North Carolina Patriots Convention was held between the 4th and 8th of October this year and while the attendance for Saturday’s lectures and demos was smaller than usual it was still a good group with lively discussions.



The presentation on Disaster Communications covered a lot of material and was directed towards the efforts made by the ARRL and the American Red Cross to establish temporary communications in hurricane stricken Puerto Rico. A combination of VHF radios and HF radios in digital mode with computers running WinLink software is handling around one million messages per week.



This discussion led to the subject of FEMA training classes, as well as American Red Cross certified training. The list of recommended FEMA training classes can be found here. FEMA also has an emergency contact list that you can print out for your family and friends in addition to their suggested 3-day emergency supply list of items for when we have our next disaster here in these parts. It is highly recommended you search for your county’s Emergency Response plan to see how things will go when there is a disaster in your area.



The other interesting discussion at the PATCON was on the use of oxygen absorbers for food storage and home emergency preparedness. There were many examples of food stuffs stored in plastic containers with oxygen absorber packet in them along with the caution that not all food stuffs are compatible with these packets.


Next PATCON should be somewhere around the first weekend in June 2018.