My partner Elaine is WA6UBE.
She gets to be honourably retired, these days, after having been in charge of local public-safety commo capability for a major local agency for quite a few years. (and, oh, my, the stories she could......but must not, not even a little bit...... tell, after thirty years in public-safety commo.)
We're the ones who have the M37 set up as a commo vehicle, with an ex-MLQ-24 shelter set up with an extensive array of modern commo gear.
Have a look on our web-site www.tactical-link.com
if you'd like.
In theory, at least, should 'the big quake' or some similar disaster occur, which disables the Ma Bell land-lines, the mountain-top repeaters, microwave dishes, etc., we're part of the local 'reserve commo'.
We're set up so that we can talk to the beat cop's hand-pack, or the fire captain's radio set on his rig, should he/she be unable to talk to dispatch, and pass the traffic to their dispatch, or to local, county, and state EOC. We're set up to talk to aircraft, and are linked with the Federal FEMA and SHARES programmes.
We did interoperability training with the Army Reserve commo people, but.......for any would-be terrs out there........we don't carry any active military crypto, so don't bother trying....we do carry commercial PGP, but thats really pretty useless in any real emergence scenario.
(fact is, if the 'big one' happens, some of our friends will be nice, and set up a perimeter around our rig.....so, no, we couldn't be taken over for the 'voz de atzlan','voz de la revolucion' or whatever.)
How can you help? In this day of 'no code techs', you can pass a simple test and get a ham licence......then become acquainted with RACES, the civil emergency commo group, or, at least, 'San Jose Prepared' group, and help to co-ordinate local rescue.
Now, ask yourself just how many people have set up the equivalent commo capacity, to be able to pass emergency traffic to state and Federal agencies should the 'big one' or other major disaster happen in the Santa Clara Valley.........aside from ham ops who can rig antennas and get out on ham freqs..... (my own guess is that, should there be a real disaster here, you'll be able to listen in on the ultimate 'Sino-American Fire Drill', or 'Charley Foxtrot'......but, yes, I'd really like to be mistaken about that)
Now, aren't you really grateful that 'the big one' won''t happen in our lifetimes?
(I could offer an opinion of the investors, developers, etc., who built high-rise buildings, which will have thousands upon thousands of occupants during business hours.......on alluvial fill ground, in a famous earthquake zone.......but, doubtless, no one would be interested in my opinion.....I just tend to avoid that area, myself)