"The use of the internet is becoming quite important in the inter-communication of the staff members. The internet has been used far more than the RACES BBS. It appears that the other RACES and ARES groups are also doing the same thing. I notice that the leaders are more likely to give you an Internet address than they are a Packet or BBS address when they tell you how to communicate with them.
"It looks like a well rounded Emergency Responder must be Net capable in the near future. Maybe you should be thinking about your own personal long range plan that would include getting some Internet E-mail experience."
Anyone can do E-mail with a simple modem connection to the standard telephone line, and WITHOUT a link to access Web pages. Many computer user groups with a local BBS provide an E-mail service. Also there are Internet Service Providers (ISP) that offer BOTH E-mail AND Web access at various fees, as well as on-line forums that offer free E-mail.
Some E-mail software can be programmed to check for mail without your having to do it manually. Getting E-mail right on your own desktop is much more convenient than checking into a BBS to see what is there. News groups can further provide you, on your own computer, with topics in which you are interested without your having to look at long lists of files on a BBS.
There are good email programs all modern computer types. While Email may fail in some disasters, its every day use is a vital tool for keeping in touch with people expeditiously.
The September newsletter of the Contra Costa Communications Club, Inc. ("The Communicator") gave a list of 49 of its members email addresses, which further illustrates the importance of being up- to-date with Email as a working tool.