Old Palo Alto
Emergency Services Volunteers
June 21, 2024, 11:36 am pacific


Drills are once a quarter and usually take about 5 minutes. It is a great time to test your radio and location. I will start by reading the script below. It is a good refresher of general principles for using your FRS radio. If you are pressed for time, feel free to check in late. I will accept check ins for 20 minutes.

A note on the Damage Assessment part of the drill. Follow THIS link to a random house that you can evaluate and use that to fill out your damage assessment form. You can follow the link on that page to the answer sheet to compare your answers with what the city got. This part of the drill will make you familiar with the Damage Assessment Form and make me familiar with reporting the results, and make the people I report to familiar and so fourth". These reports have two purposes. First, if you need help, we can ask the city for help. We also have a CERT team that can provide help if the city cannot, which is highly likely. I was responsible for a division of Hewlett Packard during the 1989 earthquake and we had a situation. I was trained to call the fire department if such a situation ever occurred which I did. Their response was "you are on your own". I dealt with it because of my HAM radio and that is why I agreed to be your NPC. Anyway, the other reason the damage assessment reports are important is that the city uses that data in requesting help from the state for disaster assistance. Like it or not, in an emergency to some extent we are on our own.


This is the Old Palo Alto Emergency Service Volunteer Radio test. This is a Drill and not an actual emergency. This is just a Drill.

My name is (Allen/ Helen) and I am your NPC. The purpose of this test is to give everyone a chance to test their radios, the settings, and the usage so that you will have a way to pass emergency communications to the city in the event of a disaster. If you are hearing this you are on Channel 19 and privacy code either 0 or 36. Be sure to set your privacy code to 36 so others can hear you. I will take check-ins first and then ask for damage reports.

I would ask that you keep your radio on until I end the drill in case I need a relay for stations that cannot hear me or that I cannot hear. If you hear someone try and check in or ask for a relay but they do not get an acknowledgment (because I cannot hear them) note their call sign and say "Relay" over the radio. I will say "Go ahead relay" at which point you check in for them "CERT 2 tried to check in". I will ask you to tell them they are checked in. I might also need a relay for the damage reports.

Best result is if you have a clear view toward my house with the lowest angle toward any obstruction. A second story window facing my house that does not have a metal window screen is good. Outside with the street between you and my house is also good. Up against a wall is not good.

To check in please wait for the channel to be clear then press your PTT button, and speak your call sign. For example press PTT and say "BPC 3" then release PTT. I will then acknowledge you by saying "BPC 3 you are checked in". If you don't know your call sign, use your old block number and street such as "100 Coleridge" and we will give you your call sign. Please wait until I acknowledge each caller before trying to check in.

If two of you try to check in at the same time I may not be able to make out who it is. I may say "will the stations that just tried to check in please repeat". If I heard part of one of the call signs I will indicate that. Once both of those stations are checked in, I will go back to taking check-ins from anyone else.

If you wish to check out at the same time, state that you are also checking out.

After all check-ins are complete, I will ask for damage reports. I might say "BPC 8 please give your damage report". You would then give the damage report per the instructions on the damage report sheet.

After the drill is complete, I will monitor the channel until 20 minutes after the hour. If you want to check reception from different locations around your house, please feel free to call "BPC 3". I will say "BPC 3 go ahead". Then we can have a conversation. I will now take check ins. (WRMI-953).

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