Good Morning from Soggy East Central Florida!
If you’ve been watching the WX, most of us here in the Northern Florida Section – East Coast are still damp! (Some places really got flooded in my area of the state). Seems like a front settled over us for a few days and drenched us pretty good – some areas got 6-10 inches of rain in a day! But most of the water receded quickly due to the mitigation efforts since the Historic Hurricane season of 2004. Rain is better than a hurricane, tornado or flood! Just don’t need so much, so fast, at one time!
Please join me in welcoming our newly appointed Section Emergency Coordinator, Bob Mitchell K4HKG of Longwood, FL. Bob has much in public safety credentials and a command position in the Reedy Creek (Walt Disney World) Fire Department. Also join me in welcoming a new Assistant SEC, Strait Hollis, KT4YA of Eustis, FL. Strait also has an excellent background in EmComm and planning and both of these fine gents are long time hams. The NFL Section is fortunate to have both volunteers. The first challenge? Updating and enhancing the NFL Section Emergency Communications Plan, some 4 years old, and coordinating that document with the plans from the WCF and SFL sections.
Speaking of which, the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is this Saturday, October 4th; many of our ARES groups are gearing up for some exercises with their local served agencies for emergencies, weather induced, manmade or otherwise! Hopefully, the participation prepares us better to provide communications when needed.
Two weeks ago I participated in the ARRL “Red Badge Day”, which provides points for working various ARRL officials and staff to those folks working towards ARRL Centennial Awards. While I planned to make some QSOs, I was NOT prepared for the onslaught of people trying to work me. As a current SM, I’m worth a whopping 175 points! I started on RTTY, did some CW, and then finally phone. The pileups were so bad, I had to work split like a DXpedition! And it was still a chore to pick out a call from dozens calling. I now can emphasize with the DXer who has a pile up. It’s work! (But fun – I’m not complaining!) I’ll be doing some more as I have time between now and the end of the year.
I am also slowly making my way around to a few ham clubs/groups: Flagler Emergency Comm Assn, NAQCC-FL, Central Florida QRP Group, tomorrow night the Orlando ARC, Saturday morning the Orange Park Hamfest. I’ll be present all day Saturday, October 11th at the Melbourne Hamfest, which is the Florida State Convention. I also just had a great visit with Bob Little KK4OAI, the ESF2 fella at the Florida State EOC in Tallahassee. My hope is “visit” a few groups a month as I have the opportunity…..and unfortunately, since I work Tuesday and Thursday nights right now at UCF Daytona, it sure seems like every club meeting is on one of two days! Be patient, I’ll have a few of these days off coming up soon!!
Yes, this month is the “official” start of the Fall Contest Season. Activities abound! If you haven’t in a while, get on the air! Any mode, any band (that you’re licensed for of course!). Try a new mode, work a contest, or any of the dozens of activities that are on the immediate horizon. Have fun!!
I hope to see you at a hamfest, convention, club meeting, ARES meeting, or on the air!
Everyone counts!! We’re a team!
Stephen W Szabo, WB4OMM email@example.com
ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager