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As Storm Clouds Rolled, Ham Radio Folks Busy

Advertizer Gleam
09-27-2006

By Mark Bodem, MCARS Secretary-Treasurer

As storms tore through the area Friday afternoon and evening, volunteers were working to help protect all the citizens of Marshall County

For over 4 hours, 13 specially trained storm spotters followed with precision each storm threat as it crossed the county line.

This group of volunteers is the Marshall County Auxiliary Radio Service commonly known as MCARS. These elite ham radio operators were guided by the state-of-the-art radar system in the Marshall County EMS so that they could safely provide true ground facts of what weather threats existed as it was happening.

While the National Weather service and the local television station can use radar to determine the weather in the air, none can tell what is touching the ground.

Without the skilled reports via ham radio, a wall cloud would not have been spotted near Douglas as it entered the southern most part of the county. As it turned out, the siren system of the affected areas were instantly set off to alert everyone of the extreme threat.

 

MCARS is the only trained group of ham radio operators working directly with the Marshall County EMA. They have been in existence for over 3 years. They are unique in placingtrained spotters in the field as well as manning the Emergency Operation Center radio room to allow for instant updates on storm progress.

WE WOULD like to remind everyone that September is National Prepardness Month.

Now is a perfect time to make sure you and your family are prepared for disaster. Practive your household escape routes and meeting spot. Check your emergency food, water, flashlight battery supply and "Go-Kits."

A common activity for MCARS is promoting emergency prepardness via ham radio. To stand ready for any emergency, this group uses training exercises to test the limits of the group's readiness for any emergency.

This all-volunteer unit is organized under the Local emergency Planing Commission (LEPC) to provide emergency comminucation to Marshall County.

For further information, call the Marshall County EMA, 256-571-7329.

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