Local Connect Network

My name is Jen, and I’m leading our Local Connect project, with much help from my colleague Lisa and other members of the Next Right Step team. You can reach Lisa and me for any related matter or question at our project email address, TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com. Please write to introduce yourself and get involved in creating or joining a Local Connect storm group in your area.

We already have a number of established groups getting together regularly around the USA. In fact, I have one I run in my local area south of Chicago. We call ourselves the Chicagoland Storm Group and get together each month at the same time and place, to share prayer, good food, and fellowship. We even have time to discuss ways to prepare for what is coming, and how to help each other not just survive but thrive through the Storm. In addition, we are spending more and more time getting ready to help others who may be blindsided by coming events. Such people will need care and resources to survive, and they will also need hope.

Here at The Next Right Step, we have put together a team of people to help you get in touch with an existing group near you or help you obtain from us or from an established group the support you will need to start your own group. We want to play a linking role by helping groups create and build a solid network of connections for mutual support. We want to help individuals who are looking for a group quickly find the one(s) nearest them. We also want to help everyone in our network share knowledge and resources, so those who know can teach those who want to know.

According to Charlie, in these troubled times the need is urgent. Events are accelerating. Please step up and get involved! Remember that you can email me at TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com any time. You can also join the Next Right Step Private Forum (run by Tom Kuipers, another member of our team) at http://nextrightstep.forumotion.com/login to speak privately with friends in the equivalent of a “gated” online community.

May we be amazed how God will work to bring out the best in each and every one of us as we do the small things in front of us with love and trust. We are all in this together. Let’s get going!

Jen

Why and How?

Two members of our TNRS team, Doug and Lambzie, created one of the first TNRS storm groups, and they have now run their group for many months. Doug has written an inspiring article on why he and his wife decided to start a storm group and how they continue to make it successful and helpful. Their group now has attendance around 20-25 people a month, and much good has flowed from their work. Please click here to read and enjoy his writing. Then search below for a group near you, or start your own!

(NOTE: For our list of resources, Click Here.)

Get Involved in Our Network!

Below you will find a constantly growing list of groups located in various parts of the world – click on a group’s link to correspond with the group’s coordinator.

United States

Regional United States TNRS Meetings

International TNRS Meetings

  • African Steppers
  • Asian Steppers
  • Aussie and New Zealand Steppers
  • Canadian Steppers
  • Central and South American Steppers
  • European Steppers

18 Responses to Local Connect Network

  1. Pingback: Let Your Light Shine | The Next Right Step

  2. Steve says:

    All, I have been thinking a lot about what is to come, and I realized that communications will become extremely important when the chaos of the Storm hits. I wrote the following to one of the people in the TNRS and they have asked me to share it, so here it is:
    Cell phones have, during the last decade or so, been the primary means of communication for the vast majority of us. They will only work, however, as long as the cell net is operational. Think, though, that the cell nets operate at the behest of the government, and the government can shut them down, if they wanted. All cell nets are connected and controlled by a computer network system. The handheld ham radios, on the other hand, require a FCC license, but are NOT interconnected nor controlled by the government other than the licensing. There is no “kill” signal to shut down shortwave radio. Cell networks, on the other hand, can be “killed”. This means that, even though electrical grids are up, cell networks can be taken down quite easily as a means to control the masses. The vast majority of people do not have a clue how to operate a basic ham radio, so if and when the cell nets are taken down, most will not have any means of communication. To make matters worse, cell networks can be taken down regionally, which would greatly assist any entity (government or otherwise) in controlling information coming out of a particular area that may be undergoing duress. For example, let’s say that that the government decides that a specific group is a major threat that needs to be addressed, but sees a huge following of people that support that group. Being afraid of riling more people up, they shut down the cell networks and broadcasting networks in the region where that group is located. Now no news is getting out of that area. However, if someone had a handheld ham radio, they would be able to get information out about what was happening, and would also be able to maintain communications so the outside world would know what was happening.
    Another aspect is that there are ham radio repeaters all across the US, and they can communicate over much greater ranges than cell towers. Cell phone coverage, on the other hand, is non-existent in a lot of areas, and cell phones have very limited range due to the low power output of their transmitters. Using the handheld ham radio, the group could make contact on a repeater and request a phone patch, which would put them through on landline phones that are outside the affected communications lockdown area.
    I know that the training for using these things is a key issue. It is, actually, really quite easy to get the basic license as practice tests that use the exact questions from the actual test are readily available on the internet, and if you keep taking the practice tests until you reach approximately 85-90 on a consistent basis, you can pass the test. The tests require a person to have a basic understanding of radio and electronic theory. Again, there are websites that provide free training and guides. I would strongly encourage you (or someone within a TNRS local group) to get licensed and get started. If you already have someone who is licensed, great! Get them to start providing training to your local group! We have a TNRS group that meets bi-weekly now here in the North San Diego county area and I will start conducting training with our group this month.
    Finally, whether you intend to get your license or not, I recommend getting a handheld ham radio. First of all, it will allow you to monitor amateur communications, if nothing else. That could come in handy. You will also be able to monitor various weather channels, as well. There are many available, but I would caution anyone from purchasing a cheap radio, such as the Baofeng radios, as you get what you pay for! I have recommended to our group to get the Yaesu FT-60R (can be found on Amazon), but almost any Yaesu, Icom or Motorola handheld is pretty solid. I recommended the FT-60R simply because that is the one I am getting, it is a solid radio, and it will make training much easier for me ;}. If you have any questions, you can contact me at sajohn321967@cox.net. I was in telecommunications in the Navy for 23 years, but I have become quite rusty. In other words, I am working to bring myself back up to speed, so please try doing a Google search on your question before reaching out to me. I will try to answer your questions, but I may be stumped, as well, and may have to do the same Google search. If you do that ahead of time, then it may save both of us some time!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Beckita says:

    Thank you so much for this information, Steve.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nastav says:

    Does anyone know of a TNRS group in the central Indiana/Indianapolis area!

    Like

  5. jlynnbyrd says:

    Steve, thank you kindly for sharing the wisdom of your knowledge and experience with us! My DH is studying to be licensed for a HAM Radio license. He is reading a manual that was available at our local library and has recommend the following site http://www.qrz.com/hamtest for practice exams. His step-father is a highly skilled and licensed operator and trainer in Atlanta and will send us some starter equipment when Jeff has passed the exam and is licensed.

    We have such a vast range of areas of expertise in TNRS family and within our local groups. I recommend that we share our valuable resources here and on TNRS Private Forum with each other.

    We have hundreds of TNRSteppers that have joined the TNRS Private Forum (PF), http://nextrightstep.forumotion.com, since October 27th. I encourage all TNRS Groups that are formed to please register your groups on the PF. Many Steppers are inquiring about groups that are established however are not registered on the PF. When our TNRS are formed, and listed on the PF, please email your groups URL to Lisa and I at TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com so we may add your link here on TNRS Blog Local Connect link for our new TNRS family which is growing day by day. ❤

    Locally connecting to others in our TNRS Groups and our community is a Next Right Step. Get to know your neighbors. I am surrounded by people who are medics, civil servants, trades people, and a former Village Mayor. They are not Catholic, they do not follow TNRS blog, and some roll their eyes at me when I talk about it. That is just fine because they are dear people of good-will. It is my hope and prayer that we will be enlightened and will work together for the greater good of our community. There is strength in numbers and we are each gifted with such amazing and unique God-given skills, talents, and resources which we can use to serve and be a refuge to one another.

    Let us be a light of hope!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Steve says:

    All, to let you know, I have not stopped working on this. I have now set up a base station in my house and have been practicing on it. Also, for my TNRS group, I have set up a communications plan. I looked up our amateur band plan (this is the plan for the use of amateur radio frequencies within a region) and configured plan tailored to us. I started out by locating all the repeaters within the area and wrote down both their location and frequencies. The repeaters allow for longer range communication, but many people monitor them, so communications a far from private. Next, I put together several frequencies that we can use for shorter range communication (5 to 15 miles) that are available within the regional frequency band plan. Since we choose these frequencies, they are much less likely to be monitored in the open. So, what we do is establish contact through a repeater, then agree to switch to the frequency designated for that specific time, instead of saying the frequency over the repeater. In my plan, I have set up a primary, secondary and tertiary frequency for use from 12:01 AM to 4:00 AM, then a new set of frequencies for 4:01 AM to 8:00 AM, then 8:01 AM to 12:00 PM, etc. Since our group has a copy of the frequency band plan, all we have to do is agree to go to non-repeater frequency, establish communications, and have a (relatively) private conversation. I say relative because the communications are still in the clear, so anyone monitoring that particular frequency can hear it, but it is much less likely that it will be overheard than repeater communications. If anyone wants more information, just let me know (my contact information is stevenjohnston9@hotmail.com). In this way we can pass on information, request assistance, and stay in touch, even if and when chaos hits. Although this is not an end-all, be-all plan (as electricity could go out, along with numerous other things), it is one more tool that could help.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My name is Marti and I will gladly be the connect for the group for Montana/Wyo area. My email is tnrs.montana@gmail.com
    I live in Billings. There are people from the Buffalo, Wyo area, the Ballentine, and Huntley,MT area already in touch with me. Anyone else? My husband actually teaches Emergency Preparedness courses and we have had two -two day sessions in the last few years and we could probably do it every weekend there are so many people interested!
    Steve, I have lost my username and password for the forum. Are you the person to contact regarding retrieving them, or should I just start over and register under a new name?
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Marti, thank you for working in Montana. Please email Jen at:

      TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com

      and let her know you want to get involved. She will work with you to get set up.

      As for the private forum, if you have an inkling of your username, then I suggest you first go to the forum’s login page here:

      http://nextrightstep.forumotion.com/login

      and click the “I forgot my password” link. You will then have the opportunity to test several different possible usernames and see if that will cause the password reset process to kick in. If it does, then you will be able to recover your existing account.

      Failing that, please email the forum director, Tom, at:

      tom.svdp@yahoo.com

      and ask him to help you. He may be able to match your email address with your account on the forum and thus securely identify your username and email it back to you. If he does, then you can use the password reset process I outlined above to reset your password and recover your existing account.

      If he cannot do this, then in your email to him, ask him to authorize you to open a new account. He will then give you instructions for what to do for that.

      I hope one of these options works to get you back up on the forum quickly and easily. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My son and I are looking in to getting the Ham radio….is anyone thinking about a generator? If so which one.
    My husband is in a hospital bed and uses a lift chair both electric, but bed could be hand cranked…also we were wondering about keeping food fresh (no basement here). We have a few things for emergencies, but have not gone ‘hog’ wild…..
    My son went to Medj in Oct/Nov and came back with renewed faith in Our Lady and Our Lord.
    We pray the rosary every evening…..this is new to pray it together…..inspired by Our Lady I am sure. Our pastor has Scott bringing Eucharist on Sunday’s for dh and me.
    We have a pregnant teen who has already moved in with us…..I am an RN so not much worried about the delivery…..she is very healthy.
    We both call on Heaven more than ever to put what we need in our paths.

    …..love all your comments, Steve…..

    Liked by 3 people

    • SteveBC says:

      AnnieCorrineBlog, we have at least two Steves here who are working to help Charlie. One is me, SteveBC, and the other is Charlie’s brother Steve, whom I have taken to calling SteveJ. On behalf of us both, I thank you for the compliment! 🙂

      One of Charlie’s friends has a site called the Peppy Prepper. Look in the links in the column on the right side of this page and click on that link to see if he covers anything you might find useful. Otherwise, I recommend that you read our TNRS Local Connect page in the Nav Bar and see what sources of helpful information you can tap into through that material. You may find that there is a Local Connect group near enough to you to help you.

      As for what you are doing regularly, that really is in tune with Charlie’s message, so I think you’re very much on track. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Into the New Year | The Next Right Step

  10. Are there any other tnrs members in france that I could link up with ?

    Like

  11. jlynnbyrd says:

    ascotinfrance, please send us your interest in connecting locally with others TNRSteppers at TNRSLocalConnect@gmail.com. ❤

    Like

  12. Jacquie says:

    There will be a Storm Dinner on Monday, January 16, 2017 at
    MCL Restaurant (in private dining area)
    521 Sagamore Pkwy W, West Lafayette, IN 47906
    Dinner: 6:00pm
    Discussions: 7:00pm

    Liked by 2 people

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