

Next Training Class Starts
June 17th, 2009

Supervisor Steve Bennett’s office is registering Ojai Valley residents for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). The 7-week course, sponsored by the Ventura County Fire Department, covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. CERT participants receive training, practice and learn how to work as a team in their neighborhoods. No prior experience or training is necessary, and there is no fee for the program.

Classes will begin on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM and will run the following 5 Wednesdays. The last (7th) class will be held Saturday July 25th from 10 AM- Noon where drills associated with CERT training will take place

Classes will be held in the multi-purpose room at the Oak View Park and Resource Center, 555 Mahoney, Oak View.

To register call Supervisor Bennett’s office at 654-2703.

Ham Licensing Opportunity - June 6th (Santa Paula)

Get your FCC Amateur Radio Operator’s Technician License in ONE day using our proven System

When: Saturday June 6th 2009
9:00 am – 3:00 pm (Sign in, Study & Snacks)
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Exam)

Where: The Santa Paula Community Center
540 Main Street
Santa Paula CA 93060

Sponsors: Santa Paula CERT Group
Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club
Ojai Valley CERT

Contact: Sean Kellythorne KI6MGI@yahoo.com

Cost: $21.00 covers snack and expenses.
Bring $4.00 cash for Exam fee.

Pre-registration required!!!
Registration is limited. Reserve your space now!
Mail a $21.00 check to:
Sean Kellythorne
133 Don Felipe Way
Ojai CA 93023
Study materials and directions will be emailed on receipt of your check.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ojai Valley CERT Organization Map

I'm trying out this web-based mind-mapping tool:

Please go to this link to see the Ojai Valley CERT Organizational Structure.

This map will, over time, display all the rendezvous points and CERT teams.

List of Ham Radios to consider

Thanks to Sean Kellythorne (KI6MGI) put together this list of Ham Radios to consider for your first/next purchase.

Friday, April 17, 2009

OVN article on Ojai Valley CERT

Ojai Valley News posted an article I wrote on our recent CERT Graduation and Exercise.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ojai Valley CERT class graduated on 4/4/09

The most recent Ojai Valley CERT Graduation was April 4th, 2009.

Ojai Valley CERT continues to grow as another class of 40 students held their final class, graduation ceremony and drill exercise Saturday, April 4th.

A last minute venue change required the class to complete their training at the New Wine Harvest Fellowship Church in Ojai -- thanks to Pastor Diane Bailey (KI6VCN), the East City Ojai CERT Neighborhood Area Coordinator.

A major addition to the group’s assets is access to the City of Ojai’s Mass Casualty Unit Trailer (MCU). The CERT group provides frequent inventory checks, basic maintenance, and cross-trains Ojai CERT members in equipment and supplies. Several CERT Ventura County Auxiliary Communications Service members are prepared to relocate the trailer on a moment’s notice, under the direction of Chief of Police Chris Dunn in event of emergency/disaster. Ventura County Fire Department provides the MCU training. Administrative oversight, maintenance and supplies are provided by Mike Culver, Ojai Director of Public Works.

The trailer was towed to the New Wine Fellowship Church grounds by Ken Williams (KI6VDT) and Paul Garth (KI6USA). Ojai CERT graduates set up the emergency equipment, tent; generator and floodlights. Stretchers, triage tarps, flags and other supplies were put in place during their final class. The new graduates have the experience of using real emergency equipment in a controlled training.

Brian Brennan, Executive Aide to Ventura County District One Supervisor Steve Bennett presented each graduating CERT member with a Certificate and Go-Bag. Brian offered encouraging remarks, and delivered a message of goodwill from Mr. Bennett.

Each CERT new graduate was introduced to their Neighborhood Area Coordinator and integrated into their team. During the drill the CERT graduates maintained their neighborhood groups, as they rotated through the various exercises, which allowed them to work together and form partnerships.

The purpose of the CERT Drill is to review the various practical aspects of the training which includes: Incident Command System; Communications; Search & Rescue; Cribbing & Lifting; Fire Suppression; and Medical/Triage. The exercise was a simulated earthquake affecting the site.

Kate Nelson (KI6YBB) volunteered as the Incident Commander and established the response teams.

Fire Captain Lazenby managed the Fire suppression exercise with Jake Bailey (KI6VCO). Kathlyn Miller (KI6VDI) assisted with Medical/Triage. Diane Bailey (KI6VCN) assisted with Search & Rescue. Beth von Gunten (KI6YBL) managed the cribbing & lifting drills. Ken Williams (KI6VDT) provided the Incident Commander with communication support. Paul Garth (KI6USA) assisted with Logistics. Sean Kellythorne (KI6MGI) ensured Safety during the drill.

The Ojai Valley CERT leadership team are all Ham Operators, supported by the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club. Twelve CERT graduates earned their Ham Radio licenses the prior Saturday.

Congratulations to all CERT graduates. Look for us in the 4th of July Parade, and please contact Cindy Cantle at (805) 654-2703 to register for upcoming CERT classes.

Upcoming American Red Cross Training events

The Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross holds frequent training programs which could be of interest to CERT Graduates -- First Aid, CPR, Shelter Management, etc.

For any volunteer effort, it's sometimes challenging to decide which hat to wear when assisting during a disaster. There are two areas to continually develop over time: additional skills/recurrency & awareness of another group's operations.

While CERT and Red Cross have functionally different operations immediately after a disaster, there may come a time to "switch hats" to assist other groups if needed.

Disaster Action Team (DAT) Mini-Institute

Saturday April 18th and 19th is a free Disaster Action Team (DAT) mini-institute at the Arc Enrichment Center at 210 Canada St. This is an excellent training opportunity and is put on in Ojai only a couple of times a year. It is a two-day training session that covers all the basics of Red Cross service and qualifies you to participate as a Red Cross responder.

If you want to extend your full participation in the Ojai Valley "triad" of CERT, Red Cross, and Amateur Radio, sign up for this event. Go out to www.arcventura.org and register for the class. The Institute covers Orientation, Mass Care Overview, and DAT Workshop on Saturday. On Sunday will be Shelter Operations and Shelter Simulation.

First Aid & CPR

Also under Red Cross training is a special class on Wednesday and Thursday this week (15-16 April) from 6:00 to 10:00 PM for First Aid and CPR. The CPR class covers infants, children, and adults - this is not common; usually the class is adult CPR only. If you are already an RC volunteer the cost of the training is $10. If you are not an RC volunteer you can still take the class for $60. Also highly recommended, and you know if you are not up-to-date on your CPR and F/A you need this. Go to the website and register -- www.arcventura.org

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ventura County Fire Dept Video - Wildlife Fires

Please take a couple minutes to watch this informative video, sponsored by City of Ventura, which interviews Fire Department First Responders on what to do to prevent and prepare for Wildfires in the County.

The information applies to CERT preparedness for any disaster/emergency.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ham Radio Programming, Etiquette and Protocols

Disclaimer: The following material is the opinion of Paul Garth (KI6USA), based on his experience and understanding. Please send any corrections or suggestions to mrpaulgarth@gmail.com.

Simplex Frequency Communication

*Radio to Radio communication without need of a third party repeater
*Both transmit and receive frequency are the same
*Line of sight requirement typically reduces effective distance between radios
*For example, Ojai Simplex Frequency is: 146.520

Repeater Frequency Communication

*Repeater Output Frequency is entered on your radio
*Repeaters are located centrally on top of high terrain
*Greater distance between radios possible (Ojai Valleywide & Ventura Countywide)
*Very useful if each radio is on either side of a mountain with repeater on top
*Frequency transmitted on your radio to repeater is offset by negative .60
*For example, Receive 145.400 and Transmit 144.800
*Radio may need to be programmed for negative offset (-)
*Note: The offset (which can be negative or positive) typically is chosen by the range the repeater output frequency lies within. See chart below. In our case, both repeater systems require negative offset. Useful to know that repeaters can be linked to each other, thereby increasing the effective range.

Private Line Tone (PL)

*Ensures communication transmitted to the correct repeater
*Look up Repeater Frequency for applicable PL Tone (for example 127.3)
*Not all repeaters have PL Tones -- for example, Ojai Repeater

Channel Assignments

*Channel Numbers assigned by local Ham Radio Groups
*Useful to communicate tactical changes, for example - "Switch to channel 15"
*Ojai Valley (Area 5) Repeater is Channel 5
*Ventura Countywide Repeater is Channel 9
*Ojai Valley (Area 5) Simplex is Channel 15
*Recommendation to initially program these three frequencies into applicable channels

Ojai Valley (N6FL) Repeater Frequency

*145.400 (programmed into radio)
*Negative offset (-.60)
*No PL Tone required
*Channel 5

Ojai Valley Simplex Frequency

*146.520 (programmed into radio)
*Simplex - no negative offset (transmit and receive on same frequency)
*No PL Tone required
*Channel 15
*Note: This is the backup frequency if N6FL repeater should fail

Ventura Countywide (WA6ZTT) Repeater

*146.880 (programmed into radio)
*Negative offset (-.60)
*PL Tone 127.3
*Channel 9

Ventura Countywide Simplex/repeater output

*146.880 (programmed into radio)
*Simplex - no negative offset (transmit and receive on same frequency)
*PL Tone 127.3
*Channel XXX - need to check on this
*Note: Simplex Frequency used if Repeater Fails

Ventura Countywide Simplex

*147.570 (programmed into radio)
*Simplex - no negative offset (transmit and receive on same frequency)
*No PL Tone required
*Channel 10
*Note: This is the backup frequency if WA6ZTT repeater should fail

Preference always goes to Emergency Traffic

*During conversations, ensure enough pauses to listen for any traffic
*Begin each scheduled net with a callout for any pending emergency traffic

Get good at listening

*Primary skill of Ham Radio is to listen and document important/needed traffic
*Listen on frequency before transmitting
*Write down seemingly important traffic - it maybe a one-time emergency callout
*Conserve battery by minimizing unnecessary chatter

Think before speaking

*Who are you going to call (what is their call-sign?)
*What is your call-sign?
*What is the information you need to communicate/relay (think about this first)
*Be brief and to the point
*No long-winded speeches
*If transmitting more than 20-30 seconds say: "break", key-up briefly to listen for traffic, and then resume transmission
*Avoid "Ahhh", "Ummm"

Plain Talk

*Do not speak with codes (no place for "10-4" in Ham Radio)
*Speak in normal, plain English
*If using a repeater, not necessary to say "Over"

Press and Hold the Push-to-Talk (PTT) button for half a second before transmitting

*Repeater needs to open a channel for your transmission
*Avoid clipping (omitting) first second of your transmission

Speak across the microphone

*Do not speak directly into the microphone
*Speak across the microphone
*Distance between microphone and lips is about 2 to 3 inches
*Note: This avoids distortion and over modulation

Transmit the call-sign of party you are calling first

*For example, "W6OEU, this is KI6USA - radio check"
*I am calling W60EU
*My call sign is KI6USA

FCC Requirements for using Ham Radio Call-signs

*Do not transmit (to test the repeater) without transmitting (at least) your call-sign
*During a conversation, transmit your call-sign every 10 minutes
*Note: In a two-way conversation, one party can transmit both call-signs for the record
*Transmit call-sign at the end of conversation (for example, "This is KI6USA, clear")
*If using tactical call-sign (for example, Shadow2), also include FCC call-sign after

Recommendation to purchase and use headset

*For outdoor communication, I highly recommend purchasing and using headsets
*Keeps both hands free
*Reduces need for high volume and therefore saves battery drain
*Useful for loud ambient noise -- still able to hear radio calls when School Marching Band passes
*Do NOT use VOX -- this allows transmission just by the volume of your voice and can cause unwanted transmission

Ensure batteries are charged up

*Recommended to purchase and carry a spare battery
*For a long-day event, charge both main and spare batteries within 48 hours of event (charge one battery overnight for each day leading to event)

Net Control Etiquette

*Net Control Operator manages the net
*Be patient when waiting on Net Control Response -- they maybe occupied listening to another frequency
*Listen before transmitting
*Ask for a radio check before beginning lengthy transmission
*Keep transmissions short and concise
*Always ask permission from Net Control to "go direct" when wishing to speak directly with another person
*When finished with direct transmission conclude with, "Back to net, "
*When acting as Net Control, follow applicable scripts

No Profanity

*Do NOT swear -- pretty simple request

No Personal Information transmitted

*Do not communicate personal information (for example, "Larry -- I live at xxx and I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks")

No business conversation allowed

*Do not communicate business information
*Exception is discussing Ham Radio equipment sales

Transmissions when working for a served agency

*When operating for a served agency (for example, Los Angeles Marathon Staff), transmit only the information they are requesting to be transmitted
*Do not invent/create information to be transmitted
*Do not relay information you've heard on-the-air to the Press - direct them to a Public Information Officer. For example, do not communicate, "We've been pretty busy today, there were 3 accidents and 1 heart attack victim".

Keep track of your Shadow Assignment

*Keep a body-length away from your assignment at all times
*Keep an eye on their movement and anticipate their movement and direction
*Do NOT take your eye of your assignment. Do not make eye contact with anyone else.
*If close to your assignment and other people, helpful to wear a headset and pretend to be listening to traffic -- this sounds strange, but makes sense when you do shadow work in a busy environment. You must always be listening for calls anyway
*Do NOT allow bystanders to engage you in conversation which could distract you and lose sight of your assignment - you can't legally relay to a non-Ham Operator what you heard anyway.
*Proactively write down information that your assignment may need later

Dual InBound Receive

*If the situation warrants, and your radio has this function, consider programming dual inbound receive
*This allows your radio to receive two separate frequencies and transmit on one primary frequency
*Useful if you are a Shadow working a Marathon (can listen to primary Shadow Frequency, while monitoring Mile Net). More information you can relay to your assignment the better

Avoid being cocky in offering logistical opinions to served agencies

*Because Ham Radio Operators are schooled and practiced in circuit discipline while enjoying superior communication capabilities, it is possible to observe obvious areas of improvement within a served agency's operation
*Remember that your primary function is to relay information on behalf of served agency
*Avoid offering strong opinions for improvement which can annoy and frustrate the served agency

Weekly Radio Nets for Ojai Valley

*Tuesday, 7:00PM to 7:15PM (Net Control Rag-Chew and early check-ins)
*145.400, negative offset, no PL, channel 5
*Informal conversation, but FCC rules apply
*Don't worry too much about communication protocol -- get on the air!

*Tuesday, 7:15PM to 7:30PM (Net Control weekly OVARC net)
*145.400, negative offset, no PL, channel 5
*Formal net, announcements, check-ins, request "direct to" if needed

Weekly Radio Nets for Ventura County ACS - Auxiliary Communication Service

*Tuesday, 7:30PM to 8:00PM (Net Control)
*146.880, negative offset, PL 127.3, channel 9
*Formal conversation
*ACS Leadership Updates and announcements
*Area Reports (# check-ins)
*Note: Whomever is Net Control for Ojai at 7PM represents us at 7:30PM
*Important Note: Unlikely that, outside of our Net Control Operator, others in Ojai will transmit on this net

Recommendations for newly minted ham operators

*Plan on being on each week's net
*Use the rag-chew portion to practice communicating
*Listen to the Countywide net for best practice communications
*Practice communications outside of the weekly Tuesday nets -- make a "sched" with someone and chat
*Do not hesitate to request assistance - Ham Radio Operators are notorious for offering their time to get people up and running and communicating effectively
*Please understand that seasoned Ham Radio Operators take their unpaid volunteer communication efforts and assignments extremely seriously and apply exacting dedication. Our trademark phrase, is "When All Else Fails - Amateur Radio". Ensure that for each radio transmission you represent the Ham Radio community professionally at all times and continue on the tradition of excellence.
*Request to be Net Control where a seasoned operator will sit next to you during the net to give you assistance and moral support
*Note: One day you'll be net control for both Ojai and the County -- it's all done by script and not that scary. It's still nice to have someone next to you, though!
*Remember that Ham Radio is not just about communicating during emergencies -- there are practical applications like communicating GPS coordinates from the hills north of Thacher High School to an operator sitting at home doing GoogleMap searches
*Have fun and don't take all this too seriously, even though some time it is serious
*Continually learn about Ham Radio. Read Books. Upgrade to General Class and Extra Class. Build Antennas. Play with Electronic Kits to build circuits, etc.
*Join ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League - www.arrl.org) which represents Ham Radio Community to the FCC -- you receive an interesting monthly magazine along with membership benefits
*Learn something and then pass on the information to someone else who can benefit -- everything you've read so far was communicated directly to me by various people over last several years.
*"Amateur" just means you cannot be paid for communicating, it does not mean anything less than behaving professionally.
*Eagerly recruit everyone you know to become a Ham Radio Operator, but still maintain the mystique and "magic" of radio communication
*Regularly attend monthly OVARC meetings (3rd Saturday, 8AM at Holy Cross Preschool)
*Sign-up for various events (Camarillo Christmas Parade, Run For your Life, Santa Clarita Marathon, Los Angeles Marathon, Coyote 2 Moon, etc).
*And so on... and so on...

73 de KI6USA (Paul)

Ham Radio Operator Positions available for upcoming Los Angeles Marathon (Memorial Day, 2009)

Over the years, I've been a big fan of volunteering for Marathons. I've worked several New York Marathons as a Finish Line Marshal (over 400 runners cross the finish line - 20' wide- per minute) and then continued with similar positions for Los Angeles Marathon.

Since 2005, when I became Ham Licensed, I continue to Volunteer for the Los Angeles Marathon -- started off as Mile Net Operator and then moved on to Shadow Operator for Acura Bike Tour Race Director.

It's quite a trip to be part of the communications loop between Department of Transportation (stationed at the Command Center in Downtown Los Angeles) to Ham Shadow Net Control to me to Race Director to guy with starter pistol -- all within 10 seconds of DOT clearing the course.

It's a great opportunity being part of a large operation with multiple radio nets and exacting communication protocols. You will find that the art of listening is required more than talking, but they give frequent opportunities to do radio check-ins.

Please consider signing up -- I just did.


Paul (KI6USA)


News from the LA Marathon-Volunteer Edition
February 2009
Happy New Year from the staff of the LA Marathon. We have some exciting things to share with you.

Marathon Date/Course Change
Race to be held on Memorial Day - May 25, 2009
The 2009 Los Angeles Marathon promises to be the start of a new era, both for race participants and the entire Los Angeles community. We're building your race-and our organization that supports it-around the transformational power of sport, inspiring athletes and connecting communities. In that effort, we're pleased to announce that Honda has announced its return as presenting sponsor of the marathon and Acura is back as the title sponsor for the bike tour. We've hired Nick Curl, a respected veteran of the racing world who spent more than a dozen years affiliated with the marathon, as our race director. We are also announcing a return to a runner-friendly course, the old "loop" course that starts and finishes downtown.

In speaking to hundreds of runners in recent weeks, we've heard lots of comments about the race. All of those comments inform our decision-making process. One idea that we heard frequently and which we can implement immediately is to improve the race route. We are excited to announce that this year we will begin and end the race in Downtown Los Angeles. We're using the same popular course that was used from 1996-2006. This route highlights a variety of great neighborhoods throughout the city, sending participants through the Crenshaw, Koreatown, Hancock Park, and the Mid-City neighborhoods along the way. It also produced the fastest LA Marathon time to date-a 2:08:40 by Benson Cherono in 2006.

2009 LA Marathon Volunteers Needed
Online Registration Now Open
It is already time to start planning for the 2009 LA Marathon and we cannot do this without our wonderful volunteers!
The LA Marathon is looking for community assistance in the area of volunteering the week of May 18 to May 25.
Volunteer registration is available online at www.lamarathon.com. Volunteers can choose to sign up individiually or as groups. To register, fill out the online form and you will receive a confirmation email.
Registration is available for Race Week Office Support May 18-25, Run/Ex/09 Expo on May 23 & 24 and Race Day May 25. Details about your volunteer assignment will be emailed out to you in early May.
To register as an Individual, click HERE.
To create a Volunteer Group, click HERE.
To join a Volunteer Group, click HERE. (You will need the password provided by your group's leader.)

Contact Us/Questions
If you have any questions regarding volunteering for the 2009 LA Marathon, or are interested in working as a volunteer captain/coordinator please contact Stacy Embretson at (310) 271-7200 or via email stacy@lamarathon.com.

We hope that you will all join us for the 2009 LA Marathon.
Thanks for your support,

The LA Marathon Team

Ham Radio Licensing model being planned in Ojai Valley

This web-site gives a good overview of what is being planned in Ojai Valley for Ham Radio Licensing.


FEMA Publishes Ham Radio Credentialing Guidelines

FEMA Publishes Credentialing Guidelines

Mon Jan 5, 2009 6:41 pm (PST) FEMA has issued Credentialing Guidelines for deployed personnel during disasters. The notice was published in the Federal Register on
December 24, 2008. There is a 30-day window for public comment on
this proposal.

Amateur Radio would be covered in SECTION 4-Voluntary, Charitable and
Not-For-Profit-Organizations. It just provides general guidelines
and encourages organizations to meet the standards of the local
agencies with which they work.

The docket identification is FEMA-2008-0015.

Here is the link:


Ham Radio BookMarks

The following are a list of useful web-sites for Ham Radio Reference


440 Mhz J-Pole Antenna plans by dxzone.com
An automatically tuned 7-30MHz mobile antenna by dxzone.com
COMET-DAIWA-MALDOL Antennas & Accessories - Master Page
HF portable antenna - 40 to 6 meters by dxzone.com
IC706-FT817 portable whip antenna by dxzone.com
J Pole Antennas J-Pole
J Pole calculator by dxzone.com
M1IOS - Wonder Whip antenna and tuner by dxzone.com
Magnetic loop for 30-10 M by dxzone.com
MAX-GAIN SYSTEMS, INC. Fiberglass Price List
Right Frame scales
Strong Signals - Antennas
Vertical antennas Manufacturers Antennas HF Vertical Antennas
Water tuned loop antenna by dxzone.com


All-Battery.com - Rechargeable batteries & Chargers
Battery Eliminators - Two Way Radio Battery Eliminators from TwoWayBattery.com
Battery Systems - Long Beach, CA
NiMH rechargeable batteries - AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V
Rechargeable AA Batteries, NiMH & NiCad
Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable Battery Pack Li-ion NIMH NICd Li-Po Battery Charger
STANDARD C558A Two Way Radio Batteries at www.batterylink.us
Welcome to BatteryJunction.com - our prices won't leave you drained!

Ham Sites

eHam.net Reviews - Antennas HF Mobile & Accessories
Ham Radio Home Page - QTH.COM by KA9FOX! Classified swap ads for amateur radio, ham radio and more
Login - Google Maps APRS
mods.dk - Modifications for radioamateur
QRZ Forums
QRZ Ham Radio
The DXZone ham-radio, shortwave and cb-radio guide

Ham Tests

eHam.net Ham Radio Practice Exams
QRZ Ham Radio

Home pages

arrlweb ARRL Home Page
IRLP - Internet Radio Linking Project
Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC)
Ventura County ACS-ARES




AES Home page
Alinco Electronics Welcome Page
All Electronics Corp - Parts, Supplies and Components
Argent Data Systems
Byonics -
Elecraft (r) Hands-On Ham Radio
Fair Radio Sales Company Inc.
Hamcity.com - Ham City
HRO Ham Radio Outlet Worldwide Supplier of Amateur Radio Electronics Equipment
Icom IC-718, Icom 718 Amateur Transceiver
MFJ Enterprises
Nifty! Ham Accessories, Ham Radio Guides Home Page
R&L Electronics 800-221-7735
RF Parts Company™ Amateur Radio Catalog
Texas Towers, The Online Ham Radio Store
Universal Radio shortwave, amateur, scanner and CB radio since 1942

National SOS Radio Network -- America's free, accessible-by-all emergency communications system.