[aprssig] APRS in Disaster area

A.J. Farmer (AJ3U) farmer.aj at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 22:05:41 CDT 2005

I honestly don't believe anybody on this list is foolish enough to
"run into the fray" as a renegade operator at this point.

Yes, we all should be prepared and educated before the disaster
strikes, but let's face it, we have become accustomed to our "always
available 24x7, Internet connected, track anybody anywhere all the
time, APRS network".  We have become very good at operating in that
environment instead of an emergency environment.  We have been too
worried about fixing our overloaded network assuming it would always
be there in an emergency.

I think Bob is just "thinking out loud" and offering suggestions to
those that might be
preparing to deploy *under authority* so they have a good idea of what
to do when they get there.  Why?  Because unfortunately we haven't had
open discussions about it recently.  It's no different than the
discussions that have been sparked about generators and solar power.

If nothing else, we should take from this the need to practice setting
up APRS networks from the ground up with no existing infrastructure,
no power, and no Internet.  Field Day should be a minimum for doing

On 9/2/05, AE5PL Lists <HamLists at ametx.com> wrote:
> The time to do that "education" of the "ham authorities" is _before_ the
> emergency, NOT during.  If they do not already have APRS in their
> emergency plans, then individuals trying to "educate" them during the
> emergency is counter-productive.  As I have consistently said throughout
> my posts: "In an emergency situation, it is the AUTHORITIES in charge,
> NOT the individual operators who decide what type of communications are
> to be used and how those communications are to be used."  Those
> authorities are government, ham, whoever is coordinating and managing
> the available resources.  This is why your entire thread is
> counter-productive.
> Yes, it would be nice to see APRS used in useful ways, and it apparently
> is by the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief organization.  However, your
> posts specifically stated "I think it is far more productive to spend
> our efforts on the periphery of the disaster to get digipeaters in
> there." followed by a large amount of encouragement to operators to
> waste their time trying to set up a network when it has not been
> requested.  Leave the emergency communications to those on the ground in
> the affected areas.  Don't try to promote APRS with the potential
> volunteers which will prove to only be a harmful distraction if the
> organizations they are being deployed with want their services for other
> activities.
> Whether you intended to or not, your posts basically promote "ham
> anarchy" with regards to playing with APRS in the affected areas.  And I
> intentionally use the word "playing" because it has no place in the
> communications architecture if not desired by the authorities.  Again,
> if the authorities want APRS, let _them_ request it.  Just because only
> 2% of the ham population know about APRS (your number) does not justify
> trying to disrupt emergency operations to "educate" the others.
> 73,
> Pete Loveall AE5PL
> mailto:pete at ae5pl.net
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Robert Bruninga
> > Posted At: Friday, September 02, 2005 5:41 PM
> > Subject: RE: [aprssig] APRS in Disaster area
> >
> > >> Yes, of course, if they know how to, or have better ideas about
> > >> re-establishing the APRS network, then of course folllow
> > their lead.
> > >> But in most areas, only 2% of the HAM population knows
> > anything about
> > >> APRS and has no clue how to "instruct" its re-constitution.
> > >
> > >You missed the point, Bob.  In an emergency situation, it is the
> > >AUTHORITIES in charge, NOT the individual operators who decide what
> > >type of communications are to be used and how those
> > communications are
> > >to be used.
> >
> > Actually, I think we agree on all of this.  It was the ham
> > radio "authorities", then, that I was offering the
> > recommendations to about how to best re-establish an APRS
> > infrastructure.
> > As noted above, only 2% of HAM radio
> > operators (including many of the "authorities"
> > have no experience with APRS.
> >
> > My offering was to educate who-ever is in the "authoritative"
> > position to make it happen, on ideas on how to reconstruct an
> > ad-hoc APRS
> > network.   Did not intend for it to be implying
> > ham radio anarchy which seems to be how it is  being
> > intepreted by some...
> >
> > Bob
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A.J. Farmer, AJ3U

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