The Arizona Emergency Radio Network (AZERN) and the EMCOM NGO

I was invited to join the Arizona Emergency Radio Network (AZERN) Yahoo group a few weeks ago by a person I don't know.

From the group description at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArizonaEmergencyRadioNetwork/

The Arizona Emergency Radio Network (AZERN) is an alternate means of communication for people throughout the State of ARIZONA area during an mergency. In the event of a neighborhood or area-wide power, telephone or Internet failure, AZERN can keep you in touch. AZERN uses Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios on channel 1, no subchannel. FRS and GMRS radios are those little handheld walkie-talkie radios that family and friends use to keep in touch at parks, on ski slopes and in malls. If there’s an emergency, tune your radio to channel 1. AZERN may be your pipeline to emergency help and information. AZERN is self-activating and doesn't require any special training or equipment, other than an inexpensive FRS or GMRS radio. When other communication networks go down, or if you need to communicate outside and your cell phone's not working, just tune your FRS or GMRS radio to channel 1 and talk. AZERN works a little like a relay, with people passing information down the line. AZERN works on the keep-it-simple principle. To join the AZERN Listserv, follow the instructions on this page, or send an email to mdern-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit AZERN is part of the National SOS Radio Network

After I joined the group, I posted a message asking:

How / why did I get invited?

This is an interesting group and I would have subscribed on my own, but I'm curious how you found my email and who runs this group. Thanks, Christine

My post was approved and ignored, I didn't get an answer. Here is http://www.nationalsos.com/ -- and I think I found my answer:
... In addition, 700,000 amateur (ham) radio operators, 70,000 licensed General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) users, and hundreds of thousands of scanner users have been invited to augment the system ...
I have a ham license.  So this is a government run operation and that's how they got my info.  Although, I thought my licence was at my old Oregon address.  I just checked online, and yes, I'm registered in Oregon. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the government knows my current physical location. The group still has only 7 members. Others didn't accept the invitation or should I feel special?  There have to be many THOUSANDS of hams in AZ. And I found another related link:  http://www.emcomus.org/ From http://emcomus.org/abouta.html:
International Emergency Preparedness, Notification and Communications Organization
EMCOM Project Director The EMCOM Project is headed by TLC founding partner Eric Forsman. Mr. Forsman is a world renowned systems designer with over 30 years experience designing, developing and integrating advanced, state-of-the-art systems. His experience for both government and industry includes:
  • Space Systems
  • Nuclear Systems
  • Automated and Robotic Systems
  • Advanced Communications Systems
  • Nationwide/Worldwide Networks
  • Political Campaign/Election Systems
  • Information, financial and accounting systems
  • Internet based systems (currently controls well over 950,000 internet web pages)
Mr. Forsman specializes in Requirements Analysis and Design, and is a published author and keynote speaker on the subject. He has taught seminars and workshops world-wide (6 continents) on the subject, and speaks 5 languages. His experience in emergency management spans not only natural disasters, but extensive training in nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC), and terrorism based incidents. Mr. Forsman also has experience in all facets of law enforcement including forensic investigations, is a pilot (instrument rated) and holds a general class amateur radio license. He is a veteran, having spent 7 years with the Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force (4 during Vietnam).  ...
Interesting. I searched a few weeks ago and found a related university site, but can't find that anymore. I remember from my ham studies how they harped on the importance of radio communications during regional and national emergencies.  And I also remember from the times when I was using my radios that the FCC and all kinds of government agencies were outdoing each other at making it difficult for hams to operate. My primary interest in radio was being able to communicate in case of an emergency such as being stuck somewhere in the desert or bush without a cell phone signal and fortunately, this emergency never happened, yet.  And I had hoped to get on the web via radio, but never accomplished that.  I bought a $400+ radio only to be told later that the cable was not yet  available. I also have a few of these "family radios", but consider them rather useless. My 100 watt CB is probably my most useful radio, if it still works. And I don't know what to think about AZERN.  They post something every few days and you don't have to be a member to read.  Odd stuff such as that vets are supposed to treat humans in an emergency.