Running out of things to keep yourself and your family occupied during the pandemic? You can use this time to learn how to use Zello, operate a walkie-talkie and explore Ready.gov’s family activities, which are fun and will also prove valuable during a disaster.
In addition to providing comprehensive emergency prepared information, Ready.gov has a “Ready Kids” section designed to help children get prepared. The website offers games to test their know-how and coach them on building a preparedness kit.
The Zello app (available for free at app stores) turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie. You need to touch a “button” on your phone when you talk. It has been used during many major disasters to connect people. BNN members have used Zello to talk with one another in Europe and Japan. Here’s a Zello app tutorial created by BNN Board Member Suzanne Tatoesian.
You can create a Zello contact group for your local family as well as out-of-area members to stay in touch during an emergency. We suggest setting up a weekly check-in time like the “nets” that Ham operators participate in. It’s a great way to stay connected and ensure that your family knows what to do in an emergency.
Knowing how to use walkie-talkies or FRMS radios is also useful. BNN will provide training during a Communications Workshop closer to the date of this year’s drill on October 9. You can also set up location tracking of family members on cell phones.