W6WN: “Phones, Fires, and Failures – the need for more resilient disaster communications systems” at Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, March 15, 2022

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS) will meet on-line and in-person on February 8, 2022 at 7 PM and feature  Alan Thompson, W6WN, presenting on “Phones, Fires, and Failures – the need for more resilient disaster communications systems.”
Description: This presentation is about the 2018 Camp Fire, with an emphasis on the colossal communications service failures that put people’s lives at risk and why these same failures will likely happen again. According to the presenter, we must find more resilient solutions to help ensure our communities get timely, life-saving information about fast-moving disasters like the Camp Fire.  This conclusion is especially the case in light of our present-day over-reliance on cell phones and the Internet – technologies which, in turn, depend on a trillion dollars of highly vulnerable infrastructure not failing. 
Biography: – Alan Thompson, W6WN, grew up and still lives in Placerville California. He was first licensed at the age of 11 and was the second youngest amateur radio operator in the U.S. at that time. He recently re-entered the amateur radio service in 2017 after building a career as a commercial satellite Internet Field Engineer. His clients include the Federal Aviation Administration, T-Mobile, the Department of Health Services, Facebook, Intelsat, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. In 2018, Alan was part of a Disaster Recovery Team that installed several emergency satellite Internet backup systems to help restore cell-phone service shortly after the Camp Fire destroyed the communities of Paradise and Magalia, California. What he saw there and later learned about the colossal communications failures that occurred during the fire turned Alan into an “Accidental Evangelist” for fire safety and the need for alternative communications systems in the event of disasters. Alan is currently serving as the Public Information Officer for the El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club (EDCARC.net), and is the Chief Advocate for the Club’s non-Ham, Neighborhood Radio Watch program (edcarc.net/neighborhood-radio-watch).  
3:00-6:00 – Radio room open; GET CHECKED OUT for the radio room.
For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.

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