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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 10,000 miles (give or take a few) away from home. I have a wife and three kids (13, 3, and 10mo.). Their awareness and preparation level is decent, considering the situation. My major concern is if there is an immediate IDLH-type emergency and there is no way of communication, what would you think would be the best way to keep your sanity until you get confirmation that everyone is OK?

<---Thinks too much when bored.
 

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Scavenger deluxe
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6,674 Posts
Not to sound funny,but do you know any Ham/SWR operators?they have a pretty damn good relay system and most of them are real patriots who'd bust a gut to help a soldier.
 

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I would agree, get to know some in your area and also if you have a bug out location they are going to, this way they can make contact when they arrive and a message could be relayed to you. One thing to keep in mind with ham's, when a big event happens in an area they tend to be tied up helping out the local L.E. people, at least in my area so getting a message may take some time, I know that would be enough to drive a person nuts wondering what was going on with the rest of the family.

Depending on the situation, lets say it was more localized but still required a relocation quickly a board like this one would serve well, a member could be contacted and a PM or even a post made that things are A OK. Remember even in a S.H.T.F. situation I don't see the entire country coming to a stand still, take 9/11 for instance, trying to get a land line or cell call into or out of NYC was next to impossible, I had people working there, took several hours to get a call through to find out they were OK and on the move, as big of an event as that was the rest of the country still had stable communications.

With that said a trip to a local library in the bug out location may be something to plan for as they typically have Internet access available, or even hotels have computer stations set up, a quick post on a site to say hey were on the move all is well, at least it puts your mind at ease
 

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Out In The Sticks
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97 Posts
Ditto what Homer said. A third (Or even more) party to use for a contact point if something happens is a great idea. The more you have in a network the more chance of at least getting a short message through even if you can't talk directly. If nothing else it would ease your mind to know everything was OK even if that was all you could find out.

As for the board thing I can attest to that working since I've used that to get in touch with a couple of people that I knew posted on a particular message boards that I had lost touch with.
 

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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Never really thought about that. I don't personally know any in my area, but I see a lot of personal towers and the "operator" style license plates all over. I'm going to go look around for some sort of organization in the Dallas area.
 

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, ETS (Equipped to Survive) friends in the affected areas got cell text messages to us outside of the affected areas and we called their family members and passed the messages.

Those of outside the affected areas first posted PM's (Private Messages) on the website and then waited for a reply. The replies came first by text messages and then fuller situation reports (SitReps) were posted on the Bulletin Boards and PM's.

It was far from perfect and the HAM Operators would much better fit your needs, however, any method(s) that work, will do the job. I think it best to have several means available and use them all!!!!
 

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Old hillbilly
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96 Posts
Never really thought about that. I don't personally know any in my area, but I see a lot of personal towers and the "operator" style license plates all over. I'm going to go look around for some sort of organization in the Dallas area.
Denny, I really don't know how to do this, but wish you a speedy return home to your family. And thank you.
 

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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Denny, I really don't know how to do this, but wish you a speedy return home to your family. And thank you.
Not a problem, bro! I'm flying home in 38 days (for a 10 day vacation at home).

<---Goes back to watching the clock
 

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ke4sky
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190 Posts
Satern - salvation army team emergency radio network

Never really thought about that. I don't personally know any in my area, but I see a lot of personal towers and the "operator" style license plates all over. I'm going to go look around for some sort of organization in the Dallas area.
The SATERN network assists military deployed with family communications
See SATERN
 

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Amateur Radio call sign KM4GDU
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51 Posts
I know this might sound funny but Facebook would be a good place to post messages for family and loved ones.

easy and quick to get to and to update.

Create you account and get your friends and family on there that way you do not have to post to a forum that the whole world can see.
 

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Pincushion
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278 Posts
Denny - I'd be happy to relay messages or check on your family if ever needed. I live in Ellis county and I'm all over Dallas almost daily for my job. PM me if you want my info. I grew up in Mesquite and all of my family still lives there. Most of them are teachers in the MISD. What part of Dallas does your family live in?
 

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Denny, you wouldn't be so worried if you knew that you and your family had a plan in place before an emergency event occurred.

I would recommend you and your family members make a plan together while you are home on leave. Begin by doing a risk assessment for your home locale. What's the most likely hazardous events that could pose a risk to your family? Often its some severe weather event, but it could also be a hazardous materials release if a RR or interstate are nearby.
Plan for what your family should do in your absence if they need to evacuate the residence quickly. What to do if the kids are in school when something happens, or if they are elsewhere. Identify a rally point, both just outside the house and another at a known location further away.
Include how family members will communicate with each other.
During local or regional disasters its often impossible to contact someone in the area by phone. Its easier to make a long-distance call than a local one. Use a friend or relative's phone number who is located out-of-state. This will allow a family member to call and relay their status and location if separated from the others.
I think you will be less uneasy about the safety of your family once you return to duty if you know that a plan is in place for them.

BTW, thanks for your service to our country. Hoooyah!
 

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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Denny, you wouldn't be so worried if you knew that you and your family had a plan in place before an emergency event occurred.

I would recommend you and your family members make a plan together while you are home on leave. Begin by doing a risk assessment for your home locale. What's the most likely hazardous events that could pose a risk to your family? Often its some severe weather event, but it could also be a hazardous materials release if a RR or interstate are nearby.
Plan for what your family should do in your absence if they need to evacuate the residence quickly. What to do if the kids are in school when something happens, or if they are elsewhere. Identify a rally point, both just outside the house and another at a known location further away.
Include how family members will communicate with each other.
During local or regional disasters its often impossible to contact someone in the area by phone. Its easier to make a long-distance call than a local one. Use a friend or relative's phone number who is located out-of-state. This will allow a family member to call and relay their status and location if separated from the others.
I think you will be less uneasy about the safety of your family once you return to duty if you know that a plan is in place for them.

BTW, thanks for your service to our country. Hoooyah!
That's the problem. We have plans in place, but if there's some sort of communication failure, I just don't want to panic. If services aren't available for phones. I when I lived in California during the '89 earthquake (October 17th to be exact), there were no comms of any type. I was in San Jose (where the epicenter was) and my parents were in San Bernardino. I just don't want a repeat. I really think I will be less uneasy when I'm home for good again.

On a good note, I will be home in 32 days, just in time for the little one's first birthday! (not that I'm watching the clock or anything ;) )
 

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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Denny - I'd be happy to relay messages or check on your family if ever needed. I live in Ellis county and I'm all over Dallas almost daily for my job. PM me if you want my info. I grew up in Mesquite and all of my family still lives there. Most of them are teachers in the MISD. What part of Dallas does your family live in?
LOL... small world. Is Nathan playing baseball this Spring?
 

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That's the problem. We have plans in place, but if there's some sort of communication failure, I just don't want to panic. If services aren't available for phones. I when I lived in California during the '89 earthquake (October 17th to be exact), there were no comms of any type. I was in San Jose (where the epicenter was) and my parents were in San Bernardino. I just don't want a repeat. I really think I will be less uneasy when I'm home for good again.

On a good note, I will be home in 32 days, just in time for the little one's first birthday! (not that I'm watching the clock or anything ;) )
Many military units have organized a wives group that works to distribute up to date info. and to provide support to families during deployments. Does your unit have such a group? They really do a lot of good work to help in minimizing the need to worry like you describe.
 

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jebrown
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154 Posts
Social web sites for information on family members is not ideal. The ablitiy to get online in a disaster area may take several days to weeks.
Ham radio operators perfporm this service as fast as possible as has been stated.
The Red Cross also compiles a list on those in a disaster for welfare inquiries. Family members can check on family members by contacting the Red Cross.
I have been away from home during many disasters while voluteering with the Red Cross. I knew my family was well trained and well prepared to handle what ever happened. I did call to check on them when possible but knew that they would be fine. California earthquake veteran from 1955 to 1992. Oklahoma sever storms veteran from 1992 until today.
The better prepepared any one is the better the will fare in any disaster.
 

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Praying for America
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Many military units have organized a wives group that works to distribute up to date info. and to provide support to families during deployments. Does your unit have such a group? They really do a lot of good work to help in minimizing the need to worry like you describe.
I'm a Department of Defense Contractor. We have a limited EAP (employee assistance program), but I think the wife of many units take the initiative themselves. I absolutely love the brotherhood that the military creates within itself.
 
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