Well, here it is… 2022. There have been some changes in local organizations. Leon, K8ZAG is no longer the main coordinator at MERT. Mike, W9MMC, had to retire from being the ARES EC. There is a new president at Silver Springs Radio Club, and the board of directors is a little different. A lot of older hams (like me) can’t be as active as we used to be. Some of that is due to Covid. So, as you go through the website, I will try to keep you up to date (as best as I know) how various organizations are set up to handle emergency traffic. Once again, this is as far as I know because no one publishes very much info on their websites.
I put this website together to hopefully help other HAMS in the Marion County Florida area know what to do in case of hurricanes or other major emergencies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a total of 798 licenses and call signs in the category of Amateur license in Ocala, Florida. That’s a lot of amateur radios that could be active during an emergency.
During hurricane season here in Florida, or anytime some type of event causes emergency services to activate, HAM radio operators get involved. Who do you contact to report emergency situations? Some HAMs are directly involved by participating in their county’s ARES program, or in the case of Marion County, MERT (Marion Emergency Radio Team), but most are not. There are many ways to contact the Marion EOC, but there is no documented method on how if you are not a member of MERT.
Just for basic information, ARES is organized through the Silver Springs Radio Club and they have a website at www.k4gso.us and ARES has a website at www.aresmcfl.org that can connect you to the club or ARES and Skywarn. They are not easy to navigate and the information they post is more “big picture” organizational in nature. There is not a lot of information on the site about what to do as an individual during an event.
MERT is part of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. To find out about MERT, the MCSO website is not much help, but does connect you with a page on how to join. Go to Marion County Sheriff’s Office (marionso.com). MCSO also has a Facebook site.
MERT also has a “club” website run by MERT members at www.kg4nxo.com. There is some information on what to do during an event , but none if you are not a member of MERT.
There are other clubs in the county but none of them have any EMCOMM plans or procedures.
So, check this website out. I hope the information on this site is helpful to you. Thanks for visiting.