1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Net Control Recordings posted

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Since 12-12-05

From: Richard Hanset <RHanset@debcorinc.com>
Sent: Dec 12, 2005 12:03 PM
To: k6bj+slvarc+lprc+ares@k6bj.org
Subject: [k6bj+] 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Net Control Recordings posted

The topic of "Tactical Net Procedures", the most recent Santa Cruz County ARES Training Session presented December 8, 2005 at the Zayante Fire House, discussed proper procedures and protocols for tactical nets during emergency operations. Subsequent to that training session Donald Kerns AE6RF steered us to his web site where he has posted 4 each approx. 15 min. audio "tapes"

(in MP3 or RealAudio format) recorded soon after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake; (See below). The recordings bring back a lot of feelings and emotions as for a few minutes we relive those traumatic days and nights following the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The recordings were made by Eric Tofsrud, N6OIM, a Telecommunications Specialist with the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park. Our own Frank Wyatt N6FM is the Net Control during most of the recording and provides a fine example of what a good Net Control Station should be under pressure.

Here is a brief explanation and history of the recordings from Eric's webpage of those dramatic moments following the earthquake :( <http://earthquakeadvisor.com/articles/00032.html>


Editor's Note:

In the midst of colossal upheaval, it is the rare person who, recognizing historical significance, has both the opportunity and the presence of mind to do something about it. Eric Tofsrud is such a person. As the dust was still rising from buildings jolted apart by the Loma Prieta quake, Eric, a ham radio operator, powered up his equipment and hit the record button, preserving for history the voices and sounds of the events that followed.

Eric volunteered with the Palo Alto, California Red Cross Disaster Action Team from 1983 to 1991. He works for the USGS. This is the record he made.

Below are four audio files that I recorded just after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Hear damage reports being called into the W6ASH (SPECS) Ham Repeater's Net Control station. Hear the excitement and fear as aftershocks happen during the net. Excuse the open microphone, it's all I could do at the time. You will need an MP3 player to hear them. Most current operating systems come with a player that can decode MP3 files. If you have an older OS, you may need to get a player.

Here are some of my post event notes.

I started the tape about 10 minutes after the main event. Seconds before I pushed record, we had a Mag 5x aftershock. If you listen closely, you can hear my neighbor's alarm sounding in the background. There were several more aftershocks that happened during the taping. One knocked my phone off the hook. You can hear the alert beeps. One aftershock interrupted the net due to net control having to leave the Sunnyvale Fire Station he was in. I pulled out my generator at dusk and we had the whole neighborhood at our house watching the news. We were without PG&E Power for 3 days after the event! The night of the quake around 11:00pm, I was called to open a Red Cross Shelter at the Senior Center in Mountain View. I checked people in all night, but in the morning the city condemned the building due to damage. We moved the shelter to the Rengstorff Park Recreation Center where I finished my shift.

Hope you enjoy the audio files, '73 Eric N6OIM

You can find the recordings on either Eric's web site at <http://earthquakeadvisor.com/articles/00032.html>


or at Donald Kern's website at:

















Thanks to Donald AE6RF for bringing these recordings to our attention.


Rich, KI6EH

Santa Cruz County ARES Training Coordinator