Radio communication, weather, and emergencies
We had two storms about a week apart the last two weeks of the year. The first dumped 18 inches (45 cm) of new snow, the second had winds gusting to 50+ mph (80+ kph).
The second storm knocked down a full-size tree in our neighbors woods, tore my ham radio HF antenna support mast from the ground twisted it horizontal, and eventually brought the whole thing crashing down. Fortunately, while the car is often parked under it, we had moved the car to a safer place when the storm arrived.
Rather than put the antenna up again, I've decided to sell it and move towards simpler antennas that will be more robust in bad weather.
The local Skywarn amateur radio group provided a continuous stream of reports to our local National Weather Service office, telling them where the power was out, when the trees started crashing down, and general weather conditions throughout the storm.
There are so many things to think about when planning emergency communication. Not just "will the power stay on, and do I have backup power?", but "will my emergency antennas stay up in a serious storm?"
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