Berkeley neighbors seek to widen grassroots emergency radio system (California)

Berkeley is more prepared than many municipalities to face a major disaster such as an earthquake or fire, but until recently there was no infrastructure by which neighborhood disaster teams could communicate with each other if the power grid and internet went down.

Now, an emergency neighborhood communications system has been set up by a fledgling all-volunteer group called BeCERTAINN — Berkeley CERT & Inter Neighborhood Network. This group just celebrated its one-year anniversary, and is looking for more members so additional neighborhoods can be included and more services can be offered when the Big One arrives.

“I am the communications person for my neighborhood CERT, and it occurred to us that in an emergency we would have no way of knowing what is happening in other parts of the city,” said Geoff Lomax, a ham radio buff. He quickly began working with another ham operator in his neighborhood, Richard Perlman, to try and find a solution.

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