Slide presentation on how to prepare yourself and family for emergencies, based on Alaska prior situations.

Ham Radio and Response Preparedness

By Chris Hamman/KL5BF

Skywarn Recognition Day/SRD, is Dec 5th this year.  Here is the link: Skywarn

SKYWARN Recognition Day 2020 - Making Adjustments for COVID-19

Each year, SKYWARN Recognition Day is the day where radio amateurs celebrate the long relationship between the amateur radio community and the National Weather Service SKYWARN™ program. The purpose of the event is to recognize amateur radio operators for the vital public service they perform during times of severe weather and to strengthen the bond between radio amateurs and their local National Weather Service office. The event is co-sponsored by ARRL and the National Weather Service. Normally radio amateurs participate from home stations and from stations at National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices, and the goal is to make contact with as many NWS forecast offices as possible during the event. However, this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, participation from NWS forecast offices will be minimal at best. So, the focus will shift to contacting as many SKYWARN™ trained spotters as possible during the event. New for this year, SKYWARN™ Recognition Day will be open to all SKYWARN Spotters. Additionally, a SKYWARN™ Recognition Day Facebook page has been created and will host a variety of live and recorded segments throughout the day. All SKYWARN™ Spotters who wish to participate may sign up for a SKYWARN™ Recognition Day number by completing the form found on the SKYWARN™ Recognition Day 2020 website. During the event, amateur radio operators are encouraged to exchange their name, location, SRD number, and current weather conditions with other participating stations. See the event website for the full operating guidelines. Additionally, all SKYWARN™ Spotters will be encouraged to participate by sending weather reports, images and attending various live stream events via social media. SKYWARN™ Recognition Day 2020 will be held from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC December 5. To learn more, visit the SRD website.

MARA Ham of the Year and Elmer Acknowledgements 

We also have sent out ballots for MARA Ham of the Year Award and Elmer Certificates for the members to fill out and send into Pam/KL3PAM at  or Bridgit/KL4B at bridgit.kl4b@TUTANOTA.COM  These are due by December 18th.  Below is the current ham of the year NominationClick on the links to the lower left, it will download to your computer fill them out and email them to Pam/KL3PAM.

2020 Ham of the Year Nomination

Origin of the term "Elmer"

The term "Elmer"--meaning someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams--first appeared in QST in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB). Newkirk called them "the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio." While he probably was not trying to coin a term at the time, here's how Newkirk introduced "Elmer" in his column and, as it turned out, to the rest of the Amateur Radio world:

"Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell: 'Oh, I almost got a ticket, too, but Elmer, W9XYZ, moved away and I kind of lost interest.'"

Newkirk went on to say, "We need those Elmer’s. All the Elmer’s, including the ham who took the most time and trouble to give you a push toward your license, are the birds who keep this great game young and fresh."--Rick Lindquist, N1RL

As you can see, the term is not very old. Prior to the first use of Elmer as the one who guided and encouraged us, what were these folks called? We have received a lot of suggestions; teacher, mentor, tutor, guide, helper, sage? All are appropriate, but first and foremost they are called friend.

Enter yours and your Elmer’s information below.  And send to the Sectary

Req Elmer Certificate

VE Testing Schedule for September thru December

We normally have VE testing at the Wasilla Red Cross off of WestPoint Dr.  We do have some YouTube Videos that follow the Gordon West Text if you would like to study ahead.  Refer to the below locations and time for the summer schedule. Contact Don/KL7JFT if you would like the link for the YouTube Videos..

Due to summer activity, and Covid-19 the regular testing location has changed.  For the August thru December testing sessions, it will be held at a new location.  AmVet Post 9 off the Wasilla-Fishhook Rd, 1591 N Creste Fonis St. Contact Ken/KL2HF if you would like to test.



Mat Valley Statistics

Total Cases   3357

Palmer             878

Wasilla           2259

Willow               61

Houston            24

Meadow Lks       6

Knik-Fairview      1

Big Lake            72

Talkeetna          36

Sutton-Alpine   20

Hospital Cases  42/22

Recovered      551

Active Cases  2805

Deaths               6



Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary July 31

Latest SEOC COVID-19 Briefing & DHSS Press Release


DHSS_PressRelease_DPH-WCFH-FamilySurvey_20200427              ***UPDATED***


As Alaska reopensDHSS_PressRelease_SocialBubble_20200515


U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI partner with AARP to protect Alaskans from COVID-19 fraud

COVID-19 testing for critical infrastructure workers available soon at Anchorage and Fairbanks airports






Families can make playground visits safer during the pandemic

High Risk COVID-19 Situations

Health Alert Saturday July 4

Alaska Pioneer Homes resume limited family visitation



AK Public Health Alert Network Widespread Coronavirus Disease 2019 COVID-19 in Alaska Reminders and Updated Release from Isolation Criteria


Community Message Blood Bank of Alaska needs plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update July 26 - Aug. 1






Community Message COVID-19 Pandemic- EBT for children

now available Text PEBT to 907-891-8913 to check eligibility

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update Sept. 6 -12

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update Sept. 13 -19

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update Sept 20-26

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update Oct. 4-10

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Oct. 18




Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Case Analysis

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Oct. 24




Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Case Analysis October 18-24

Alert Public Health Advisory High Risk of COVID-19 Transmission in Anchorage



Epidemiology Bulletins Summaries of COVID-19 Deaths and Hospitalizations Alaska, January 1 through October 15


Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Case Analysis November 1-7


COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update November 8-14

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Nov. 26

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update November 15-21

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Nov. 27

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Nov. 28

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary Nov. 29

Why is Ham Radio Still Important? (Updated)

In an age where communication is often taken for granted, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Ham Radio.  In during our present situation it may become more important than folks realize.  Across the nation, lines of communications are becoming stretched.  Hams around the the world are training, testing, practicing various types and modes of ham radio, to be ready.

I often receive questions like: “Why do I need Ham Radio when I have a cell phone?” or “Didn’t the internet kill Ham Radio?” While these modern forms of communication may have shifted the attention away from Ham Radio, by no means did it make it unnecessary. In fact, during a disaster, it’s very likely that these modern forms of communication will be the first ones to fail.

The number one reason for preparedness minded people to consider Ham Radio is its reliability during times of crisis. Since the early 1900s, this form of communication has reliably made it through every major crisis, disaster, and emergency situation with flying colors. When all other forms of communication fail, Hams are often the ones who are called upon to help communicate in and out of the disaster zone.

When the grid goes down, the Ham Bands will still be alive and very active.


To all Alaska Hams with a call sign License Plate

The State DMV is sending out yellow cards to those people needing to re-register their plates. The card indicates you can register online. However, for those that have ham radio plates you can't do it online. It has to be done at a DMV office. I have included below what one administer sent me.

I would advise that those re-registering their plates to take what Karina Garces-Pellon sent to me so if there are any questions, you have some backup. She is from the Anchorage DMV

I’ve included our Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812) for the renewal, you will need to

  • State on form 812 that you’re requesting Amateur Radio Exemption by checking the box “Other” and writing in the Amateur Radio (AR)
  • Make the following statement in the Affidavit section on the application “This vehicle meets the requirements outlined in AS 28.10.421 (d) (8) (A) & (B) and I qualify for free registration under this statute.”
  • Copy of current FCC License
  • Folks need to understand they need a 5 Band HF radio installed in the vehicle with Antenna and power connection.

Click here for the Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812)


For older vehicles, Claude N7FXX reports, since it’s an older vehicle he bypassed the “free” renewal and changed categories to “old” and “vanity” so now I’m permanent, no renewal. Cost me a little up front but now all seven of my legacy vehicles are “P” designated.


MARA members, if you know of a member who needs cheering up because they have lost a loved one, or are laid up with illness or injury, or if someone is in the hospital, please let one of us know. We would love to send a ray of sunshine in their direction.


Help us spread the cheer. Donations are always appreciated and can be made at the general meeting or directly to Tabitha or Pam.


Contact Tabitha at (best way), or text or phone 907-414-2281.

Pam at, or 907-376-9281.