Tornadoes and Earthquakes

I was sitting in a meeting yesterday when the person I was with asked if I thought the room was moving. I normally don’t have that effect on people so you can imagine my disappointment when I learned I had nothing to do with the experience. but we were experience an earthquake.

A magnitude 5 earthquake radiated from Quebec and was felt here in Oakville a community about 30 km west of Toronto. Then, overnight, the picturesque community of Midland, Ontario was struck by a tornado that reportedly did millions of dollars worth of damage and injured a score of folks. Reports are still coming in.

And, of course, all of southern Ontario from Huntsville to Lake Ontario is under the influence of the G8 and G20 meetings. Airports, including Pearson, are temporary closed to allow for VIP flights and major highways across the Greater Toronto Region are subject to closures to allow for 30-vehicle motorcades to move VIPS to and fro. Now I hear there’s a hotel workers’s strike underway.

What next? I’m waiting for rivers of blood and an infestation of frogs then boils.

But all kidding aside, with this weekend being Field Day Weekend in North America these natural disasters in Ontario should remind all of us of the importance of preparation. Amateur radio’s ability to field trained and equipment volunteers into affected communities with virtually no notice or expense is unique. In some disasters here in North America and around the world amateur radio has saved lives and lessened suffering.

Thousands of North American hams will participate in Field Day this weekend and you’re invited (especially if you’re willing to do the midnight shift). You would be welcomed at any of the club efforts I’ve been involved with and I don’t doubt that the same holds true with any club in your area. The ARRL has an excellent Field Day site including a North America wide Field Day locator here.

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