REACT International, Inc. (REACT) – consists of Teams of Skilled Communications Volunteers – is a non-profit registered 501(c)3 organization. REACT has been monitoring the airwaves since 1962, and since its inception REACT volunteers have been providing a wide range of radio related services to the public.
NeighborNET is an exciting new initiative to help local community quickly an effectively communicate during disasters and other events.
Similar to how a a 2-way radio net is utilized by amateur radio operators, NeighborNET will utilize one of several various Public Radio Services (PRS) to pass along important and critical information between community members.
While currently a pilot program in the Main Street community of Ellicott City, it is our hope to roll this program out county wide. Stay tuned here for more details!
A letter to the residents of Main Street Ellicott City
My name is David Perry. I am the President of Howard County REACT, a non-profit, volunteer organization focused on providing emergency communications within the Howard County community.
If you’re seeing this, you've most likely been invited by one of your neighbors to participate in a trial program we are calling NeighborNET. The purpose of NeighborNET is to establish a group of local citizens within our community to implement a 2-way radio communication network to allow the fast and free flow of information during a disaster or other events.
After the recent floods, we heard many people talk about the inability to quickly and effectively share information about the storms as they were occurring. This desire to quickly share information regarding these disasters among ourselves BEFORE a warning is issued is the need we hope NeighborNET will fill. And NeighborNET isn't just for disasters. NeighborNET can be so much more. Like communicating about community events, crime, lost pets, power outages, etc.
And while it seems simple enough to just go buy a handheld radio and talk to your neighbors at will, it is quite another to do it in an organized and professional way so as to relay a message to a large group without devolving into chaos. This is the goal of the NeighborNET... Organization.
Drawing on our own experience as professional communicators, we will show you the basics to the various radio services, licensing requirements, proper "NET" operations and what information to report.
I want to be clear. I don't believe this to be an end all solution to communicating a possible threat in our community. NeighborNet is not and will never be a direct replacement for 911, official government warnings, or evacuation orders.
YOU MUST HEED ANY WARNING YOU RECEIVE FROM HOWARD COUNTY AUTHORITIES & THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911.
We simply want to give you the tools and training needed to effectively communicate. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. We will be posting more information in the future including possible training sessions, NET schedules and such. Not to mention, GETTING YOU ON THE AIR!
And for more information about NeighborNET, please visit www.facebook.com/groups/HoCoNeighborNET