Field Day Preparations
1. Be Prepared (Always!) -- Field Day is a good test of how prepared you are to set up portable stations in unfamiliar locations, operate as a team for extended periods of time and bring what you need to be self-sufficient. Now is a good time to review check lists for what a 24 & 72-hour "go kit" should contain. See Item 6 in the "ARES Overview_071313.pdf" document at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/NCOCRA/files/Emergency%20Communication/Training/ for some suggested items to consider.
2. Hydration -- Most of us will not hydrate adequately during FD. Start increasing your fluid intake the day before setup, drink plenty of liquids frequently, eat fruit to maintain electrolyte balance and avoid alcohol. The simple way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is monitoring urine output. If you do not "go" at least every four hours, you need more fluids. One good online reference is: http://greatist.com/fitness/hydration-during-exercise
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) -- PPE includes shoes, pants & gloves that protect you when walking through brush while putting up antennas, a broad-brimmed hat to keep the sun off of your head and face, an SPF 40+ sunscreen applied before you start and reapplied frequently, insect repellant containing DEET applied around ankles, waist, arms and neck for tick, chigger and mosquito protection, etc.
4. Tick Removal -- This seems to be an active tick year, or maybe they just are attracted to me.... Tick related illnesses can be severe, but are easily prevented by checking your body for ticks twice a day and learning how to properly remove them. One good reference is: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/how-to-remove-a-tick-overview
I prefer using the "Ticked Off" removal tool instead of tweezers, available in the camping or first aid section of many stores in the area. See: http://www.tickedoff.com/ (Buy several!) They are like a small plastic spoon with a sharp V-notch in the end.
5. Team Work -- The best part of FD is working as a TEAM. That means staying focused on the task at hand, listening to the team leader for instructions and not "rag-chewing" with other team members during critical tasks that involve risk (which may cause the group to lose "situational awareness"). If you are unsure how to do something, ASK!! Field Day is all about sharing and learning.
Wear a name tag with your call sign. It helps everyone get acquainted and allow a team leader to identify who he is talking to more easily. When your hands are pulling ropes, it's hard to point and yell hey you!
6. Safety -- Dave, W4SAR has some excellent Field Day safety guidelines that he will post. Read them -- several times!! If you feel something is not safe, SPEAK UP, get it resolved, bring the issue to one of the band captains or club officers' attention.
Steve Ahlbom, W3AHL
Orange County ARES EC