Amateur Radio operators Graham Bell (AC5Y) and Mark Shull (KB5FRF) communicated with statewide county Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) via amateur radio during the exercise performed on the first Thursday of each month to maintain readiness to respond should an incident occur. During the exercise 41 Mississippi counties plus several southern states checked into the net operation and were available for message traffic.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Authority (MEMA) recognized Copiah County as being available. Copiah County Emergency Operations Center now has another tool to augment its present communications capability during local and state emergencies.
The EOC has direct communications with the National Weather Service (NWS) and MEMA via VHF repeaters in the event of severe weather. Contacts with other hams in the counties south, west, and east of Copiah have been developed for reports of weather when needed.
Other “hams” involved in setting up the center were Dennis Guynes (KE5IZE), Ben Waltman (KE5JKD), Mark Shull (KB5FRF), Tommy Ricks (KE5KTP), David Patterson (KE5IMJ), and Graham Bell (AC5Y). Persons wishing to join the local ham group should contact the persons named.