Today started off extremely well.
This morning was out annual statewide tornado drill. I had volunteered to act as Net Control for the morning net. My job was to handle traffic on the channel and in a real storm, or disaster, make sure that traffic got relayed where it needed to be.
I got to the EOC just before 10. As I walked into the back entrance, which immediately leads into a flight of stairs one of the dispatchers saw me and started to tell me to be careful. I think she thought I was in the wrong place and was going to fall because I didn’t know the stairs were there or something. She stopped when she saw my security pass, and one of het co-workers said I was with County RACES and had been around before. I was pretty surprised that one of them recognized me, but it was cool.
I went into the radio room and got set up. I had never been in there before during the day and didn’t realize it was the central communications point for the EOC during an event. All 3 of the EOC staff were there manning consoles. I got set up and within moments was told by our EMA director that we had a simulated tornado watch.
I put out the call for our people to stand by for a probable escallation within moments and stood by. It got pretty crazy in there. The EOC staff was making phone calls, running there alerting lists, and getting a couple fire engines in place to check on 3 sirens that weren’t polling right from the computer display.
I kept putting out the reminders that we were in a test tornado watch and to stand by.
Man, when the alarms go off, they really go off.
The EOC’s weather radio, the weather radio on our repeater, and the teleprinter all went off simultaniously.
This started a new round of activity. EOC staff recalled the radio stations, nursing homes, the hospital, schools, day care centers, and others, to tell them we were now in a simulated tornado warning.
I brought our net into formal operations and took check-ins from listening stations.
We secured around 1030 hours and the EOC went back to normal activity.
I had a great time doing it. I got complimented on how I ran the net, as well as a nice compliment from the EMA director on my log sheet being clean, concise, and complete.
I don’t do this stuff for the recognition. I love doing it. I went back to work feeling really amped up and excited. I love what I do with computers, but sometimes I wonder if I should look into a career in emergency management or dispatching.
More to ponder I guess.
Tigress has to plan all the programs for the Lions Club this month. She had me give a presentation on The National Federation of the Blind. With the exception of the projector not working, it went really well.
We looked at our first house. It was so-so. We’re not really loving it, so we’ll most likely pass. It’s a lot of money to consider and we got a little concerned when we realized we would be paying $100,000 in interest. We figured out that if you pay the mortgage early, you don’t have to pay the rest of the interest. Now we actually understand how it’s possible to make money on a home. It was a little unclear last night.