East Lansing Civil Defense and You

I think that most of us will agree that our leaders failed their due diligence during this past December's 2013 ice storm.

In one major area, the new modern era has failed us. Getting information to the public. There are things we should do before an emergency and things that we need to do during an emergency. If we do not have the latest and most accurate information, We the People cannot perform our due diligence.

I had a meeting with East Lansing City Manager, George Lahanas on January 23, 2014 describing steps that should and must be taken. I have invited, Mr. Lahanas to publish the paper that I left for his review on Public Response. I must have missed the posting.

In one area, I think we should move forward is into the past so that the consequences of almost any kind of an emergency will take a lesser toll on all of us. Civil Defense Radio.

The older readers of Public Response will recognize the CD symbol denoting Civil Defense. All the new technology takes a tremendous amount of equipment to make it work. It cannot withstand too many pieces breaking.

East Lansing Civil Defense Radio takes very little technology to have in place. If it is AM radio station, we do not need electricity to listen to the messages. Crystal radio receivers will pickup the station with the use of headphones.

FM radio will need to be a crank radio that by cranking the handle it charges the batteries. The same is true for television, a small set with a crank generator will charge the batteries.

All the station needs is a backup generator.
An East Lansing Civil Defense Radio station will have normal programming during normal times, plus messages on how to prepare for emergencies. During emergencies the station switches to a Civil Defense mode providing information on how to manage your affairs and information from those overseeing the emergency.

As a past example of the ice storm, Mr. Peter Lark from the Lansing Board of Water and Light would be forced to respond to requests for information. This would be true for the other power companies. We do not have to be rude, but we can insist that immediately such information will be given. I am sure release of specific information will be included in future emergencies.

Information about duration of the emergency from best guesses by the experts, updated with new information continually, plus specific information about surviving the Arctic cold would be given.

You will know what you need to know and know it now!
It would be my recommendation that the City of East Lansing, through a foundation, hold the license. Other than a few dollars for postage and other things, the costs to investigate can be paid for with the amount found in a child's piggy bank.

As steps are taken, grant requests would be written as well as financial support by citizens and businesses will help get East Lansing Civil Defense Radio off the ground and started.

Do not equate the dollars needed for WKAR. WKAR-AM, FM, and TV are very big stations with very large staffs. East Lansing Civil Defense Radio would only cover Greater East Lansing and much of it, as least at first will be automated by a computer.

The start up costs will be very, very low. When we have a frequency allocation from the FCC, then we will be better suited to give estimated costs.
I talked briefly with East Lansing Council Member Ruth Beier to help set up a task force that will at the very least deal with Civil Defense Radio and also other forms of communications.

I am asking those who are interest to post a comment here on Public Response and to encourage both City Manager George Lahanas to post the documentation I gave him and to encourage Ruth Beier with the task force.

I am talking here about providing information that may save lives or serious injury during an emergency. There is also a benefit outside Civil Defense. It will give East Lansing a better chance for grants if we are talking about such things on the radio. Those giving grants like lots of recognition, radio gives an added appreciation to those giving East Lansing money. It is saying 'thank you' nice and loud.

If East Lansing government will not help, a possibility that is not yet indicated, we can create our own task force and start the process for a Civil Defense Radio station as a non-profit group.

I await the will of the People of East Lansing.

Scott Bame
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