The ARES E-Letter for July 15, 2015


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July 15, 2015
Rick Palm, K1CE

ARES E-Letter Archive


ARRL Home Page

In This Issue:


ARES Links, Briefs

ARRL 2015 Hurricane Season Webinar Set for
, July 20: Don’t Miss It!

Anatomy of a CERT: Oceanside (CA) CERT

Spring Severe Storm SET a Success in Pacific

Critical Partnership: CERT Joins with Amateur Radio
Club for Field Day in West Central Florida

ARRL Los Angeles Section Promoting Membership in

Heat: Summer’s #1 Killer

Letters: Liability Waivers

Editorial: The Critical Need for Amateur Radio
Embedded in CERTs

ARES Links,

June 29, 2015 – Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 has special
significance for ARES registrants and leaders. As this measure now resides in both
chambers of Congress, ARRL Website
Has New Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Page. June 28, 2015 — States, Counties, Communities
Recognize the Value of Amateur Radio, Field Day June 25, 2015 — Ohio ARES “NVIS Antenna Day”
Concludes That the Truth is Up There June 16, 2015 — Oklahoma Amateur Radio Clubs Join Forces to Support
Cycling Event


ARRL 2015 Hurricane Season Webinar Set for Monday,
July 20: Don’t Miss It!

The ARRL will host a 2015
Hurricane Season webinar Monday, July 20, getting under way at 8 PM EDT
(July 21, 0000 UTC). The approximately 90-minute session will address the role
of Amateur Radio during the 2015 Hurricane Season. Anyone interested in
hurricane preparedness and response is invited to attend
this online presentation.

Topics will include a
meteorological overview of the current season; Amateur Radio station WX4NHC at the National
Hurricane Center: Who We Are and What We Do; ARRL Media and Public Relations; the
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN); the VoIP
Hurricane Net, and ARRL coordination and interface.

program will include presentations by representatives of the National
Hurricane Center and WX4NHC, the VoIP Hurricane Net, the HWN, the Canadian Hurricane
Centre, and the ARRL. Webinar registration is open to all, but should be of particular
interest to radio amateurs in hurricane-prone areas. The webinar will conclude
with a Q&A session. Register online. — Mike Corey,
KI1U, ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager


Anatomy of a CERT: Oceanside (CA) CERT

The community
of Oceanside, California, located north of San Diego along the coast, has
a population of 180,000 and is approximately 42 square miles in size. The
community has an energetic CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program,
along with a vital Amateur Radio communications support group. Like many
California coastal communities, Oceanside is exposed to numerous hazards,
including earthquakes, tsunamis, severe weather, flooding, and wildfires.

CERT members understand that following a major disaster,
first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to
meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims,
communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing
emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911.
People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their
immediate lifesaving and life sustaining needs.

CERT is “about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing
the greatest good for the greatest number.” CERT is a citizen-based,
neighborhood-centric approach to emergency and disaster effects mitigation and
adaptation where citizens will be initially on their own. Their early
actions, based on their training, planning, resources and communication
capabilities, can save lives when government responders are not available:
citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat victims with basic
medical interventions, search for and rescue victims safely; and organize
themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

2005, the Oceanside Fire Department started the community’s CERT program.
The program was initially funded by a County grant and supported with a
small budget from the Fire Department. After much planning and work, the first
class of 25 citizen-trainees graduated that year.

Since then, the program has grown: it now has more than 400 trained citizens
with an elected board of directors to oversee and manage the group. The Fire
Department serves as program advisor and sponsoring representative to the
San Diego County CERT Council. About 125 of these dedicated volunteers are
active members that continue to attend quarterly training sessions and
participate in city EOC drills, various community fairs, civic events and PR

Oceanside CERT is authorized by the Oceanside Fire Department, the San Diego
County Unified Disaster Council, and the San Diego County CERT

Oceanside CERT Amateur Radio Team

The active Amateur Radio Team is a subcommittee of
Oceanside CERT, consisting of over three dozen licensed radio amateurs. Their
team’s goal is to have at least 4-5 hams within each Fire Service Area.

Team Chairman Joe Gardeski, N6JO, reports “we combine
the radio communication skills learned from our avocation, training and
licensing, with the principles learned from our CERT training, toward the
purpose of helping our families, friends and neighbors with communication
during time of emergency or disaster.” Gardeski adds “And we have fun doing

Amateur Radio Team members plan and train to operate
from their homes and outside in their neighborhoods if necessary, using
portable, mobile and base station equipment to link them to each other and
officials, forming a communications web throughout the City of Oceanside.

Team members conduct an on-the-air “Weekly Net” exercise
taking 25-30 radio check-ins from all eight Fire Service Areas within the
City, with Linda, KJ6DPT, arranging a different Net Control Op at the mic each
week to rotate the training opportunity.

Gardeski says
“we hold a Monthly Meeting where we get together for planning and training.
We do several field tests and drills per year.”

Gardeski adds “we volunteer our time and provide our own radio station equipment,
with the focus on improving our station performance and radio operating
skills.” “We gladly extend a helping hand to others within Oceanside CERT
interested in learning more about Amateur Radio, obtaining their ham license,
and finding economical equipment to get started.” “We educate fellow hams
about the benefits of receiving CERT training.”

Learning from the widespread southern California power outage three years ago and
with Fire Dept. support the Amateur Team designed and installed their own
coordinated WF6OCS FM repeater on 144.505 MHz. The repeater is 100%
solar/battery powered and has been running 24/7 continuously for 2-1/2 years. The
Team presently is building out their broadband digital mesh microwave
infrastructure and expects to have over half of their eventual twelve off-grid
nodes on-air by year’s end, thus adding digital capabilities to the CERT ham
backup plan. Future plans include a linked UHF FM repeater for improved
coverage of the downtown and beach tourist areas.

“The key
point is that we offer a potentially critical extra level of communication
for Oceanside CERT and the community during time of emergency,” Gardeski
concluded. – Thanks to Oceanside CERT Chairman Joe Gardeski, N6JO,, and Oceanside CERT Program Coordinator Ted Fritz, KJ6IXE,
for their courtesy and permission to publish portions of their excellent

[Editor’s note:
In my correspondence with N6JO that led to this article, he wrote
“Oceanside CERT is but one group among many other fine CERT groups all working
toward the same preparedness goal. If your work and ours encourages others to
join this effort, then local communities will be better prepared during time
of disaster/emergency, and you and we will have done a good service for our
fellow hams, and other communities and neighborhoods across the

Joe also wrote “It is just a fact of life that, during
the first 72 hours of a major disaster, individuals and their families and
neighbors will need to provide for themselves as best as possible while the
authorities deal with higher priorities. Oceanside CERT and similar such
programs help equip citizens in local communities with awareness and basic
skills, which hopefully rolls up to better preparation at the national
level. It follows that anything we can all do to encourage our fellow hams and
their families and friends to participate in free CERT training would result
in better prepared communities and neighborhoods, where initial
neighborhood and community self-reliance will be the order of the day.