EATON — Preble County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Anderson met with commissioners on Monday, June 21, to present his agencies monthly update.
Anderson reported on several topics, including the state EMA’s COVID-19 pandemic response. Anderson noted on Friday, June 18, the governor lifted the state of emergency for Ohio.
“So, that meant that the state EMA was going to move from an active state to assessment and monitoring, and therefore they are going to stop doing the weekly phone calls with the directors. They are going to make it a monthly phone call because they got a lot of push-back, because it was very informative and convenient to be able to have, to be able to talk to the state EMA, and on a one-to-one type basis,” he said. “And be able to understand what they’re putting out and then actually hearing what’s going on, which is something that we really didn’t get a whole lot of before starting to do this.”
Anderson indicated those calls will begin in July.
Regarding the recent severe weather that came through the region on Friday, June 18, Anderson said it was not really a threat in Preble County.
“There wasn’t really a whole lot of bad stuff that happened,” he said. “There were three tornadoes that touched down during that day, but not one of them in Preble County.
“One of them up in Mercer,” he continued. “It was an EF-2. And there were two of them that were just across the county line down close to the Gratis area, that hit down there. They did some damage, but it wasn’t huge. But it wasn’t within the county. I was made aware from the National Weather Service of what was going on.”
Anderson said the amateur radio group in the county was up the entire night of the severe weather, and said he was with them until almost noon on Friday for the first band of storms that went through, helping them get everything taken care of and then monitoring from home for the storms that happened later on Friday night.
The amateur radio operators are the group who relay the local weather information to the National Weather Service, according to Anderson.
“According to what I’ve been told by several other people, Preble County has probably one of the best SkyWarn groups in the area, and that Dayton actually listens to us,” he said. “We have one of the best and most active groups.”
This weekend, the Preble County Amateur Radio Association is hosting an American Radio Relay League Field Day at the Preble County EMA facility from 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27. Anderson said the event is open to the public and invited everyone to attend.
During this 24-hour period, over 40,000 licensed radio operators from all over the United States will be operating non-stop in a competition to reach out to as many other ham radio operators across the U.S. as possible. Field day also works as an open house for anyone interested in learning about ham radio and finding out how they can get involved. There will be a GOTA (Get On The Air) station available for anyone interested in learning how to operate, where they can work with a licensed operator and make their own contacts.
Preble County EMA is currently located at 6818 U.S. 127 N., Eaton.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr