The importance of having a radio with you at all times!
A first hand account and After Action Review by Charlie Hotel-04
Last night on the way home from working Albuquerque and there was a real scratchy signal on the Megalink (NM 2 Meter radio net). I picked up and worked the signal and it turned out this person was stranded in a snowdrift in Colorado. Using a hand held Baofeng radio, he was making intermittent contact to the San Antonio repeater on the NM/Colorado border. I live in Edgewood, NM. After about an hour, I got a clear enough signal to determine he was in the Rio rande Natl. Forest. An hour later on Forest Road, 250 Called the Rio Grande county Sheriff and they started a search for him. As the evening wore on they were able to pin point him in the Platero Lake area. He was rescued and all was well.
AAR (After Action Report)
1 Always have an alternative method of Communications. A 2 meter radio and a license made the difference between him spending the night WARM at home instead of a VERY cold Colorado night stuck in a snow drift. 2 The County Sheriff had no idea how to make use of Ham operators to triangulate his position . If we could have got Colorado operators then the search time would have been cut drastically. 3. Upgrade the radio to a Nagoya NA-771 antenna. The "RubberDuck" antenna is at best just ok. The bigger antenna is tuned and gives a lot more transmit power. An example, I was At Freedom Ridge Ranch in Red Hill NM and could easily talk via repeater from Red Hill to Show Low using my UV82 and a the 17 inch antenna. I then took off the 17 and put on the factory antenna. Nothing at all. Oh the air miles to Greens Peak is about 30 miles. If you are a "prepper" and do not have a GOOD radio plan do it. If you do not have your FCC license, GET IT! Do not fall in to the "I'll wait until the SHTF 'cuz then it won't matter" You can not legally get on to the repeater network and PRACTICE your radio skills. By buying a set of radio and then putting them away you will have NO idea how to use them or even program them with out a computer.
This first hand account and After Action Report is a HUGE reminder to have your comms gear with you at all times! Take the time to charge your batteries, check your equipment and train!