The ARES E-Letter for June 17, 2015

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June 17, 2015
Editor:
Rick Palm, K1CE

ARES E-Letter Archive

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In This Issue:

 

Hurricane Season 2015: Florida
Statewide Hurricane Exercise Helps ARES Plan, Prepare

Hurricane Center Station Tests Positive

Exercise Regimen of City ARES/RACES Group in
California, A Model of Excellence

New Workbook/Workshops are Part Mission Critical in
Texas

Letters: ARES/SAR Operations Save Lives in New
Mexico

ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section: A Hotbed of
Public Events, Service

Santa Clara County (California) ARES/RACES Mesh
Networking for Event/Incident Response

K1CE for a Final

ARES Notebook

“This has probably been the most significant weather event to hit Texas,” said
ARRL South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC. “We have had major
tropical storms and hurricane events, but the widespread combination of heavy
rains, tornadoes, and flooding all at same time and covering two-thirds of
the state, is pretty much unprecedented for us.” Click here for SKYWARN and ARES reports on the
responses to these severe weather events across the south-central part of the
country.

Happy 50th Anniversary to the
Hurricane Watch Net. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) celebrated its 50th anniversary on the air, June
13-14. HWN members used the call sign WX5HWN, operating on 14.325 MHz but with
stations active on or near 7.268 MHz as well. More here.

ARES Activity Reports from the
Field Are Important

ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager
Mike Corey, KI1U, reminds ARES members that ARRL HQ needs reports and
updates on ARES activities related to severe weather responses, and any
responses for that matter. This information is important for several reasons:
recording ARES activity for ARRL reports, updating national partners on our
activity, and identifying any needs in the field. Please keep HQ in the loop on
activities of ARES groups (and others, eg, SATERN, MARS, amateurs
assisting VOADS). Please remember to complete the reporting form FSD-157. Reports
can easily be made on-line here.

New
Edition of the ARES Manual Now On-Line

Click here for the new ARES Manual. As reported
in last month’s issue, the ARES Manual and NTS Manual have
together long been part of a single publication, the Public Service
Communications Manual. The two manuals will now be separate publications.
NTS leadership is currently reviewing and preparing to update the NTS
Manual.

The new ARES Manual includes several new
additions: inclusion of ICS forms 213, 205, and 214 for ARES use; an
expanded discussion on training resources; clarification of the role and purpose
of RACES; and copies of all current ARRL MOUs. The update is the first in
over two decades and was a collaborative effort of field organization
leaders, federal partners, and ARRL staff. The new manual is available online as a downloadable PDF.

ARRL 2015 Hurricane Season Webinar: July 20

The ARRL
2015 Hurricane Season Webinar is scheduled for Monday, July 20 at 8 PM
eastern time, and will run for approximately one hour. Agenda items include
welcome and introductions, a report from the National Hurricane Center
Station WX4NHC team and VoIP Hurricane Net, ARRL Public Information, Canadian
Hurricane Center, Hurricane Watch Net, and ARRL HQ Hurricane Response. More
details to come. Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss hurricane season
plans and issues with leaders from the Amateur Radio hurricane response
community.

Top

Hurricane Season 2015: Florida Statewide Hurricane Exercise Helps ARES
Plan, Prepare

ARES members from all three Florida
ARRL Sections (Northern Florida, Southern Florida, West Central Florida)
participated in a statewide hurricane response and communications exercise on
May 30, a day prior to the start of the 2015 hurricane season, which runs
from June 1 to November 30. Florida is the 20th largest state (by land
area) and third largest state by population, in the US, and is exposed
hurricanes, and other severe weather such as tropical storms and tornadoes.

The objectives of this exercise were to evaluate current
procedures, identify areas for improvement, and achieve a collaborative posture
with partner-agencies. A major goal was an assessment of the ability of
players to establish and maintain multi-disciplinary communications networks
during a response to a hurricane incident. Assessment of hurricane
preparedness was also an exercise objective, with adequacy of plans for responding
to a potential Category 3 hurricane land fall addressed, including issues
of resource management, and information control.

During
the exercise, players responded to simulated events and information as if
the emergency was real, unless otherwise directed by ARES leadership. ARRL
Northern Florida Section Manager Steve Szabo, WB4OMM, exhorted his ARES team
members to “have fun, work with your peers, and think creatively.”

Informal post-exercise debriefings with local ARES groups
were held to assess local group needs, individual operator needs and
amendment/modification of ARES emergency response plans as indicated. Players and
their leaders were advised to conduct exercise activities within their
staffing capabilities and procedures according to their local plans.

Exercise Parameters

Reporting forms were
mandated to be ICS/NIMS compliant. Communications modes were primarily RF-based,
and not overly dependent on Internet hybrid systems, although hybrid
platforms in common usage were to be tested, including D-RATS, Winlink, and others. Power sources were
battery/generator-based, independent of commercial mains.

ARES groups
were tasked with activating and staffing their local EOC (real or
simulated); and deploying members to any two partner-agencies (hospital, fire
house, shelter, police/sheriff office, Red Cross, Salvation Army, church, school
or any entity facility in the local community served by the group). Once
on site, ARES exercise players established communication links via an
RF-based mode (on HF, VHF, UHF, with CW/FM/SSB/data modes). Operators obtained
the name of their served agency, its street address and point of contact
(POC) information (name and position/title) and provided it to the county EOC
on a NIMS compliant message form (ICS-213) via the RF communications mode.

In turn, operators at the EOC then checked-in to a net
such as a Florida traffic/ARES net, SARNet, Florida State-Wide Hurricane Net, or used an Internet-assisted
mode such as D-STAR, D-RATS, Winlink2K, SEDAN, or others to send the information and a
test message listed in the communications plan, and SITREPs to county ARES
Emergency Coordinators (EC). The EC in turn sent activation, deployment
locations/POC information, check-in data and messages to the Section Emergency
Coordinators (SEC) as a SITREP. Summaries of all exercise results were to be
forwarded to the Florida State ESF-2 (Emergency Support Function #2

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