Quite true, I agreed. One idea that came to mind after our discussion was this: avoid the use of "ham" or "amateurs". Speak in terms of professional communicators who work without pay, similar to a Search and Rescue Unit (SAR). Call it an ECS Unit - Emergency Communications Support Unit or something similar and raise the expectation up to the emotional "want" level. Stay away from "ham" acronyms that can confuse or trigger past memories.
S/S Cary Mangum, W6WWW, State OES Chief Radio Officer