update from Jim Kennedy K6MIO in the North Hilo PPH CERT team

Ceridwen Sanders

[This is an update from Jim Kennedy K6MIO in the North Hilo PPH CERT team which has done extensive work in door-to-door identification of residents and their needs.]
At the neighborhood level, our CERT group perspective is the focus on local connectivity, then linked to the EOC.
It appears that we have quite a number of individuals who have earned Technician-class tickets (many due to CERT involvement).  Slowly, the numbers are growing.
On the scale of a just few miles, the topography noticeably limits the practical range of the HTs that many of these folks have purchased.
Our operations coverage area has three lowland areas, which allows communications within each area, but is pretty shaky from one area to the next.  This is despite that fact that we generally can move people and services between these areas (if we know what is needed).
Our approach has been to work to locate, and assist in, providing some of these folks, who happen to live on high ground, with suitable fixed antennas, to at least improve connections to various regions of the low lands in view.  
At the very least, as we have it now, this general approach provides the very local folks a way to communicate with the existing in-place CERT team and its three sub-teams, in the absence of telecom/net services.
The three highland stations communicate between the three regions covered by our CERT people to operate autonomously, as required and the same highland stations also have Baofengs suitable for communications with FRS/GMRS communications with local lowland CERT members who are not hams.
These same highland stations have good connections with each other, and two of the three stations have 2m connections to the EOC via VHF.  Two of those three hold General or higher, though only one of us, at this moment (me), also has HF capability in general.
Jim Kennedy  K6MIO