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General News · 11th February 2017
Amanda Glickman, CIEC
Cortes Island Emergency Communications

On Cortes, we’re fortunate to have a few very dedicated amateur radio operators who serve as our emergency commuications team. During the heavy snow fall we coordinate an amateur radio emergency net for the Discovery Islands at noon each day to check in and make sure that everything is okay. This is a habit we have whenever any event happens. When we lost 911 a few months ago, we immediately formed a net to check in with Quadra and Campbell River, who still had 911 capability.

All this being said, there is no value unless the Cortes Island Community is aware of this capability, and the value of radio in emergency communications.

For emergency preparedness, it would be helpful if households all had a set of FRS/GMRS hand held radios. These are license free, inexpensive “walkie talkie” style radios that are available at places such as Costco or Canadian Tire. They usually come in sets of 2-3. If you need assistance in learning how to use them, please contact Amanda and Barry and we will walk you through them. If the community would like a workshop on FRS/GMRS and emergency radio, please contact us and we will organize one.

Using FRS/GMRS, you should be able to contact one of your neighbours and/or a local amateur radio operator. Amateur operators are licensed in the use of amateur radios and their associated radio frequencies, which have the ability to connect to other operators and systems off island. There is a long history of emergency communications trained amateur radio operators performing vital communications functions during major events. If you are interested in obtaining your amateur radio license, please contact us.