The ARES Letter

Here’s the latest ARES Newsletter compiled by HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this Amateur Radio EMCOMM update are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 19 October 2022, 1219 UTC.

Content republished with permission of The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.

Source:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGqRGSzlcbZtclnHhlWbjxjtWJM

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

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http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2022-10-19

October 19, 2022

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

 

 

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

The EmComm Training Organization (ETO) announces the date of the November Semi-annual Drill — For over 3 years, the ETO has been training amateur radio operators to be skilled with the use of digital Winlink communications. This effort stemmed from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, and the subsequent call for competent Winlink operators. To develop proficiency, weekly “Winlink Thursday” exercises have been practiced by more than 800 international operators.

The upcoming November 12, 2022 semi-annual drill is open to all participants who have or would like to build skills for digital radio messaging — such as sending attached forms or photos — essential for emergency communications for any served agency, whether local government, FEMA, or any NGO, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups and the Radio Operators of Canada (RAC) Auxiliary Communications Service. The ETO believes this common pathway approach to communications fosters the interoperability that is essential for responding to a national or regional disaster.

The organization recognizes the varied levels of skill with Winlink. Thus, simple and introductory tasks have been designed with a progression to more complicated messaging, ranging from use of Telnet, to VHF gateway messaging and finally to national “peer-to-peer” digital communication on high frequency (HF) bands without the use of the internet infrastructure. International as well as domestic participants are welcomed to join by visiting the ETO website.

More than 2,000 participants are expected. The scenario is an area-wide natural disaster affecting most communities in North America. The next few weeks of Winlink Thursday exercises will be opportune for those who wish to participate in the larger semi-annual drill. It is anticipated that all participants will be mapped if the tasks are completed appropriately, and an “honor roll” of competent participants be published on the website for those who wish to deploy and become operational.

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FEMA has published the updated EOC How-to Quick Reference Guide, a collection of best practices that will contribute to developing an EOC that can successfully meet the jurisdiction’s needs, and will cover topics such as hazard vulnerability assessments, physical site selection, mitigation, considerations, EOC capabilities and requirements, information management systems, and training and exercises. The updates include considerations for virtual and hybrid working environments.

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From the FEMA Disaster Emergency Communications News Clippings and Topics of Interest Vol. 11, Issue 20, (October 1-15), 2022 — Hurricane Ian hero: Maryland firefighter uses ham radio to send rescuers to Florida’s Sanibel Island — October 5, 2022. Dale Klonin, KC3TAU, a firefighter at Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Baltimore, was off duty and busy running errands last Wednesday when he stumbled upon a chance to save lives. Klonin, 46, lives in Hampstead, Maryland. As an amateur ham radio operator with an interest in “any news or weather event,” he was keeping an eye and ear on Hurricane Ian. “Of course, the hurricane was pretty big news,” Klonin told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. Thinking about family members who live outside Sarasota, Florida, Klonin and his wife “were pretty concerned” about the storm, he said. Klonin has only been involved with ham radio — also called amateur radio — for about a year, he said. Ham radio is a popular hobby and service that people all over the world use “to talk across town, around the world or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones,” according to the American Radio Relay League website.

Hurricane Ian

[Much of the folowing reporting comes from The ARRL Letter, John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor, and the ARRL news desk.] As Hurricane Ian, and subsequent tropical storm, made its way across Florida, amateur radio operators continued to provide communications support for weather updates and requests for assistance.

The hurricane made landfall at 3:00 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, just south of Tampa, Florida, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 miles per hour. Millions of residents were without power, and damage was reported as extensive along the storm’s initial path.

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, was in regular contact with ARRL Section Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators in Florida and throughout the southeastern US. Johnston said ARRL was also in touch with national-level partners, including FEMA and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), should any requests for direct emergency communications via amateur radio be needed.

Johnston said many ARRL ARES® volunteers and their groups were involved across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. “Many ARES groups throughout Florida were in a state of readiness since before that weekend,” said Johnston. “These amateur radio volunteers are well-connected with their state and local emergency management partners in government and non-government organizations.” Johnston also said that there are ARES members, at the request of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, serving in the state Emergency Operations Center. Many ARES groups were also operating in several shelter locations. [Your ARES Letter editor was one of them – see commentary below].

ARRL had previously deployed Ham Aid kits in the region. The kits include amateur radio equipment for disaster response when communications equipment is unavailable.

W1AW, the Maxim Memorial Station at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut, activated its Winlink station to handle PACTOR III and IV messages and traffic, and well as its SHARES station, NCS310.
“In [ARRL’s] experience, amateur radio’s response will continue to play out, sometimes even more significantly, after the storm passes and communities enter a period of recovery,” said Johnston. “As needs are assessed, such as disruptions to power and communications, our ARRL Section leaders and ARES groups may receive additional requests for more activations and deployments.”

Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, Net Manager for the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), said the net transitioned from receiving weather data to gathering post-storm reports (read “Hurricane Watch Net Update for Ian,” ARRL News, 9/29/2022). “These reports include damage and areas that are flooded,” said Graves. “This gives the forecasters additional information they need. Also, since FEMA has an office in the National Hurricane Center (NHC), they look over these reports to get a bigger picture of what has happened, which in turn helps them to get help and humanitarian assistance where it is needed.”

Graves added that the HWN will be assisting with emergency, priority, and any Health and Welfare Traffic. The net continued operations for days. The HWN will issue an after-action report to detail the number of amateur radio operators who participated on the net.

Assistant HWN Net Manager Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said they had been filing reports since September 26, 2022, and more than 125 specific reports have been filed to the NHC from stations in the area. “We have handled other reports, not included in the database, for damage and other storm-related situations,” said Broadway. “One such call involved a relayed report of a woman trapped in her home with a collapsed wall in the Ft. Myers area. That report was relayed to Lee County Emergency Communications to dispatch a rescue team.”

The VoIP Hurricane Net was active as well. Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net and ARRL Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, said the net remained active, supporting WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. WX4NHC was active through this period for as long as needed.

Find more information at these additional links:

· The Hurricane Watch Net — Useful Links

· VoIP Hurricane Net

· FCC Grants an ARRL Emergency Request to Permit Higher Data Rate Transmissions for Hurricane Relief Communications

Updates

As Hurricane Ian was making its way to Tampa, Florida in late September, the Sheriff’s Tactical Amateur Radio Communications (STARC), W4HSO, was preparing for activation. Tony DeAngelo, N2MFT, said STARC was activated on Monday, September 26, and continued operations through Thursday, September 29, 2022.

STARC has amateur radio equipment in five of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) locations, as well as a Homeland Security office. “It’s a great working arrangement with all of the equipment provided for us,” said DeAngelo. “Our volunteers staffed those locations and the remainder worked from their homes.”

Over the course of the 4-day activation, 16 STARC volunteers worked 24 hours a day passing information for aid and assistance through the sheriff’s office using WebEOC, a web-based emergency management information system.

DeAngelo emphasized that STARC is not a club, but a service organization. STARC volunteers are required to undergo an extensive background investigation, including fingerprinting by the HCSO. STARC volunteers are civilians and employees of various Hillsborough County government agencies, Verizon, Tampa Electric, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tampa Police Department, and other public and private agencies. In the event of a disaster, radio operators provide communications between participating agencies if normal means of communications are lost. – The ARRL Letter, October 13, 2022

Cleanup and damage assessment from Hurricane Ian continues. Power outages peaked at 2.7 million customers, but new reports indicate power has been restored for 99% of the outages, leaving fewer than 5,000 residents and businesses still offline. All power is expected to be restored by Friday, October 14, 2022.

Hardee County Emergency Management in West Central Florida lost power and all communications, but Hardee County Public Information Officer Alicia Woodard said it was amateur radio that stepped in to help. “Our amateur radio operators here began relaying information to our county agencies,” said Woodard. “A special thanks to Mike Douglas, W4MDD, ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager and ARRL Assistant Section Manager/Technical Coordinator Darrell Davis, KT4WX, for their assistance during the storm.” Hardee County received 27 inches of water. Normal flooding for the area is 16 inches and most power is now back on.

ARPSC Volunteers Support Biennial Nuclear Power Plant Exercises

Amateur Radio Public Service Corps (ARPSC) operators from Monroe County, Michigan, participated in several recent exercises in conjunction with the federally mandated biennial preparedness drills at Fermi II Nuclear Power Plant in Newport, Michigan. During the exercises at the county EOC, operators from Monroe County activated the radio station in the Emergency Communications Center and made contact with surrounding counties in Michigan, Ohio and Essex County in Canada in case of evacuations or additional hospital capacity would be needed. Communication was also established with the amateur radio desk WS8EOC at Michigan State EOC, said County ARRL Emergency Coordinator Lance Charter, KE8BYC.

Operators also participated in the Radiological Decontamination and Congregate Care (RDCC) Shelter exercises for the county. For the RDCC exercises at several local schools, operators set up amateur communication stations to provide a communication link to the county EOC, and monitor weather. Just-In-Time training was also provided by operators to served agency shelter staff on use of county-supplied LMR radios and proper communications technique.

Though amateur radio serves as a backup communications resource for these exercises, County Emergency Management relies on the technical knowledge and skills of local ARPSC members in many facets of the emergency plan. “These drills are not high activity events for amateur radio, but the skills and knowledge provided by participation are invaluable,” said Charter. Monroe County ARPSC is fortunate that county served agencies recognize the benefits that Amateur Radio and its licensees can provide, and include us in numerous exercises and planning.” For more information, visit the Monroe County Amateur Radio website. — Lance Charter, KE8BYC, Emergency Coordinator, Monroe County, Michigan Amateur Radio Public Service Corp

Fortieth Year of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon – October 2, 2022

The largest outdoor sporting event in Minnesota was back to normal for 2022, our 40th year. We had many amateurs as volunteers, and filled an even greater number of roles. We had the usual hams out on the course, in a field observer and direct service capacity, reporting on the location of injured and transported athletes, and supporting aid stations. We helped sort out calls for multiple incidents at the same address – our data was very up-to-date and detailed.

We used our Linux database (trivnetdb) for real-time tracking, and for 2022, live medical tent capacity graphs. This software was updated by Peter Corbett, KD8GBL, and was shared via a Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) instance, which was set up for us by Emergency Management. This is now common for inter-agency and partner file and application sharing. We had our live mesh video feed up there in 2021.

If you bring operational assets to the party, you can be part of the Operations Team. This is a step up from just supporting the Communications Unit. We deployed additional hams and US Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers on golf carts to transport injured athletes and first responders as the temperature and humidity climbed near the end of the race.

More than 30 student Emergency Medical Technicians, coordinated by our command center via their instructor/leaders, were very effective when calls for runners needing assistance exceeded ambulance supply — many runner injuries respond to trained, supervised first aid and do not require formal hospital transport.

Several remote sites such as a runner information tent, family medical information center, and bus drop-off station were again supported by our mesh network — the existing backbone was augmented by several tower trailers and a command truck.

As a Type Three incident, Unified Command again worked beautifully, and every year we try to tighten up response times, while conserving scarce resources. — Erik Westgard, NY9D, Medical Communications Coordinator, Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, ASEC-T MN Section

ARRL ARES Section News

Nebraska Section

Dodge County Amateur Radio Emergency Services of Fremont, Nebraska, has won the Disaster Volunteer award conferred by ServeNebraska — its Step Forward Awards are the most prestigious awards given for volunteerism in the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission coordinates and supports community involvement by Nebraskans to address the needs of their communities. It coordinates AmeriCorps programming, ServeNebraska Week, a coordinated statewide week of volunteerism, and celebrate volunteer achievements through the annual Step Forward Awards. — Steve Narans, WB0VNF, EC, ARES Dodge County, Fremont, Nebraska

Eastern Pennsylvania (EPA) Section

Eastern Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County ARES/RACES: 2022 ARRL EPA SET — An early morning September 3 email from ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section SEC Bob Wilson, W3BIG, brought an overview of the EPA Simulated Emergency Test (SET) scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 1, 2022. Section Manager George Miller, W3GWM, followed up with an inspirational message and plan for intensive simulated county SITREP, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and FEMA message traffic on HF and VHF using voice, CW, Winlink and other digital modes. Montgomery County EC Chuck Farrell, W3AFV, forwarded both official Section messages to all Montgomery County ARES/RACES (MCAR) members. Farrell scheduled a Zoom planning meeting for MCAR leadership for September 6. The resulting Plan of Operation — with an increased emphasis placed upon the proper use of pro-words — was presented to the full MCAR membership during MCAR’s regular monthly meeting on September 10.

In the interim and thereafter, multiple MCAR communications took place with Section and District ARES leadership. Liaison with adjacent county ARES groups, representatives of the Red Cross, MARS operators and other potential served agencies was ongoing to coordinate the use of simplex frequencies. Implementing the Plan, MCAR leadership determined operator availability and capabilities, recruited stations for HF and data mode messaging, and assignments of MCAR operators to various specific roles and locations were made.

Montgomery County EC Chuck Farrell, W3AFV, in the RACES Room at the Montgomery County EOC. [Photo courtesy of MCAR PIO Robert Griffiths, NE3I]

Provisions were also made to staff the RACES Room at the Montgomery County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Eagleville, Pennsylvania. By Tuesday, September 27, a final set of Simulated Emergency Test instructions was posted on the AA3E reflector. The Instructions summarized operator roles, message formats, net frequencies and Winlink message addressees. An off EOC site station was assigned as Auxiliary Communications Center to insure the relay and distribution of message traffic. Final preparations were announced during MCAR’s regular weekly net on Thursday, September 29.

Activation

By 0900 Saturday, October 1, three MCAR operators were on site in the RACES Room at the county EOC. A “SAFER” system text message was dispatched announcing the anticipated simulated activation and establishment of a Resource Net, which occurred at 1000 hours using the AA3E 2-meter repeater. Stations checked in indicating their emergency power, Winlink, deployment and other capabilities. Assigned HF stations reported their communication with the EPA SET Net on 7.227.5 MHz and with the WPA SET Net on 3.918 MHz. The MCAR MESH system was also utilized to establish a “Hot Line” to the EOC. On their own, individual MCAR stations proceeded to send Winlink messages to the designated Red Cross and Philadelphia ARES addressees.

Next, the MCAR EOC station AA3E originated and confirmed receipt of fldigi (MT63 2KL) messages to MCAR stations using the AA3E repeater and then 2-meter simplex, and finally over the AA3E 70 cm repeater. While the number of stations checking into each net exceeded those stations confirming receipt, in each case five stations demonstrated their digital message traffic capabilities. Operators at the EOC were also busy establishing 2-meter simplex communication with adjacent Berks, Bucks, Chester and Delaware County ARES groups and contact with Philadelphia County ARES was established later in the day. In the meantime, the Auxiliary Communications Center had been busy digitally receiving and acknowledging a message from MARS. MCAR SET Nets were terminated at 1118 hours and the 2022 MCAR SET concluded with status reports to Section leadership on the EPA SET HF net. During its short exercise, MCAR engaged 17 participants reporting from 14 locations with 12 stations operating on emergency power. — Robert Griffiths, NE3I, MCAR PIO

Letters: The RADO

Previewing discussing the use of ICS for SET or other ham radio exercises, it would be significant to recognize that the ICS position Radio Operator (RADO) has absolutely nothing to do with operating a radio as we would think of operating. Despite the recent addition of the Incident Tactical Dispatcher (INTD) position, RADOs are still drawn from public safety dispatchers, most of whom have never seen a radio (at least not while on duty) even though they talk on the radio during their shift sitting at a computer console.

The RADO is a person who talks on a radio, but the only controls they are expected to use are the PTT and maybe the volume control. The RADO’s role in using a radio is essentially the same as a guest speaking over ham radio while the control operator sits back to watch.
Amateur radio operators may occasionally serve in a RADO role, but they generally have been recruited and used as Technical Specialists (THSP) although we are starting to see some units adopting a position title for an Auxiliary Communicator (AUXC). — Tom Currie, N4AOF, Louisville, Kentucky (Member, Louisville-Jefferson County RACES; member, Auxcomm Louisville; Secretary, Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (KyVOAD); President, Louisville METRO-REACT Team; President, Kentucky State REACT Council; Past Chairman, Training & Development Committee, REACT International, Inc.; Director, Region 2, REACT International, Inc.)

K1CE for a Final: Commentary on Hurricane Ian Deployment

I live in Columbia County, a very rural county in northern Florida, not far from the Georgia border. For a time, our county was in the crosshairs of catastrophic Hurricane Ian. ARRL Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Arc Thames, W4CPD, had conducted Zoom ARES planning meetings, drafted Incident Action Plans and coordinated communications with the state’s Division of Emergency Management headquartered in Tallahassee and, of course, all northern Florida county Emergency Coordinators. I had attended his meetings on the now-postponed Service DENIED statewide ARRL SET exercise, and was grateful to know that the Section and our county would be in good hands radiocommunications-wise.

At our county level, EC Brad Swartz, N5CBP, relatively new on the job, reported regularly on county ARES activation plans via the local ARES net, and recruited operators for possible assignment to the EOC in the county seat, Lake City. For years, ARES has enjoyed its own room at the EOC for its station and equipment: an Icom IC-7100, IC-9700, and an IC-7300, among other radios and peripherals. Swartz has a good relationship with the county emergency manager in charge of the large EOC.

As an ARES member, I was asked to report for duty at the EOC to serve as an operator if needed. I checked first with my wife, who would be left home alone for the duration of my EOC assignment: after discussion and a check of the storm’s track, with an estimate of when conditions would possibly deteriorate, she released me for duty at the EOC. (This kind of discussion between family members is absolutely mandated in any such ARES deployment scenario. Family first.) I told her that if potentially perilous conditions would be arriving, I would drive home immediately to be with her and our home. We do have a 10′ by 20′ heavy steel shipping container on our 2-acre property that would serve as our shelter and family “EOC.” See the October 2022 issue of QST, pp. 68-69, on “Developing Your Own Personal Emergency Operations Center and Plan.”

After my stint at the EOC, I was assigned to relieve the operator at one of the three Red Cross emergency shelters opened in the county. He had been on duty for over 24 hours. He checked out of, and I checked into, the ARES net on the city’s 146.94 MHz repeater, and introduced myself and my function to the Red Cross staff on duty there. I also politely answered questions from a few of the dozen or so shelter residents.

I explained that my sole function there was to receive any messages from the Red Cross shelter staff, and relay them to the on-duty operator at the EOC for delivery to the Red Cross manager for the city/county. Later, when it was patently evident the storm track had changed to the east and we would not be subject to dangerous conditions, the Red Cross closed the shelter, and I was released from duty. I notified the net control station at the EOC, took down the radio equipment and antenna, thanked the Red Cross staff for allowing me the privilege of serving them, and drove home to watch TV in horror of the destructive force of Hurricane Ian in southwest, central and eastern portions of the state.

Takeaways

At Red Cross shelters, we are there to receive and relay messages, period, with the possible exception of helping with moving tables or other furniture, and hand out food and snacks as requested. (It’s important that we don’t take any food or snacks for ourselves; it’s unprofessional at best, and at worst we could be taking food that might be in short supply for the residents.)

We are not there to tell the Red Cross personnel how to do their jobs. That old adage applies: We should be seen, but not heard!

And lastly, and most importantly, we must make absolutely sure that each member of our families approves of us leaving home to serve. Remember, they will not have us at home while they watch TV and listen to radio reports of possible danger, and most certainly will develop a sense of growing anxiety. Calculate the decision to leave home with the utmost care. – Rick Palm, K1CE, Columbia County (Florida) ARES

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ARES® Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

ARRL offers a wide array of products to enhance your enjoyment of amateur radio.

Donate to the fund of your choice — support programs not funded by member dues!

Click here to advertise in this newsletter, space subject to availability.

 

_________

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

The ARES Letter

Here’s the latest Amateur ARES News compiled by HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 21 September 2022, 1319 UTC.

Content republished with permission of The ARRL.  Copyright ARRL.

Source:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGqQcrDGpgJpmfXdKdktMgFkkTp

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2022-09-21

September 21, 2022

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

 

 

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

Julio Ripoll, WD4R, National Hurricane Center station WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator, reported that Hurricane Earl tracked far enough to the east to spare Bermuda the strongest winds. The last report the NHC station received from the VoIP Hurricane Net Team was: “Pirates Cove, Southampton, Bermuda, Wind Measurements: Measured; Sustained Wind Speed: 35 MPH; Gust Speed: 48 MPH; Wind Direction: NNE degrees.” Ripoll thanked all stations for the reports, especially VoIP Hurricane Net Director of Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY, and John Stevens, VP9NI, “for staying up late tonight and sending reports.” Ripoll said “It has been a very quiet season so far. Earl is just a warm up! The Atlantic is still very hot and the Sahara Dust and Shear Winds are fading.”

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. Founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks, the ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs by underserved communities worldwide. The ITU’s amateur radio page is worth reviewing. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is the worldwide federation of national amateur radio organizations. The membership of the IARU consists of more than 160 member-societies in as many countries and separate territories. Here, in ITU Region 2 (the Americas), there is a vital Region 2 amateur radio emergency communications program, which has published the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide, and is recommended reading.

The state of Florida is starting the long-awaited state-sponsored AUXCOMM courses, with the first class coming up in November. Jason S. Matthews, K4AUS, DHS/CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) ICTAP Program Support, said “A good cross section of attendance is key, as the networking component and getting folks collaborating at the courses are one of the best parts.” The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security is offering the AUXCOMM Auxiliary Communications Course in Fort Pierce November 4-6. The course is free of charge. Applicants need to have completed the FEMA ICS100, 200, 700, and 800 on-line courses and have an interest in working with public safety agencies. Apply for registration for the AUXCOMM course. For a review of this course, see May 2016 QST, pp. 77-78.

2022 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test Guidelines

Test Your Readiness on October 1 – 2

ARRL’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is October 1 – 2, 2022, and this nationwide exercise is the chance to test your personal emergency-operating skills and the readiness of your communications equipment and accessories in a simulated emergency-like deployment.

ARRL Field Organization Leaders at the Section and local levels, and many other volunteers that are active in public service and emergency communications, are developing simulated emergency-like scenarios in consultation with a variety of agencies and organizations for whom radio amateurs are known to provide service during emergencies.

Please remember that station readiness and personal training and practice are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service. Any time we spend on the air will contribute to developing and practicing our personal radio communication capability.

The ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the National Traffic System (NTS), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), SKYWARN™, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), and other allied groups and public-service oriented radio amateurs are among those who are eligible to participate in the simulated exercise and to practice emergency operation plans, nets and procedures.

Changes for 2022 SET

For the 2022 Simulated Emergency Test, there will be bonus points for cooperation with Army MARS stations and sharing information between MARS and amateur radio stations. Please refer to the reporting form to calculate the bonus points.

Please stand by for new 2022 SET reporting forms that will be posted among the resources on the Public Services/Field Services Forms page on the ARRL website.

ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee Update
The efforts of the ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee (EC-FSC) continue with four assigned subcommittees: ARES® /AUXCOMM, NTS™, Radio Clubs, and Field Services Restructuring. Each has an obvious and specific focus to evaluate the present structure and processes in their respective areas, and supply recommendations for change and improvement. Each subcommittee tasking calls for contact with many people in the ARRL Field Organization, community leaders, and served agencies. While this work is complex and ongoing, in the interim, the EC-FSC has completed a number of other tasks to improve services and recognition for ARRL members. Other improvements include (ARES-specific information is in bold):
1. An update of the ARRL Affiliated Club Commission Program for recruiting ARRL members. The new plan, now offering a higher commission and greatly simplified paperwork, provides a significant incentive for clubs to sign up more of their members to be ARRL members.
2. Recognition of US military veteran status in ARRL’s publication of Silent Keys reports. Recognition is permitted for all honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all National Guards. The information will be gathered from Silent Key submissions
and noted in the Silent Keys column in QST.
3. Members now have full access to all ARRL Division and Section newsletters through our web portal. If a member wants to see what a neighboring Division or Section may be doing, the information is now easily available.
4. QST now carries a new column, “Club Station,” where clubs can share information about their activities and initiatives that may inform and inspire other clubs.
5. The ARES Plan has been updated with a few recent changes and posted on the ARRL web pages.
6. The results of this year’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be able to be electronically filed and all of the score calculations will be done by the new online program. This has been tested and will roll out in time for the October 2022 SET.
7. Annual reporting/renewals for Affiliated Clubs and those clubs who are also Special Service Clubs (SSC) have different renewal dates – all based upon the anniversary of when the club was Affiliated or became an SSC. Often one of the dates was overlooked during the club’s renewal process. As of January 1st , 2024, these dates will be fully
synchronized and will renew simultaneously, ensuring no club will lose its SSC status because of an oversight. New and renewing SSCs are now listed monthly in QST.
8. Clearing the backlog of pending Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between ARES groups and served agencies. Five MOUs have been approved, two more are near completion and one awaits signature from the cooperating agency. While this work is
ongoing, we are planning a template version of an MOU, which will greatly simplify the MOU process and speed the approvals. — ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee Chairman Dale Williams, WA8EFK

This Month is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2022 theme is “Build a Lasting Legacy.” Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family. Join a CERT program. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations for the period of time when professional first responders are not yet able to assess the needs of your community. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on other more needy areas and complex tasks. Find your local CERT team, and offer ARES and emergency communications support.

In June 2003, ARRL became an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps, an initiative within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance public preparedness and safety. A Statement of Affiliation made ARRL an affiliate under the four charter Citizen Corps programs–Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps. The League joined the National Safety Council, Points of Light Foundation, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD, of which ARRL is also a member), National Volunteer Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Save A Life Foundation and The Jaycees as Citizen Corps affiliate programs.

The relationship between ARRL and FEMA goes back to 1984 when an MOU was inked that helped ARRL volunteers coordinate their services with emergency management at all levels of government. The 2003 SoA demonstrated the ARRL’s commitment to community emergency preparedness through the Citizens Corps programs.

ARRL ARES® Section News

Wisconsin Section — ARES Member Assists in Rescue of Fellow Ham

“It was Friday, September 2, 2022, which meant I worked from my home office. I have the VHF radios on low to monitor them in the background. Recently, I got into the AllStar node with a hotspot. I use it to monitor the FM38 systems (AllStar 2495) in the southern [part] of Wisconsin.

“At about 7:45 AM, I heard the AllStar node come up. An individual in distress was asking for assistance to get an ambulance to him. It was a ham in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. He had slipped on his bathroom floor and went down so hard he could not get up, but he happened to have his handheld with him (don’t we all). He did not have access to the phone, and he lived alone.

“I called the Brown Deer police call center. The dispatcher got the fire department rolling and then started asking me for more details. I had the dispatcher on speaker phone, and he could hear the hams’ responses to the questions. Being on a handheld and lying prone, the signal was, at times, noisy. At that time, both the other ham and I used ITU phonetics to get the exact info out. All those times practicing on the ARES® nets made it second nature. The dispatcher was also able to understand the info without my having to repeat it.

“It felt good to help out. I also realized it was due to my monitoring that I was able to hear his call. If you are not participating in the weekly local ARES net, I would encourage you to do so when you can.” — Scott Strecker, KG9IV. Thanks also to the Chippewa Valley Amateur Radio Club in Wisconsin, an ARRL Affiliated Club; ARRL Letter

Idaho Section — Rocky Mountain Rescue

On September 3, 2022, in the Rocky Mountains of northwest Idaho, newly licensed amateur radio operators Shannon Vore, KK7GVG, and CJ Bouchard, KK7GNG, were out for a weekend of four-wheeling in their Jeep. The area is an extremely mountainous region with no towns, very few people, no facilities, and no cell phone coverage. The nearest airfield is Horse Haven Trail, an unimproved dirt strip that’s severely eroded and covered with rocks and debris.

At about 4:30 PM, Vore and Bouchard were taking a break when an approaching truck notified them of an ATV accident involving two teenage girls. The accident scene was just a few miles away, and when they arrived it was clear the teenagers were critically injured. Bouchard was unable to contact several local repeaters, but was finally able to make contact using a simplex frequency (146.420 MHz) that’s popular with the hams in Coeur d’Alene, 20 miles from the accident site.

While Bouchard and an off-duty Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) were administrating medical aid to the teenagers, Vore took over radio operations. The call for emergency assistance was picked up by local amateur radio operator John Tappero, K7JNT, who immediately called 911 and asked that 146.420 MHz be used only for emergency traffic. For nearly 2 hours, Vore and Tappero provided relay between the 911 dispatcher, advising the condition of the injured and the approaching weather. Life Flight Network was unable to respond because of a severe thunderstorm immediately over the rescue site.

Two teams of EMTs were dispatched, but due to the mountains and the storm, they couldn’t communicate with dispatch. Tappero continued to provide relay information for all parties until 6:00 PM, when the EMTs arrived. The teenagers were in stable condition and immediately transported to the nearest hospital. Today, they’re in good condition and recovering.

“It took us about 2 days to wind down from the experience,” said Vore. “We are both glad we had our amateur radio licenses and were able to help.”

Bouchard said that they had been using radios on the General Mobile Radio System (GMRS), but have since upgraded their licenses for more operating privileges. “Because the area signals were not good, it was difficult to communicate,” he continued. “So, we studied, took our exams, and are now looking forward to much more amateur radio opportunities.”

Both Vore and Bouchard are now looking to join a local amateur radio club and become involved in ARES. —Thanks to ARRL Idaho Section Manager Dan Marler, K7REX, and Idaho Assistant Section Manager Ed Stuckey, AI7H, for their help with the Idaho rescue story; ARRL Letter

Western Pennsylvania Section SET Planning

Planning is underway for the October 1-2, 2022 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET). This year, Sections in the ARRL Atlantic Division will activate the Mid-Atlantic ARESMAT program to support SET operations, possibly exchanging teams of ARESMAT volunteers between neighboring Sections. Such mutual assistance protocols would be indicated during a hurricane, winter storm or other large-scale incident. — Joe Shupienis, W3BC, is the ARRL Western Pennsylvania (WPA) Section Manager (SM). — Blair ARES Alert!, September 2022

South Dakota Section — SOTA Operators Help Prevent Wildfire

Hams on SOTA Event Help Prevent Major Forest Fire — While participating in the Black Hills Amateur Radio Club’s (ARC) annual Summits on the Air (SOTA) event in South Dakota on July 16, 2022, two amateur radio operators helped spot a potential forest fire. Ryan Lindblom, KE0LXT, President of the Black Hills ARC, and Christopher Jaques, KD0RAS, had made their trek to Cicero Peak. Just before heading back down, they noticed what might be smoke or dust to the south near Hot Springs. Lindblom made a contact on their simplex frequency to ask a local amateur radio operator if there had been any reports of Forest Service activity in the area. An off-duty ranger was monitoring a local ham repeater from his home, heard traffic from Cicero Peak, and called in the alert. A fire crew and a helicopter were able to contain a small fire 2.5 miles south of Pringle, South Dakota.

Ward Hall, WC0Y, attending the Black Hills SOTA weekend for his second year, reported that a forest ranger on Bear Mountain stepped out of the ranger tower to greet him, but at the time, was busy monitoring firefighting traffic. “I could hear the radio activity while I was on the ground near the tower,” said Hall. “The ranger later told me that the Forest Service was alerted to a small fire when an off-duty ranger was monitoring a local ham repeater and heard the traffic from Cicero Peak.” Hall said the ranger credited the ham activity for an early alert that allowed them to address the fire while it was small. “He was very appreciative of how the ham activity helped them and asked that I pass it on,” Hall added.

ARRL Dakota Division Director Bill Lippert, AC0W, applauded the work of the amateur radio operators for early reporting of what could have been a major fire, as well as credited the Forest Service for their quick response.

The Black Hills Amateur Radio Club had 12 people participating in their Black Hills SOTA weekend. The club has 75 members and covers the Black Hills region of South Dakota, which is in the southwest corner of the state. They are headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota, and they are an ARRL Affiliated Club. – The ARRL Letter

North Florida Section — Recruitment Effort Pays Dividends

Jim Bledsoe, KI4KEA, the ARRL Public Information Coordinator for North Central Florida, and PIO for Alachua County ARES reports: “Years of attempting to establish a relationship with our local press has finally developed into a far-reaching program. The Alachua County Public Relations Manager sent our press release to hundreds of thousands of readers, and was also picked up by a local news electronic newspaper. This publicity resulted in over 29 people taking the Technician class and exam. Our local ABC affiliate put our story on the air for the second time since Field Day, reaching as many as 120,000 homes.”

Ohio Section — Nuclear Power Plant Exercise

The Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) just completed a dry-run exercise for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County, Ohio. ARRL Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said the drill was practice for the federally judged exercise scheduled for this month.

The Ohio state Emergency Operations Center (EOC) amateur station, W8SGT, was utilized and on the air to communicate with several counties in northeast Ohio. Amateur radio serves in the emergency planning as a backup communications resource. The actual exercise is focused more on the power plant and its operation, but the state EOC is involved for the process. “In real life, this was a low-key type of exercise for us. It does not involve a lot of hams or activity, just establishes the line of communication,” said Broadway. “It’s satisfying to know, through many conversations during the planning stage, that amateur radio is a key ingredient to assure communication with the state.”

Ohio ARES is also working on a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) drill for October 1, 2022.

National Preparedness Month: List of Disasters

Consistent with the goals and objectives of National Preparedness Month, here is a list of natural and man-made disaster scenarios we should all be familiar with.

All Hazards

Emergency Alerts

Attacks in Public Places

Avalanche

Bioterrorism

Chemical Emergencies

Cybersecurity

Drought

Earthquakes

Explosions

Extreme Heat

Floods

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Home Fires

Household Chemical Emergencies

Hurricanes

Landslides & Debris Flow

Nuclear Explosion

Nuclear Power Plants

Pandemic

Power Outages

Radiological Dispersion Device

Severe Weather

Space Weather

Thunderstorms & Lightning

Tornadoes

Tsunamis

Volcanoes

Wildfires

Winter Weather

Recovering from Disaster

K1CE for a Final: Send It In (Please)

This newsletter goes out to a subscriber list of almost 40,000 each and every month. There are a number of significant aspects of the newsletter, which has been in monthly production and circulation for almost 20 years. As with any newsletter of this nature, there is a regular group of contributors that provide the majority of articles, reports and other input. If you and/or your ARRL Section ARES program administrators are not one of them, please consider providing reports of your section’s activities: the ARES community at large will benefit and learn from them, and your hard-working ARES volunteers will receive national exposure and the recognition they deserve. Thank you.

President Harry Dannals, W2HD, Remembrance

On a personal note, I was saddened at learning of the passing of ARRL President Emeritus Harry Dannals, W2HD. In the early eighties, I was on the ARRL staff at Newington, and had the privilege of working with him on assignments and projects for the Board and membership. I’ll always remember him working behind the ARRL booth at Dayton and other large conventions, shaking hands with and completely engaging visitors to the booth. He always gave them his full attention and a big handshake. He’ll go on to join the pantheon of League greats. You can read the remarkable story of Mr. Dannals’ legendary service to ARRL and the amateur community at large.

Have a Great and Safe SET!

I’ll be participating with the ARRL Northern Florida Section (from Columbia County) for Florida’s statewide SET dubbed Service DENIED. On October 1, amateur radio operators from Florida’s emergency communications teams will conduct Service DENIED, based on a simulated statewide cyber-attack impacting communications infrastructure. A full outage is the scenario. The exercise will allow teams from various Florida counties to test their ability to communicate with the State Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee using only amateur radio equipment. Individual amateur radio operators will assist in gathering situation reports, providing them to local emergency management as well as the State EOC using various voice and data modes. Teams will test capability to provide health and welfare messaging for residents using a national traffic system. I’m really looking forward to it. Be safe out there.

73, Rick, K1CE, k1ce@arrl.net

______________________________

ARES® Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

ARRL offers a wide array of products to enhance your enjoyment of amateur radio.

Donate to the fund of your choice — support programs not funded by member dues!

Click here to advertise in this newsletter, space subject to availability.

Reminder for Hawaii Island Radio Amateurs:

Doug Wilson (KH7DQ) begins a new Technician Class License Course today, 21 September 2022, via the ZOOM Conference Protocol.  For details, please go here:  douscelle@aol.com

ARRL Hawaii SET (Simulated Emergency Test) will happen on 01 October 2022, 0900-1230 HST.  For more information, please go here:  https://hawaiiares.net

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

The ARES Newsletter

Here’s the latest edition of “The ARES Newsletter” from HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this Amateur Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 17 August 2022, 1433 UTC.

Content republished with permission of The ARRL.  Copyright ARRL.

Source:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGqPzHHrKLpmfplXNSHPsGKWJnG

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2022-08-17

August 17, 2022

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

 

 

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

Amateur Radio, Winlink Gain Attention in the FEMA Disaster Emergency Communications Newsletter — published twice monthly for the FEMA Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG) stakeholders, this newsletter provides articles of interest from various sources across the emergency communications and homeland security communities.

In the lead article for the August 1-15 issue, Amateur Radio and Winlink drew attention for roles in the RECCWGs Regions 4 and 6 joint Communications Exercise (COMMEX) conducted May 31-June 1. The exercise simulated large-scale cyber-attacks that targeted four major metropolitan areas with internet, wireless and landline related outages. Each state tapped into their PACE Planning models – a viable list of Primary, Alternative, Contingency, and Emergency modes of communications – to overcome disruptions in primary public safety communications systems.

Areas without internet access used Winlink to successfully send templated “Field Situation Reports” that provided “ground truth” information. “The radio circuits used were provided by CISA SHARES, State Public Safety Radio Systems, and Amateur Radio.” See the full story on the Amateur Radio/Winlink aspects of the exercise in the June 2022 issue of the ARES Letter.

The New England ARES Academy channel on YouTube features a number of worthwhile training and other videos. The New Hampshire ARES program publishes an excellent website, a fine example to be emulated by other Sections’ programs. It’s replete with resources and a knowledge repository.

An excellent training video series on YouTube is conducted by veteran host C. Matthew Curtin, KD8TTE, an experienced SHARES and military operator. He has served as Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator (ASEC), Franklin County, Ohio, Emergency Coordinator (EC), and NTS Net Manager. Curtin was a presenter at the ARRL Emergency Communications Academy held in conjunction with the ARRL National Convention at Orlando HamCation® in February. Curtin’s dynamic presentations never fail to captivate the audience. Visit KD8TTE’s channel.

June Pacific Northwest Exercises Bring New Level of Collaboration Between Emergency Management and Response Organizations

Six preparedness activities focusing on the next full-length megathrust rupture in the Cascadia Subduction Zone were described in the May 2022 edition of the ARES Letter. In the exercises, which involved operational communications, amateur radio participation was well-received and appreciated.

On Thursday and Friday, June 9 and 10, the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) kicked off their Thunderbird and Whale 2022 Exercise with a “cold start” EOC setup. Meanwhile, hams on the east side of Washington stood by to collect simulated situation reports (SITREPs) from amateur radio stations in the affected areas closer to the coast. This effort didn’t work out as planned due to poor cross-state band conditions on HF. Members of the Kitsap (County) Auxiliary Radio Service and the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service provided ham radio communications at the NTEMC’s EOC.

During this period, a complete commercial communications interruption was part of the exercise plan. “We told everybody they had to turn off their cell phones and couldn’t use their laptops or answer email or text messages,” said Lynda Zambrano, KE7RWG, the Executive Director of the NTEMC. Winlink via HF was used to request a SatCOLT (Satellite Cell On Light Truck) from FirstNet, and that arrived at the EOC the next day. One side note of interest: two of the ham radio volunteers at the NTEMC EOC are mathematicians who have conducted tsunami impact modeling and published studies of shorelines along the northern Washington coastline.

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 15-16, radio amateurs in Clark, Lewis, Pacific, and Skamania counties traveled to bridges on state and federal highways in their local areas and performed “Level 1 Post Earthquake Bridge Inspections,” and radioed these to the EOC at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) via both voice and HF Winlink. Several of the radio paths didn’t work as planned, but the hams involved easily adapted and found alternate frequencies without missing a beat. At the end of the exercise, Monique Rabideau, KG7IJI, the Southwest Region Emergency Manager at WSDOT, sent an email to the radio volunteers saying “You are all ROCK STARS! Thank you so much for your work to make this a reality for this exercise!!!”

On Saturday, June 18, the single day Washington Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) DART/EVAC Functional Exercise took place, delivering 25,000 pounds of food via general aviation aircraft to multiple food banks in northwest Washington. Communications between airports were supported by dozens of ham radio volunteers from Clallam, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Walla Walla, and Whatcom counties.

Also on Saturday, June 18, the United States Volunteers – Joint Services Command (USV-JSC) supported the NTEMC response by activating their national and (several) regional commands. Ham radio volunteers set up temporary stations in California, Florida, Virginia, and Washington, and passed ICS-213 forms (mostly SITREPs) on Winlink. Using ham radio communications was new to the USV-JSC commanders, and they were impressed by the support.

On Saturday, June 18, through Tuesday, June 21, the Oregon Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) held a functional exercise and delivered nearly 5,000 pounds of food via general aviation aircraft to tribes in Southwest Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Due to amateur radio support for competing exercises in Oregon, only five airports were staffed by volunteers with portable HF Winlink stations,

Volunteer general aviation pilot Meyer Goldstein makes a food delivery to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe at Grove Field in Washington [Photo courtesy Steve Aberle, WA7PTM]

the backbone for tracking aircraft arrivals and departures. The hams at the Newport (Oregon) airport also set up ADS-B tracking to watch for incoming flights. The food delivery to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians at the Newport airport was recorded by a Discovery Channel film crew, and the estimated air date for this footage is February 2023.

This group of exercises stimulated a new level of collaboration between emergency management and response organizations throughout a wide geographical footprint. The communications portion could not have been carried out without hams in the Eastern Washington, Los Angeles, Oregon, San Francisco, Southern Florida, Virginia, and Western Washington sections all working together. — Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, Assistant Director, ARRL Northwestern Division

Operators Support American Red Cross in Kentucky Flood Response

As the flood waters began to recede following devastating rainfall in Kentucky that began on July 26, the American Red Cross reported that over 400 of their disaster workers were on the ground, as well as dozens more in other locations. They provided shelter, meals, and other forms of support. Red Cross teams also worked alongside their state and municipal partners among others, including Kentucky ARES volunteers.

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, was in touch with American Red Cross personnel in the affected area. He said ham radio volunteers were supporting Red Cross damage assessment teams with radio communications. “The rural and mountainous terrain of the affected area adds to the already difficult situation,” said Johnston.

Much of the local response effort is being coordinated by Steve Morgan, W4NHO, of Owensboro, Kentucky. The response of radio amateurs throughout the region is under and in cooperation with an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross. ARES groups from Ohio and Virginia have also been in touch with hams in the affected areas and have been on standby, ready to respond if needed. – ARRL Letter

ARRL Simulated Emergency Test: Consider Running It Under the ICS

Trending in incidents, events, activations and exercises these past few years has been their administration under the Incident Command System (ICS). Two months ago, a club in rural northern Florida conducted its Field Day under the system, with an Incident Commander and assistants for Safety, Liaison and Public Information; and chiefs for operations, finance/administration, logistics, and planning. This system translated into a winning scenario for the club: scores proved it, the county sheriff and emergency manager made appearances, and safety was the primary concern with no incidents noted.

Traditionally, the System is used by public agencies to manage emergencies, but the ICS can also be used by businesses and many other entities, including ARES, as an administration model. ARES emergency coordinators and members can become familiar with the fundamental concepts of incident command and coordinate planning with local public emergencies services accordingly.

The use of ICS by an ARES group – or any group for that matter — depends upon the size and complexity of the “incident” or event. Functions and roles may be assigned to multiple individuals or a few persons may be assigned multiple responsibilities. Not all of the ICS positions need to be activated in each incident: The ICS structure is meant to expand and contract as the scope of the incident requires. For small-scale incidents, only the incident commander may be assigned. Command of an incident would likely transfer to the senior on-scene officer of the responding public agency when emergency services arrive on the scene.

For an amateur radio exercise such as the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET), the Emergency Coordinator could, for example, assume the title of IC or Communications Unit Leader (COML) and rank-and-file ARES members can assume other roles in the Communications Unit (COMU). The Communications Unit, a critical function within the Logistics Section is designed to support the operable and interoperable communications needs for planned events, unplanned events, and exercises.

Key COMU positions that can be assigned to ARES members in the SET include:

  • Communications Unit Leader (COML)
  • Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)
  • Communications Technician (COMT)
  • Incident Tactical Dispatcher (INTD)
  • Radio Operator (RADO)
  • IT Service Unit Leader (ITSL)

These positions are a valuable resource and should be utilized whenever possible during both the pre-planning and response to planned events, unplanned events, and exercises.

The ARRL Simulated Emergency Test weekend is October 1-2 this year, but groups are free to conduct their local and Section-wide exercises at any time throughout the fall. The annual SET encourages maximum participation by all amateur radio operators, partner organizations, and national, state, and local officials who typically engage in emergency or disaster response.

In addition to ARES volunteers, radio amateurs active in the National Traffic System, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), SKYWARN, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and a variety of other allied groups and public service-oriented radio amateurs are needed to fulfill important roles in this nationwide exercise.

The SET allows volunteers to test equipment, modes, and skills under simulated emergency conditions and scenarios. Individuals can use the time to update a “go-kit” for use during deployments and to ensure their home station’s operational capability in an emergency or disaster. To get involved, contact your local ARRL Emergency Coordinator or Net Manager. Check on upcoming planned activities through local, state, or Section-wide nets.

Consider developing your group’s SET plan by using the Department of Homeland Security’s Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Exercises are a key component of national preparedness — they provide the whole community with the opportunity to shape planning, assess and validate capabilities, and address areas for improvement. HSEEP provides a set of guiding principles for exercise and evaluation programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.

An Example of Excellence

This year’s SET in Florida is titled “Service DENIED” with the scenario of a statewide cyber-attack that impacts the state’s communications infrastructure. While ARES teams based in Florida are accustomed to hurricane activations, a cyber-attack has just as much chance of occurring with even less notice (if any) than a hurricane. The slogan we all see, “When all else fails, ham radio works,” would truly pick up its real meaning with a full communications infrastructure outage.

“We have begun working with our served agencies and other partner organizations to get engagement for participation,” said Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Arc Thames, W4CPD. Communicators from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) will be participating in this exercise from the State EOC in Tallahassee so this provides an excellent opportunity for a county, volunteer organization, or agency to test their communications ability with the State and other agencies throughout the state. All three ARRL sections are planning to make this a true statewide exercise.

Tips: A Monthly Radiogram Challenge

It’s important for all radio amateurs to know how to send an ARRL Radiogram. To accomplish this goal, the Northern Florida Section has set up a Monthly Radiogram Challenge. This month’s challenge, for example, is for operators to send a properly formatted Radiogram to the Section Emergency Coordinator with “what your number one fear or concern of something that could go wrong during an emergency activation and what you would do to remediate that concern” — whether it be something like not having enough batteries or an antenna breaking, etc. Radiograms may be sent via a traditional HF or VHF net or Winlink, the hybrid radio/email system/network. There is an online training session on using voice to transmit a Radiogram.

ARRL Section News

Minnesota Section

Minnesota ARES officials have announced the appointment of Erik Westgard, NY9D, as Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator- Technology. Westgard will also assume the position of the section’s Exercise Coordinator. He was a principal in designing Operation Downdraft last fall, and he will play a major role in Downdraft 2.

Westgard has been an important asset to amateur radio in Minnesota: he serves as the Medical Communications Coordinator for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, Red White and Boom, and Loppet Winter Festival. He was involved with the development of the state’s 145.67 MHz packet network and the deployment of D-STAR in Minnesota. His team has purchased more than a dozen 30-foot tower/generator trailers recently. He is currently partnering with Minnesota VOAD on mesh video and disaster recovery activities. Westgard is retired from AT&T as a Principal Technical Consultant, and is a Senior Community Faculty Member in the Graduate MIS Department at Metropolitan State University. [Westgard is a frequent contributor to the ARES Letter. – Ed.]

Southern New Jersey Section

Thanks to an excellent relationship with the New Jersey South Region Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and member organization Cooper University Hospital, the Southern New Jersey ARES program has portable communications “pods.” Custom built to specifications, the pods are essentially communications trailers – without the trailer.

Oregon Section

The Klamath Basin Amateur Radio Association held an awards ceremony on July 16, with the club’s long-time member, Ruth Schorr, K7RFO, being presented with an award from officials of the Oregon Emergency Net (OEN). At 97 years old, Ruth has served as net control for OEN for more than half a century.

South Texas Section

Michael Livingston, AG5ZG, is the newly appointed Assistant Emergency Coordinator Liaison for the Cy-Fair CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). As the northwest Assistant Emergency Coordinator C ARES/CERT Liaison, Livingston will be focused on:

· Facilitating a close working relationship between ARES D14 NW and Cy-Fair CERT.

· Coordinating and driving joint efforts/participation between the two teams during exercises and incidents.

· Providing updates on CERT activities and opportunities periodically to the NW team during weekly nets and to the NW groups.io forum.

· Assisting NW Training team with the development and delivery of CERT-related training topics for weekly training discussions.

· Recruiting CY-Fair CERT members to become radio amateurs and join ARES.

Livingston is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Cy-Fair CERT organization, and the Public Information Officer. He is also on the Cy-Fair CERT Amateur Radio Committee (CFCARC), a member of the Harris County CERT Leadership Team, and a member of the NW Harris County CERT Leadership Team.

Letters

ARRL has done us a great service by publishing an article that goes into significant detail about the disaster response of volunteer hams in early June, 1972, when a flood destroyed a section of Rapid City, South Dakota. [See the August 2022 issue of QST, page 89].

In the middle of the night, radio equipment was set up to provide communications from the city’s Courthouse/EOC. The broadcast radio station studio was destroyed, so public messages went out from the EOC over an emergency broadcast channel, with the announcers working from the EOC. That was the only way the public got bulletins.

Apparently, they had 2 meters at the EOC, and they had the 40/80/20-meter bands (depending on time of day) available within 2-meter relay distance from several volunteers. In the early hours they handled incoming traffic (379 messages by a single station!) a good bit of which was apparently official and the remainder was health and welfare. As you might expect, that proved very difficult to deliver in a town with tremendous flood damage.

Operators used HF to move official messages for Red Cross and others in and out to coordinate the response. Hams in vehicles performed reconnaissance using both VHF and HF — whatever they had. Outbound Health and Welfare messages apparently went by the droves — there was a mention of 1500 pieces by nine stations working together. Separately, WA0UFS moved 500 outbound messages. I suspect basically all of these were formal, using the Radiogram format, because back then, there wasn’t anything else.

The article gives lots of wise guidance of what works, and what doesn’t. People worked as long as 43 hours straight — and they needed relief and replacement. There are good discussions of prioritizing traffic; lots to learn. This is well before “FEMA” was really prominent, and so there wasn’t an HSEEP format or anything, but the Section Manager appears to have written this and gave us a LOT of useful information. Worth reading! — Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, Gainesville, Florida

K1CE for a Final: Put on the Shirt

As you can imagine, I review a lot of online reports and videos each month for fodder for this newsletter. The apparel of some of our operators in EOCs and Red Cross shelters leaves a bit to be desired, shall we say, delicately. Consider wearing a professional-appearing polo shirt with the ARES logo and pressed khaki pants. You can purchase a shirt here.

Just sayin’. — 73, Rick, K1CE

______________________________

ARES® Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

ARRL offers a wide array of products to enhance your enjoyment of amateur radio.

Donate to the fund of your choice — support programs not funded by member dues!

Click here to advertise in this newsletter, space subject to availability.

 

_________

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please check the blog sidebar, links, and twitter posts.

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

The ARES Letter

Here’s the latest Amateur Radio Emergency Communications News compiled by “The ARES Letter.”

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 15 June 2022, 1354 UTC.

Content reprinted with permission of The ARRL.  Copyright ARRL.

Source:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGpGTHLsxBfrcVnLmHLLGJqtCJG

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2022-06-15

June 15, 2022

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

 

 

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

ARES® FORUM at Dayton Hamvention® — ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, reports that he moderated the ARES forum at Hamvention this past month: “The forum was a panel discussion on overcoming difficulties, successes, and best practices, with panelists that included Emergency Coordinator, Public Information Coordinator and newly elected Section Manager of Northern Florida Scott Roberts, KK4ECR; ARRL Central Division Vice Director Brent Walls, N9BA; and Illinois Section Emergency Coordinator Robert Littler, W9DSR. The forum was well attended and following the panel discussions, the panel fielded a number of great questions. Some very good discussion was shared among attendees and the positive feedback was welcome.”

The Northwest’s largest amateur radio convention, SEA-PAC, held its 40th anniversary show, June 3 – 5, 2022, and was the ARRL Northwestern Division Convention. The convention kicked off on Friday with a series of all-day workshops. An Emergency Communications workshop covered topics from “what to take” during an emergency, to disaster response experiences and stories. ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, participated in the workshop, offering a perspective on the role of ARES in responding to local disasters.

WX4NHC Annual Station Test 2022 Report: “After 2 years of our dedicated volunteer ham radio operators working remotely from home stations due to Covid, we operated from inside the National Hurricane Center (NHC) for our annual test event on May 28th. (All ops were fully vaccinated.) This was our 42nd year of volunteer communication services for the National Hurricane Center. The test event was successful as all facility radios and antennas performed well. In 8 hours, we made 289 contacts nationwide and internationally using HF, VHF, and UHF radios and digital communications modes. Thanks to all our volunteer operators for their continued efforts and for all the stations worldwide that help during hurricanes. Please remember, no matter how many hurricanes we have this season, it only takes one to destroy your house or community; no matter how many or how few Surface Reports we receive from an affected area, just one Surface Report can make a big difference.” — Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Assistant Coordinator, WX4NHC, NOAA National Hurricane Center

Kenneth Graham, WX4KEG, is the next NOAA assistant administrator for weather services and the 17th director of the National Weather Service, effective June 7, 2022. “Ken has the scientific integrity, trusted leadership, and communication prowess that will take the National Weather Service to even greater heights,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “I have full confidence that he will help create a more weather- and climate-ready nation amid more extreme weather fueled by our changing climate.” Graham has served as director of the National Hurricane Center since 2018. He has been an ardent supporter of the NHC Amateur Radio Station WX4NHC, the Hurricane Watch Net, and the amateur radio severe weather reporting community at large.

The ARRL Executive Committee of the Board of Directors met in formal session on May 9. An Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee update was provided by chairman and Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. Noting that there is an extensive project list, four subcommittees were created to handle the work. The subcommittees include subject matter experts and have been shown to be effective. Currently the committee is working on MOUs. The MOU with FEMA has been progressing nicely, with positive feedback from FEMA and is expected to be a 5-year agreement. Other partners that MOUs are being worked on include the Red Cross and Salvation Army. The committee is also in the early stages of addressing a separate MOU format for use by groups in the field who want agreements with local served agencies. Other items that are showing progress include updating the ARRL Section Manager’s workbook and expanding the mission of the National Traffic System (NTS).

Updated, current Red Cross/Winlink Thursdays exercise results and participant/clearinghouse maps are available, along with general information, schedules, and past exercise results.

FEMA Regions 4 and 6 Winlink Exercise — A Major Success for At Risk Areas

The states in adjacent FEMA Regions 4 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and 6 (Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico) jointly participated in a communications outage exercise on May31/June 1 with a cyber-attack scenario run in four major metropolitan areas: Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Little Rock, Arkansas.

In addition to Winlink, with CISA SHARES and amateur radio operators providing Field Situation Reports to be exercised by the states in the two FEMA regions, were the following additional emergency communications systems: FNARS (FEMA National Radio System), NAWAS (National Warning System), MSAT G2 (Multi-State Satellite talk groups), and Multi-State linking of P25 statewide trunking networks.

The mission of the Winlink exercise was for operators/observers to send “ground truth” information in a Winlink Template report form called “Field Situation Report” to three separate destinations via Winlink HF/VHF/Telnet depending on the originator’s location. RF (no Internet) only was to be used in the four communications outage (affected) areas listed. Steve Waterman, K4CJX, DHS CISA SHARES Auxiliary Communications and FEMA Region 4 Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group auxiliary communications committee chair, said “for the US amateur radio operator, in a real-life event, we want to preserve the small and precious RF space for those who have no other choice. So, when we do have Internet, we should use Telnet. However, as an exercise, the choice of delivery was left to the individual operator.”

The scenario and task for Winlink operators was direct and simple: The cities in the two regions were picked to suffer communications outages. Affected emergency management agencies needed “ground truth” situation report information from everywhere within the two FEMA Regions from the users of the Winlink Radio Email Network System, regardless of the location within the Regions, or the reasons for the outages. There were two separate sets of instructions for operators: If an operator was NOT in the affected cities, the operator configured and reported on specific configuration data for the Field Situation Report and sent the report by using RF (over the air) modem protocols or Telnet. If the operator was located within the affected cities, the operator was tasked with reporting any outages on the Field Situation Report by using RF only.

Results Speak for Themselves

There were a whopping 997 responses from operators in the field, which provided adequate information regarding the locations of the cyber communications issues. View the distribution of responses here. The State governments of South Carolina and Arkansas provided Dashboard information.

Waterman reported that there was a myriad of organizations involved, including ARRL, SHARES Regional Coordinators and others, all working together in executing this exercise. “This was an excellent exercise, and I thank all for the extraordinary work from those who provided input into this entire process, including and especially all the visuals — sizzle matters,” he said.

Waterman said there were lessons learned, and after-action discussion will be forthcoming. But, “we have already made some major enhancements in Winlink Express regarding statistical information from resulting input from our mappable forms. More importantly, we can always improve our functionality, accuracy, etc., but getting any incentive for improvement in what we do, and how we do it will depend on the level at which each agency views resiliency, and their acceptance of Winlink and volunteer resources at the tail-end of their PACE plan. Extensive feedback from areas under investigation is a critical component of any disaster,” he said.

Slingshot Tips

by Gordon Gibby, KX4Z

North Florida Amateur Radio Club

We’ve been using slingshots for years to place antenna supporting lines in trees, up to about 50 feet. I’m certainly not an expert, but it has worked well for us. Some of the Alachua County (Florida) crew have purchased or constructed air-powered mini-potato rifles also, which have even greater range. This article gives just a few tips on using a simple slingshot to place lines.

Accuracy — I think there are two key factors here. A wrist brace seems to be key. I use a simple slingshot purchased from Amazon that has a folding wrist brace. Without that brace, I can’t keep a simple “Y” type hand-held slingshot still during the release. The brace makes it easy. Secondly, that very floppy leather “pocket” seems to be extremely important for accuracy with a lead fishing weight. A replacement band with a stiffer pocket turned out to be completely useless. Replacing the “pocket” with the old leather one brought it back to perfect working order.

Projectile — I prefer an “egg sinker” fishing weight in the 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 ounce range. Heavier doesn’t go as far, and I get concerned about possible accidental damage. These have a hole drilled straight through, which makes it easy to attach a line. Acquire several.

SAFETY — Obviously we aren’t perfectly accurate, and the lead fishing weight can often hit a branch or a tree and go somewhere we didn’t expect. Stay AWAY from power lines! Always try to avoid choosing a direction toward windows, cars, and other expensive items. At Field Day, it’s best to get lines up and over limbs before all the cars park in risky locations.

Graded Sizes of Lines — My usual goal is to either get the line over a specific limb or over an entire tree if the branches are too thick. Only a very lightweight, low-friction line can be pulled to an apex 50-60 feet by a light fishing weight. And they are amazingly difficult to FIND on the other side! My friend Sam Register clued me into fluorescent orange braided fishing line — I prefer 60- or 80- pound test. This is much easier to work with than the usual mono-filament. Consider a version of: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MGA5WJ6 I keep a couple of spools on hand. Spread at least twice the desired height in line out over pavement or asphalt or a sheet in long columns in front of you if possible – if there are twigs on the grass, the line will always get tangled and your distance will be severely reduced. After a successful placement of the fishing line over a desirable branch, go to the far side, cut off the fishing weight and tie on a nylon or nylon-polypropylene mix twine, approximately #18 up to 3/32″ size. Be certain that the twine you choose is fairly strong. Reel back in all of the fishing line, pulling the line backwards over your limb. Now tie on a stronger line, up to perhaps one-quarter inch size – paracord works well or twisted or braided nylon. Make sure your ties between different sized lines are strong and secure – sometimes a simple knot between a small and a larger line can allow the smaller line to slip out, disastrously. Finally, if the one-quarter inch size isn’t up to the task, you can then pull up 3/8″ or half-inch rope to finish off the project.

Stuck — Inevitably you will end up with a fishing weight “stuck” up a tree. Be careful when pulling back on such a line – you don’t want it to come zinging back and kerplunk right into your face! Sometimes you’ll have to give up and simply cut it off (above nuisance height) and leave it. The orange fishing line degrades in the sunlight and will be almost invisible in weeks. Having extra fishing weights and braided fishing line is a good plan. I keep a kit for this purpose in a plastic tool box. The slingshot band will degrade after a few years, so periodically provide a spare. Just remember to use the floppiest “pocket” you have. – QST NFL June 2022

ARRL Section ARES News

Oklahoma Section

To help with emergency communications support following an outbreak of tornadoes that hit this past month, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency of Management and Homeland Security requested support from Oklahoma ARES. During the first week of May, 12 tornadoes touched down in the central and eastern parts of the state. The tornado that struck Seminole, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, May 4, left EF2 damage, according to the National Weather Service. That tornado was a mile wide, and its path totaled 31 miles.

The request for amateur radio emergency communications support was made on Thursday, May 5, 2022. ARES was activated on Saturday, May 7. Seven amateur radio operators were active, providing voice communications between chainsaw and debris removal teams from their base at Seminole State College’s volunteer center. ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO, said the cleanup crews worked quickly, and ARES was needed for 8 hours until cellular and wired communications were restored. There were no deaths or injuries during the tornado outbreak, but cleanup continues. – ARRL News Desk

Puerto Rico Section

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, a SKYWARN training session was held at the theater facilities of the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón (UPRB), located in the municipality of Bayamón, Puerto Rico. It was led by Ernesto Morales, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the US National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The activity had a large attendance of mostly radio amateurs from many parts of the Island. It was a very dynamic talk where the public had the opportunity to ask questions and clarify their doubts. Morales

Part of the ARRL Puerto Rico Section contingent present for the SKYWARN training session were (from left to right) Jorge A. Rivera, NP4ZB; ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Rene Fonseca, NP3O; ARRL Section Traffic Manager Emmanuel J. Cruz, NP4D; NWS subdirector Ernesto Morales; SKYWARN representative Luis E. Cruz, NP4KB; and ARRL Emergency Coordinator, Zone 10B Alberic J. Medina, NP3MR. [Photo courtesy of WP3GW]

highlighted the importance of the community as the “eyes” of the National Weather Service in places where it is difficult for NWS radars and sensors to obtain data. He lectured attendees on the different weather hazards, on what observations program participants should make, and what they should report. The activity was coordinated by Luis E. Cruz, NP4KB, of SKYWARN, and his daughter Vann Cruz, with special thanks to Mario Rivera, KP4NNC, Migdalia Santiago-Albadejo, KP4MSA, and Dr. Miguel Vélez -Rubio, Rector of the UBPR for the use of the facilities. — Thanks, ARRL Puerto Rico Section Public Information Coordinator Ángel Santana, WP3GW

Santa Barbara Section

The Ventura County (part of the ARRL Santa Barbara Section in California) Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on June 7 proclaiming June 2022 as Amateur Radio Month in honor of the more than 3,800 FCC-licensed amateur radio operators residing in Ventura County, and ARES. — Thanks, Ventura County ACS Radio Officer and Ventura County ARES District Emergency Coordinator Robert Hanson, W6RH, and ARRL Santa Barbara Section Public Information Coordinator Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, who arranged for the proclamation with the county supervisors.

Southern Florida Section

The Hurricane Charlie drill in Palm Beach County, Florida on Saturday, May 21, 2022, commenced at 9:00 AM with the use of three county repeaters — 146.625 MHz, Jupiter; 146.670 MHz, West Palm Beach; 147.225 MHz, Boynton Beach; and the 444.325 MHz SARNET repeaters. Forty-one people checked into the exercise repeaters. Turning to simplex frequencies, 10 operators checked in, for a total of 51. Contacts were made on SARNET, the Florida statewide 70 cm FM network of repeaters. Checked-in station operators reported simulated incidents such as: power lines down, flooding, trees down, roofs damaged, and roads impassable. All transmissions started and ended with “This is a Drill.” Thanks went to the skilled net control operators, and special thanks went to Armen Gregorian, KI4UKP, of the Palm Beach County EOC for opening the facility on a Saturday, allowing operators to be admitted to monitor and observe the exercise from inside the radio room. All operators were thanked; many of those who participated in this drill exercise are members of ARES, Red Cross, Palm Beach County auxiliary communications and various CERTs. — Albert Moreschi II, AG4BV, Jupiter, Florida

Letters

On EMP and Solar-Terrestrial Effects

I enjoyed your article “Safety Tips for ARRL Field Day and Hurricane Season” in the June 2022 issue of QST, pages 67-68 –– great article! Regarding EMP and solar-terrestrial effects on electronic equipment, this is an item that I include when writing emergency response plans for water and wastewater utilities. It’s clearly an issue when it comes to industrial control and SCADA systems. If you’re interested in the subject, two references that I use are:

1. National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center: Electromagnetic Pulse Protection and Resilience Guidelines for Critical Infrastructure and Equipment, Virginia, 2019.

2. Glasstone, Samuel, and Dolan, Phillip J. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. United States Department of Defense. 1977.

Most of the actionable information on EMP effects is unfortunately classified. There’s been a lot of testing done using EMP simulators producing a near-field rise time and field strength approximating a weapon or solar event. Believe it or not, bipolar transistors and silicone diodes can take a pretty good hit and keep on ticking, albeit with degraded performance and shortened operating life. Microprocessors, not so much. Microprocessors in a radio with a connected antenna is a “forget about it.” Metal equipment enclosures are a good thing. – Walt Mahoney, KC1DON, Providence, Rhode Island

K1CE for a Final: My Rural County Preps for Hurricane Season; New EC Presents at EOC Partners Meeting

As this is written (June 2 — just the second day of the official 2022 hurricane season), the Florida peninsula is under a tropical storm watch. This past week, at the gracious invitation of new Columbia County ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) Brad Swartz, N5CBP, I attended and observed the county emergency management team’s 2022 Pre-Hurricane Season and Community Partners Meeting at the county EOC. The meeting was 90 minutes long, with the Emergency Manager presiding, with representatives from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM), Red Cross, and other agency reps from the county Sheriff’s office, United Way, schools department, Florida Highway Patrol, VA hospital, Clay Electric, the 911 Director, and a nurse from the Health Department — all key stakeholders.

First up to the podium was Swartz, who presented on amateur radio, SKYWARN and ARES capability in the county, which has a population of about 33,000 residents. The county is mostly rural/agricultural, with some industry and tourism. Swartz discussed the dimensions of his ARES program and its priority: planning and training for so-called Low Probability/High Impact incidents. He gave a brief history of county responses and support for large public events such as the

Newly appointed Emergency Coordinator Brad Swartz, N5CBP [Rick Palm, K1CE, photo]

Olustee (Civil War battle) parade and an air show. His crew has participated in major regional exercises such as Whirlwind Boom 2 years ago, and the ARRL SET. There are weekly tests with the State EOC in Tallahassee via SHARES (Swartz is a SHARES license holder) and amateur radio. ARES members participated in a recent, large FEMA Region 4/6 exercise, which proved highly successful – the assignment was to send damage assessments via a template in the Winlink platform. The inclusion of senders’ GPS coordinates enabled map locations. [see related story in this issue].

Emergency Manager Shayne Morgan injected an account of a simple test recently: the scenario was a heart attack victim in a sparsely-populated area of the county, with all emergency communications systems down. The solution was an amateur radio voice message to a radio amateur located physically near the EOC, who ran a written note to the emergency management staff there, and EMS was dispatched to the victim.

Swartz discussed the various modes of communications available to radio amateurs, how they are prioritized, and how his program participants communicate/coordinate with other county ARES programs and EOCs. He informed the group on modes that can get short messages through in the presence of poor band conditions, such as JS8.

The FDEM reps discussed their agency’s needs in a disaster to have reliable communications enabled between the State EOC and each of the affected county EOCs, as a priority. FDEM is in the process of updating their MOUs with community partners and preparing protocols for prepositioning assets prior to disaster effects setting in.

The Red Cross rep informed the meeting attendees that the county’s Red Cross program is in the rebuilding stage following the loss of volunteers due to the Covid pandemic. MOUs need to be updated, and more volunteer workers need to be recruited. Shelters need to be assessed, and snacks and water supplies need to be stockpiled.

Red Cross priorities during blue sky include getting smoke alarms into residents’ homes. (Home fires represent the number one disaster across the US, according to the organization.) During gray sky, their priority is to prepare evacuation shelters. VOADs can assist Red Cross regionally, and Red Cross National HQ also supports its local and regional offices.

Open Forum

Following the presentations, Morgan opened the floor to questions. There was one comment from the manager of a special needs shelter: “We need more hams–they worked well for us but we need them to stay all night. We need hams, and more EMS and law enforcement support, too – they make the residents with special needs feel safe.”

Takeaways

For me, the main takeaways were:

1. 27% of the 90-minute meeting was devoted to discussion of county amateur radio capability. That stat really impressed me.

2. Agencies and Red Cross – as evidenced by the comments of the Special Needs Shelter manager – profoundly count on the services of ARES and volunteer Red Cross amateur radio operators. We serve a real need.

3. And lastly, it is clear that Columbia County is in good hands with new EC Brad Swartz, N5CBP, as we head into hurricane season — he has the knowledge base, people skills, and management skills to motivate his ARES operators to work appropriately with served agencies.

Have a great — and safe — Field Day! 73, Rick Palm, K1CE

______________________________

ARES® Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

ARRL offers a wide array of products to enhance your enjoyment of amateur radio.

Donate to the fund of your choice — support programs not funded by member dues!

Click here to advertise in this newsletter, space subject to availability.

 

_________

Hawaii Island Amateur Radio News:

The Big Island Amateur Radio Club (BIARC) will participate in the 2022 ARRL Field Day Exercise on Saturday-Sunday, 25-26 June 2022, at Wailoa State Park in Hilo.

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

The ARES Letter

Here’s the latest Amateur Radio Emergency Communications News compiled by the “ARES Letter.”

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 16 February 2022, 1358 UTC.

Content supplied by HQ ARRL, Newington, CT, 06111.

Source:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGmtrTMlfjZpHdBFNLxPgdnlBCN

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2022-02-16

February 16, 2022

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

 

 

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

Save the Dates – Cascadia Rising 2022 — This FEMA National Level Exercise is a follow-up to Cascadia Rising 2016. The scenario begins with an abrupt shifting of the Earth’s crust along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, resulting in a full-length rupture of that fault between Cape Mendocino in Northern California and Nootka Island in British Columbia. This produces a magnitude 9.0+ earthquake with numerous aftershocks, some exceeding magnitude 7.0, which disrupt response efforts. Subsidence and a tsunami will drastically impact coastal areas. Ground shaking, liquifaction, and landslides will affect nearly every area west of the Cascade Mountains.

Although both Oregon and Washington scaled back their participation, both the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC), and several counties are still planning Functional Exercises. These organizations will have ample amateur radio emergency communications opportunities.

WSDOT will do mostly bridge inspections, and these will be held on June 15-16, although volunteer groups could choose to do inspections in their area on a weekend if more members are available to participate during those periods. Clark County ARES/RACES practiced doing bridge inspections, including test-driving the new Winlink form, as part of their 2021 Simulated Emergency Test.

The NTEMC will need a full slate of amateur radio communications support as they will be exercising FEMA Emergency Management Response Phases 2a, 2b, and 2c over the course of 11 days, June 9-19. No group will need to play on all days, but there is plenty of opportunity for VHF/UHF and HF, both voice and Winlink. Some of the ESF #2 activities will involve communications with federal and state agencies, within tribes and between adjacent tribes, taking and relaying safety assessments of tribal infrastructure and small airfields, tracking of general aviation planes delivering supplies, and radio support for other responding entities (CERT, Medical Reserve Corps, general aviation pilots, HAZMAT teams, etc.).

If your RACES/ARES/ACS/AuxComm or other emergency communications group has a tribal nation nearby, or you have an Away Team that could travel to an adjacent county, please contact me for exercise details. — Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, ARRL Assistant Director – Tribal Liaison, ARRL Northwestern Division

Published twice monthly for the FEMA Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG) stakeholders, the FEMA Disaster Emergency Communications News Clippings and Topics of Interest newsletter provides articles of interest from various sources across the emergency communications and homeland security communities. The Vol. 10 Issue 1, (January 1 – 15, 2022) contained the following item:

Disaster Zone Podcast: Amateur Radio Systems — January 2, 2022: “Amateur radio is emergency management’s last best hope for maintaining communications in a disaster when all other systems fail. This podcast is an interview with two leaders from the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (Seattle ACS), Tim Helming, [WT1IM], and Catherine Middleton-Hardie, [KJ7DYG]. Seattle ACS supports the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. In the podcast you will learn all about the different types of amateur radio organizations, the equipment, frequencies and wide variety of missions and activities that amateur radio operators support; and a bit about how Seattle ACS is organized and maintains their operational readiness.”

Alachua County, Florida ARES team members participated in their twice-monthly operational training net on Thursday, January 27, 2022. The purpose of the net was to test simplex communication.

The net required check-ins on the local ARES net repeater, and then moving to an unused simplex frequency. Net Control for the training net was located at the top of a local hospital’s parking garage; the second-highest location in the county was selected due to unobstructed line of sight in all directions.

The results were quite promising, with eight operators from around the county checking in and exceeding the expectations of simplex communications locally. The exercise yielded critical information about successful communications without use of the local repeaters. — ARRL Northern Florida Section news

On February 18, at 0100 UTC (the evening of Thursday, February 17, in North American time zones), the US Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) will host a Zoom call to discuss amateur radio and AUXCOM support to the US Department of Defense. During this presentation, the NETCOM representative will discuss:

· the authorities for these operations

· upcoming DOD exercise opportunities for 2022, where outreach to the amateur radio/AUXCOM community will be a primary training objective

· use of the five 60-meter channels

· the concept for the types of amateur/AUXCOM outreach.

There will be an opportunity for Q&A throughout the presentation. Use this Zoom link to attend. The meeting ID is 837 8115 4615, and the passcode is 670665.

ARRL National Convention Emergency Communications Academy Offers Hands-On Training; Glimpse into the Future; Introduction of New ARRL DEM; Affirmation of League Commitment to EmComm – 122 Registrants Attend

The ARRL Emergency Communications Academy was held on February 10 in conjunction with the ARRL National Convention at Orlando HamCation®, with subject matter experts from an array of emergency and disaster communications communities serving as panelists and instructors. The diversity of presenters’ backgrounds was a key to the patently successful day-long session. Just about every facet of knowledge and experience was represented.

Panelists included ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, one of the principal architects of the highly popular Red Cross Winlink Thursday exercises. The new ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, was introduced. ARRL section-level managers and coordinators including Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Arc Thames, W4CPD, and West

Lead Instructor Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, welcomes participants at the opening of ARRL EmComm Training Academy, February 10, at the ARRL National Convention at Orlando HamCation®. [Rick Palm, K1CE, photo]

Central Florida SEC Christine Duez, K4KJN, representing ARES® and the National Traffic System were on hand to discuss plans, programs, and issues in their respective sections and areas of expertise. There were emergency management officials from the states of Florida and Georgia, among others, and the Federal government. From the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) was the newly appointed Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC); from Georgia was the state’s AUXCOMM coordinator. Other panelists and attendees included two AUXCOMM course trainers, a representative from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Information Security agency (CISA) emergency communications department, and a two-term former FEMA administrator, among many others. Other subject matter experts rounded out the slate of presenters and instructors.

The room was packed with pre-registered students from across the country, as far away as Washington State, representing another level of diversity that added value to the session. They came equipped with radios and laptops, ready and excited to participate in the hands-on training sessions planned. The official count of attendance was a whopping 122. Academy Lead Instructor Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, said, “I think one might be hard-pressed to find a more diverse group of instructors and students; I’m grateful to each and every one for taking the time to present their knowledge and experience for others to learn from and enjoy.”

Speakers offered a look into the future of volunteer radio amateurs’ roles in state government emergency management, specifically in state-level emergency operations centers, and the possible training requirements leading to credentialing for state EOC access. State planning staff are considering that a volunteer operator will need to progress through a series of learning and training programs, starting with the now-familiar, basic FEMA Independent Study courses IS-100, 200, 700, 800 (and possibly others), followed by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications Auxiliary Communications course completion, check-off of the items of the Auxiliary Communicator (AUXC) Position Task Book, and finally credentialing by the specific state emergency management agency involved. The AUXC is a relatively new position likely to be added to the Communications Unit (COMU) of the Logistics Section of the NIMS/Incident Command System emergency management structure. It’s a position that may be open to ARES members and other radio amateurs in general, but may be open to licensees in other personal radio services, too.

Speakers encouraged check-offs of the items in the ARES and Florida Position Task Books as well. It is expected that more AUXCOMM courses will be available across the country as the staff of DHS/OEM and state agencies embraces the AUXCOMM Train-the-Trainer (TtT) education. Important note: It was emphasized that the training, certification and credentialing sequence described above by the speakers is likely to be limited to service at the State level; i.e., the State EOC. It should not affect volunteer ARES and other amateur radio operators serving their local, county emergency management agencies and EOCs: how radio amateur volunteers are coordinated and utilized at these levels will be left to the discretion of local/county government, as it always has been.

The audience was informed of the new National Interoperability Field Operations Guide Version 2.0 that was released last fall. A new version of the current Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG) Version 1.1 is expected in March. The Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG) is a reference for auxiliary communicators who directly support backup emergency communications for State/local public safety entities or for an amateur radio organization supporting public safety.

Speakers emphasized that the AUXCOMM program is not designed to replace the venerable ARES program; rather, it is meant to complement it. AUXCOMM ‘s more narrow scope of practice is limited to support of relationships with government emergency management and public safety agencies. ARES operators who have taken the AUXCOMM training and have had check-offs in their ARES and other Position Task Books, however, will have a head start on program material mandated by the AUXCOMM program for State government credentialing.

Hands-On Training Leads to Engagement

There was far more than just speeches and “talking.” The emphasis was on learning by doing in several of the academy efforts; for example, participants moved traffic with their handheld radios in live nets, on various frequencies. Newcomers to Winlink learned how to download and set up their computers with the software, and get registered on the network. They sent email messages via Telnet Winlink and made live HF ARDOP and VARA radio connections and message transfers on a live HF system. Gibby said, “Our preferred mode of teaching was SEE IT, DO IT.”

Other Highlights Punctuated the Day

Highlights of the day-long session included exceptional, dynamic presentations from C. Matthew Curtin, KD8TTE, Warrant Officer, Signal Section, Ohio Military Reserve, and founder of the BLACK SWAN exercise and training program that has pioneered interoperability among agencies and NGOs. Curtin opened the sessions with an overview of amateur radio response to disasters and how communication works through layers of networks and interchanges. View his series of excellent YouTube training videos.

Helen Straughn, WC4FSU, retired public safety communicator with the Florida State University and Tallahassee police departments, along with Curtin, covered basic voice Radiogram message transfer and capturing radiograms into the ICS-213 form, the message format employed in the Incident Command System. A simulated net session demonstrated message transaction practice from message origination to sending, receiving, and finally, delivery.

The academy’s ARES Forum was conducted by newly appointed Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Arc Thames, W4CPD [the day was started with a moment of silence for former SEC Karl Martin, K4HBN, who passed away three weeks ago]. A recurring theme of the forum was the critical importance of the healthy relationship between the ARES member and leadership, with the local/county emergency management and other served entities including public event coordinators. “Our job is to offer our help if they want it; to perform any task they need done, even if it’s not directly related to radio-communications,” Thames said. “We serve them, not the other way around.” Thames was joined by West Central Florida SEC Christine Duez, K4KJN, who discussed the CERT program in her section and the challenges and rewards of managing a large ARES community.

A riveting AUXCOMM forum on the theme of integration of amateur radio emergency service groups featured the comments of the newly-appointed Florida SWIC, the Georgia AUXCOMM coordinator, two AUXCOMM class instructors, and two-term former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, which was expertly moderated by Leland Gallup, AA3YB. Gallup is a lawyer who served in the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and then as a civilian attorney for the Federal government. The panelists laid out their visions for the future of the amateur radio role in AUXCOMM, as discussed above. Administrator Fugate spoke to the fact that no other aspect of emergency support functioning can occur without communications.

Lead instructor Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, an electrical engineer, anesthesiologist, and high school advanced chemistry teacher who has galvanized Alachua County (home of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville) radio amateurs with his regionally and now nationally recognized training exercises conducted strictly under the ICS protocols, opened his session with a brief discussion and demonstration of Winlink emergency communication tools. He quickly turned to getting students in the room to be able to download the Winlink software, register with the network, and send a short message via Telnet Winlink. It was a challenge for many students, but a stroll around the room revealed 75-80% of the laptop screens displayed Winlink up and running. Some chaos added to the fun!

Curtin and Gibby gave an educational – and wildly entertaining demonstration – program on emergency antennas: guidance on field-expedient antenna systems, NVIS propagation, and RF exposure compliance. This session was a particularly big hit with conferees.

Rounding out the incredible day was an expert overview of emergency power sources, including the advantages of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, by Earl McDow, K4ZSW, who worked in medical research computer data acquisition and analysis, and later, in the Oak Ridge nuclear complex and research universities in Tennessee.

Conclusion: Signs of Success

It was a long day for presenters and students alike, but by 5:00 PM, no one had left their seats: a sure sign of success and engagement. The panelists and instructors also happily noted that “The evaluations from the audience were excellent (scored 4.4 average out of 5) and provided lots of ideas for further improvement on what were very well-regarded talks.”

Notes:

The program that was implemented for the communications track is at https://qsl.net/nf4rc/2022/EmCommTrainingTrack0106.pdf

Talking points of presentations can be found at these links:
Amateur Radio & Disasters — M. Curtin

Basic Voice Traffic — Curtin & Straughn
Hands On ICS-213 Traffic — Curtin & Gallup & Straughn
Data Comms — Gibby
Emergency Antennas — Gibby & Curtin
Emergency Power — McDow & Capehart

See also the full set of presenters’ powerpoint slides here.

New England ARES, SKYWARN Mobilizes for Major Winter Storm and Blizzard

Amateur Radio operators across New England were active with a major winter storm and blizzard causing several feet of snow, hurricane force wind gusts at the coast, tree and power line damage from the combination of wet snow and damaging winds in portions of East Coastal Massachusetts, particularly Cape Cod and the Islands, and minor to moderate coastal flooding at the time of the high tide cycle. The blizzard broke various records and placed in the top 10 of major snow events in the cities of Boston and Providence.

“It was a long weekend of ARES-SKYWARN operations with extended ARES operations over Cape Cod and the Islands,” said Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator and SKYWARN Coordinator.

Western Massachusetts ARES and SKYWARN supported a Western Massachusetts Emergency Net on 3944 KHz throughout the entire day, open to all amateurs in New England with over a dozen nets yielding close to 100 reports of snowfall and other conditions. This was coordinated by Net Manager Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, and his team of net controls at the discretion of the Western Massachusetts ARES SEC, Bob Meneguzzo, K1YO.

The New England Echolink and IRLP reflector system was also utilized, with many SKYWARN reports relayed on that system. Close to a dozen repeaters had rolling Amateur Radio SKYWARN Nets gathering snowfall reports, damage reports, and current conditions from around the region. DMR was utilized for SKYWARN efforts both in Southern New England and across portions of the state of Maine.

“The Amateur Radio nets provided a tremendous amount of situational awareness regarding snowfall accumulations and the high rate of snowfall that was occurring, storm damage and wind gusts that were reaching hurricane force gusts across East Coastal Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, and moderate coastal flooding at the time of high tide. Over 115,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts, with outages centered over Southeast Coastal Massachusetts and especially Cape Cod and the Islands where the combination of wet snow and damaging winds caused the most damage. The information was shared with the National Weather Service, Massachusetts Emergency Management, and the media providing an up to date situational awareness picture in near realtime of what was occurring as the blizzard affected the region,” Macedo said. Read a post-blizzard message summarizing most of the data.

Cape Cod ARES Operation

In addition to rolling Cape Cod ARES-SKYWARN nets every 2 hours, Cape Cod ARES supported operations at the Barnstable County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) supporting the Multi Agency Coordination Center (MACC) operations at the EOC as well as regional shelters. Close to a dozen radio amateurs supported the ARES operation and SKYWARN efforts.

“We had operators supporting shelters in the towns of Falmouth and a regional shelter at the Barnstable Middle School in Barnstable, Massachusetts,” said Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator. “In the town of Sandwich, operators staffed the town EOC as well as two warming centers while I staffed the county EOC”, said O’Laughlin. “A key issue we had was various generator failures at some sites that extended shelter operations into late Sunday Afternoon before commercial power was restored sufficiently where our operations stood down late Sunday afternoon.”

Amateur operators in the Cape Cod ARES activation included Tom Wruk, KB1QCQ, and Jason Ludwig, KC1MLQ, at the Barnstable Middle School shelter. For the town of Sandwich, operators included Bill Lapine, W1WAL, who is also the Deputy EMA Director for the town of Sandwich, Chris Ranney, WA1CMR, and Dennis Driscoll, N1RDN, for the Sandwich Warming Centers and Heather Gallant, K1BOH, at the Sandwich EOC. For the town of Falmouth, Henry Brown, K1WCC, operated from the shelter with Mel Trott, KC1ELB, staffing the town of Falmouth EOC. Many other operators provided SKYWARN reports from the Cape Cod ARES group with Lem Skidmore, W1LEM, and Barry Hutchinson, KB1TLR, acting as Net Control stations for the SKYWARN Nets. – Thanks, Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator and SKYWARN Coordinator

K1CE for a Final: Observations of the ARRL EmComm Academy

It was a pleasure and a real privilege to observe the panelists and instructors do their thing at the ARRL Emergency Communications Training Academy session described above. In over 40 years of running and participating in these kinds of programs for ARRL volunteers, this one was far and away the finest, most effective and engaging conference I’ve ever been involved with. The key to success was the diverse panel of subject matter experts who served as the panelists and instructors; they captivated the audience with their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm. The audience was also a diverse group, from many different interests and disciplines. I spent a lot of time observing the students during the course of the day — their engagement was manifest.

One of the main takeaways from the conference for me was the sense of affirmation of the ARRL’s commitment to excellence in emergency communications programs and training, which goes back more than a hundred years (read the “Emergencies” chapter in 200 Meters and Down, by Clinton B. DeSoto, published in 1936, for examples).

In addition to the February 10 training program, two other recent actions affirm ARRL’s embrace of its emergency communications and public service administrative responsibilities to its volunteers in ARES and other amateur radio emergency and disaster response groups and volunteers:

· The recent hiring of Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, new ARRL Director of Emergency Management. Johnston has 16 years of experience as Director of Johnson County (Arkansas) Department of Emergency Management. Johnston is also certified in FEMA NIMS as a CISA AUXCOMM-prepared Communications Unit Leader (COML). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Administration and Management from Arkansas Tech University.

· And, the addition last year of new ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, who helped coordinate the Winlink Thursday training sessions that have taught hundreds of Winlink operators about the nuances of the popular hybrid email/RF system. Mike has a history of service in ARES in the Connecticut ARES program, serving as District Emergency Coordinator for the state’s Region 5.

It was a pleasure meeting these two personable, highly qualified new members of the ARRL Headquarters staff. They bode well for ARRL’s agenda of support for its Field Organization ahead of this year’s disaster situations and responses to come. – Rick Palm, K1CE

______________________

ARES Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

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For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio News and Information, please check the blog sidebar, links, and twitter posts.

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

 

The ARES Letter For 15 December 2021

ARRL officials participate in Connecticut AUXCOMM Exercise.

Views expressed in this Amateur Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 15 December 2021, 1300 UTC.

Content provided by HQ ARRL, Newington, CT, 06111.

Source:

http://www.arrl.org/ares-el?issue=2021-12-15

Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.

December 15, 2021

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

 

ARES® Briefs, Links

US Department of Homeland Security’s AUXCOMM Course February 7-9, 2022 Orlando, Florida, precedes the ARRL National Convention hosted by HamCation — The AUXCOMM class information can be found below. When asked how he enjoyed the course, Arc Thames, W4CPD, Assistant Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator said: “It was hands down one of the best emergency communications courses I’ve taken. It really tied together many of the other individual courses I had taken. The hands-on activities and the group exercise at the end were invaluable. If you’re interested in emergency communications, this course is for you.” Only 30 seats are available, so be sure to apply for the course as soon as possible.

December 8, 2021 — A grant of $374,233 from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to Rocky Mountain Ham Radio (RMHAM) will go toward expanding a multistate 5 GHz microwave network and help to outfit communications trailers. The microwave network enables partnering amateur radio clubs and groups to access, enable, or expand their repeater and other FCC Part 97-appropriate applications. The network provides 50 – 100+ Mbps of bandwidth and is managed and monitored by a dedicated network operations team. “Amateur radio organizations across Colorado and New Mexico leverage this infrastructure to enable their own repeater and IP capabilities that would otherwise be difficult or prohibitively expensive to achieve,” RMHAM said. Read the full report. – ARRL News Desk

Register now for the 2022 ARRL National Convention Emergency Communications Training Track — Plan on attending the 2022 ARRL National Convention, set to take place at Orlando HamCation® on February 11 – 13. A day-long workshop on emergency communications is scheduled as one of the training tracks that will be offered as part of the National Convention program that will precede HamCation on Thursday, February 10. The training presentations will feature current protocols, techniques, and responsibilities for the modern volunteer radio operator serving partner public safety entities. The presenters are subject-matter experts. Topics to be covered include the ARRL Emergency Communicator Position Task Books, an overview of amateur radio communicator responses to disasters, basic voice traffic handling with hands-on voice traffic net/message transfer practice, using the ICS-213 form, Winlink’s Amateur Radio Digital Open Protocol (ARDOP) and VARA protocols, and the Radio Mail Server (RMS) hybrid internet/HF radio gateway system. Register for the National Convention Training Tracks.

ARRL CEO Observes and ARRL Field Services Manager Participates in Connecticut AUXCOMM Exercise

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David A. Minster, NA2AA, met Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, at Bradley International Airport north of Hartford, Connecticut to observe ARRL taking part in an emergency management exercise there. The exercise concluded on Saturday, October 23. Walters participated on all 3 days and finished his assigned tasks early so he could help other teams attending the event.

The Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security conducted the exercise, the agency’s first COMMEX. In cooperation with US DHS/Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), individuals that had been trained as Communications Unit Leaders (COML), Communications Unit Technicians (COMT) and Auxiliary Communicators (AUXC) were evaluated in order to complete individual task books for their respective positions. Walters, and Wayne Gronlund, N1CLV, of Connecticut ARES, served as evaluators for the state. Minster met with representatives Michael Paulette, KJ6QHD, Exercise Director for CISA, John Gustafson, Emergency Telecommunications Manager, and Robert Drozynski, Emergency Management Program Specialist with the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut employed instructors from Kentucky, Texas, and California as well as tactical units from around the state supplied by various agencies and amateur radio organizations. The goal was that operators trained during this event can now be utilized in emergency situations as well as resources for future training.

Icom SHF Project — Super High Frequency Band Challenge Offers Opportunities for ARES

According to a public information release, Icom has been conducting technical research on a new project to create a product from its wireless communication technology cultivated over more than half a century. Under the theme of “Icom SHF Project–Super High Frequency Band Challenge –“, the company started to develop a new amateur radio product available for use in the 2.4 GHz and 5.6 GHz bands. They stated, “Icom engineers are working hard to research and develop a number of never-cleared challenges within the SHF band, such as large cable loss and higher frequency stability requirements. The ultimate goal is to bring it to the market as a new radio product.”

DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM) Training Course Planned for February

The DHS/CISA Auxiliary Communications Training Course will be conducted February 7-9, 2022, in cooperation with the 75th Orlando HamCation™ in Orlando, Florida (30 student maximum capacity). This class is designed for auxiliary communicators (AUXCOMM) and other communications groups who volunteer to provide backup radio communications support to public safety agencies. This typically includes volunteer amateur radio communicators from such organizations as SATERN, the Red Cross, REACT, and others. This class is free to anyone

DHS Auxcomm Course Graduates, Orlando, Florida, 2016.

who is accepted into the course. This course focuses on auxiliary communications interoperability, the relationship between the Communications Leader (COML) and AUXCOMM volunteers, emergency operations center (EOC) etiquette, on-the-air etiquette, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations, auxiliary communications training and planning, and emergency communications deployment. The course is intended to supplement and standardize a volunteer operator’s experience and knowledge of emergency amateur radio communications in a public safety context.

Prerequisites for Attendance

Personal experience: A valid/signed FCC amateur radio license; Past experience in auxiliary emergency communications; An affiliation with a public safety agency (served agency); A desire to work with COMLs in a NIMS ICS environment. Must have completed the following online courses from the FEMA EMI website: IS-100, Introduction to the ICS; IS-200, ICS for Single Resources and Initial Incidents; IS-700, National Incident Management System (NIMS), an Introduction; IS-800, National Response Framework (NRF). How to Apply: Send an email with the below listed information to: TrainingRequest@commscollabcenter.com Subject Line: [Last Name] Application for HAMCATION AUXCOMM Course 2022. Text of email: Applicant’s name; the name of the public safety agency you are, or will be, supporting; the public safety agency’s email address; the agency’s point of contact name and their email and phone number. Attach completion certificates for all courses listed above. Applications will be considered incomplete if any of the prerequisite course completion certificates are missing from the email. All applications and other requested documents, must be received by close of business on Friday, January 28, 2022. The first 30 qualified applicants will be notified that they are registered once the appropriate information has been received. Selected individuals will be notified of the course location/schedule once their registration is approved. Questions regarding the course prerequisites should be directed to CISA by contacting John Peterson via email at AUXCOMM@cisa.dhs.gov

Spotlight: Lake Superior AuxComm Group Forms for Mutual Assistance

We as radio communicators have through our training and regular activity become familiar with other operators in neighboring communities, townships, counties, and even states and provinces. We knew who to call if we needed assistance in supporting an incident or event response and we were prepared to assist them if asked, the essence of a mutual assistance plan. Assistance and support come from those equipped and trained to provide it.

The potential for a wide-scale emergency/disaster warranting a greater regional response around the Great Lakes was an indication for a better organized, more efficient mutual assistance team approach when involved by an emergency management entity. In answer to this need, the Lake Superior AuxComm Group (LSAG) has been formed.

LSAG functions as a resource collective, coordinating organization of the region’s auxiliary communication groups and personnel, equipment and group/operator capabilities. The database is updated and shared with emergency management entities by their local Emergency Coordinators.

Should an emergency manager in an incident-affected area need support from auxiliary communicators, the manager may contact the local LSAG member-entity and request assistance. The local group then works with the LSAG to garner and activate the appropriate level of mutual assistance needed from other LSAG members, AuxComm and ARES® groups in the region that includes Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

LSAG will promote and facilitate training in operator message handling via data and voice modes and evaluate/develop an emergency communications frequency/mode plan for the Lake Superior region. — Tim Hass, KD8ZYW, Emergency Coordinator, Alger County, Michigan; LSAG Board member

Staying Flexible and Adaptable: Planning for Communications Continuity

Achieving secure and resilient voice and data communications across the Emergency Communications Ecosystem is essential for public safety agencies to execute their missions. However, as emergency communications systems and functions become more interconnected, they also become more vulnerable to impacts from physical and cyber-based threats and hazards. The National Emergency Communication Plan (NECP) highlights the critical need for public safety organizations to plan for continuity and recovery of critical communications. Despite its importance, the SAFECOM Nationwide Survey found that less than half of public safety organizations build processes into their plans to ensure continuity of communications during out-of-the ordinary emergencies or disasters.

A webinar hosted by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency highlighted the importance of continuity capabilities in the emergency communications ecosystem and provided participants with best practices for ensuring limited loss of critical communications during incidents. Speakers discussed specific communications elements that should be considered; explained how existing capabilities should be updated or upgraded to ensure continuity based on lessons learned; and provided real-world experiences on how jurisdictions have adapted to mitigate mission impacts from communications vulnerabilities.

Continuity capabilities-building principles, practices, and resources are available at the FEMA National Continuity Resource Toolkit and other sites. It’s important to periodically review and update or upgrade capabilities and leverage the NECP to understand and build emergency communications resilience. Get additional information on the webinar series.–Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), US Department of Homeland Security

Operating Tips: Simplex and Programming Channels

Many opine that simplex is the ultimate mode of communication during a major emergency. Bob Pickering, KB4RSY, communications tech for the large EOC in Flagler County, Florida, conducted an all-simplex exercise annually. Recently while reprogramming my radios I devised a method to incorporate simplex frequencies to make “retuning to simplex” easy and fast. All of my local repeaters are programmed to the uneven channel numbers and the simplex frequencies to the even channels. One rotational click and I can check a simplex channel for use. – Lou Mecseri, KE1F, Palm Coast, Florida

A Case for Not Programming Repeaters into the Memories of your Radios

If you are like me and most other operators, you have programmed your area repeater frequencies into the memory channels of your radios. Recently, when I needed to switch to a new repeater frequency, I could not remember how to enter the PL tone and offset – an aggravating factor may be that I’m almost 70 years old with a slowly eroding memory! I resorted to reading the radio’s operating manual. Now, I forego using the memory channels and instead enter the repeater frequency, offset, and PL tone manually each and every time so that I’ll have the muscle memory needed to select repeater parameters on the fly in the field. Think about it – it only takes a second to enter the parameters. – K1CE

Section News

Position Task Books in use for training in the panhandle of Florida — The Florida ARRL Tri-Section ARES task book is a working document that enables those ARES communicators electing to participate in the training plan to track and document their elements as they are completed. The task book contains all training plan items, completion dates and signoffs as the ARES communicator increases skill and proficiency.

The Santa Rosa County ARES team will utilize the task book as the training plan for 2022. The goal is to have active ARES members signed off to level 2 of the task book. The training and activities outlined in level 2 cover many of those that an operator needs an understanding of to operate independently whether within the county or away on a deployment. (During a meeting, Arc Thames, W4CPD, Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator, emphasized the importance of being self-sufficient during an activation).The training regimen will start off with message handling with radiograms and ICS forms, and a deep dive into Winlink with hands-on activities. “We plan to setup numerous TNC’s of varying types to give our team the experience of using and setting them up in the field,” Thames said. “We work hard to keep plenty of activities and training opportunities going in the Northwest Florida area,” which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.

K1CE for a Final: Get Your BLS, CPR, and AED Training as New Year’s Resolution Number One

Each year an estimated 350,000 sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) events occur in the United States in an out-of-hospital environment. In 2020, Washington DC Fire and EMS reported 964 SCAs in the district with only a 4.7% survival rate. An SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system abruptly malfunctions, and the heart suddenly stops beating normally. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Without quick intervention in the form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, death from SCA is certain.

ARES members and other radio amateurs can be a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival. A properly trained communicator can make the difference between life and death because when CPR begins prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, the person in cardiac arrest’s chance of survival increases by 2 to 3 times.

ARES Participants: YOU are on the front lines of incidents and events where potentially hundreds of officials, participants, coordinators, and observers are under stress and prone to cardiac events. Make it your new year’s resolution to take the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Basic Life Support (BLS) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) courses from a local Red Cross or American Heart Association training office.

________________

ARES Resources

· Download the ARES Manual [PDF]

· ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]

· ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]

· ARES Plan

· ARES Group Registration

· Emergency Communications Training

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.

ARRL Resources

Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QSTOn the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO parties.

Subscribe to QEX — A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts — and much more!

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For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please check the blog sidebar and links.

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

https://bigislandarrlnews.com

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com

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