Calvert AUXCOMM members, here’s an update to our frequency list (ICS-205 Communications Plan)
Calvert AUXCOMM members, here’s an update to our frequency list (ICS-205 Communications Plan)
ARRL Simulated Emergency Test: Main SET Weekend is October 6-7
Plan now for the annual Fall classic, the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Click here and scroll down for complete SET guidelines and reporting forms for Emergency Coordinators and Net Managers. The primary League-sponsored national emergency exercise is designed to assess the skills and preparedness of ARES® and other organizations involved with emergency and disaster response. Although the main SET weekend this year is October 6-7, local and section-wide exercises may be held throughout the fall season.
So far 2018 has been quite as far as tropical weather is concerned, but we still have several months to go in the hurricane season.
Here are a few useful documents and links for getting and staying prepared.
All Calvert AUXCOMM Members, below is an article on planned updates to ARES by the ARRL. In particular, note the new training requirements. I’ve not heard anything regarding cost (if any) for taking the ARRL emergency training classes. FEMA on-line training is free.
At the ARRL Member Forum at 2018 Hamvention® last month, hosting Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, chairman of the ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group, spoke about the dramatic changes that are occurring among agencies serving in the emergency/disaster response sector. He discussed planning for proposed new guidelines for participants in the ARES program, including plans for a new volunteer management software system, called ARES® Connect (see above). Upgrades to ARES training and resources will ensure the service continues to be a valuable partner for its served agencies into the future.
Williams’ program was titled ARES Advances into the 21st Century — A New Program, A New Mission. The vision is for an ARES that is comprised of organized, trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio operators who can provide public service partners with radio communications expertise, capability, and capacity.
Goals include aligning the ARES organizational structure with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). The Emergency Coordinator (EC) will continue to lead the ARES team locally during an incident, while the District EC and Section Emergency Coordinator will continue to serve as resources and support for the EC. ARES Connect is the new platform designed to support Reporting, Membership, Database – Portability, Record Keeping, and Statistics.
It is envisioned that additional training will be mandated, including ARRL Emergency Communications courses and the now standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses IS-100, 200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and 400 for higher levels. Other specialty courses will be required in certain cases such as SKYWARN and other agency-specific training.
Levels of training attained would dovetail with three new levels of participation: Level One would be comprised of all entering the program with no training, while progressing through the ARRL emergency communications training and the FEMA Independent Study courses 100, 200, 700, and 800. Level Two would be attained upon successful completion of these courses, and would be considered the “Standard” level for ARES participants. Level Three would be attained upon completion of the advanced FEMA courses IS 300 and 400, which would qualify candidates for the ARES leadership positions EC, DEC, SEC and Assistants.
Level One participants would be able to fulfill most ARES duties with the target of attaining Level Two in one year. Level Two would be considered the normal participant level, which would gain the participant access to most incident sites and EOCs. Level Three would convey full access as granted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and qualification for ARES leadership.
It is proposed that ARRL will provide a basic ARES ID, which would convey recognition of registration with ARES nationally and indicate level of training. No conveyance of site access is guaranteed. The AHJ would grant an additional ID/pass for site access, which would be “owned” by the AHJ.
What is Happening Now
The ARES Connect system is currently being field-tested and implemented, with ARRL HQ staff undergoing training in its administration, and group registrations currently being made. Group IDs are being assigned. Beta testing with four ARRL Sections with large ARES organizations is underway.
The plans as described above are pending approval by the ARRL Board of Directors. An ARES Strategic Plan for the ARRL Field Organization, and an Introductory Announcement are being drafted. Editing/updating ARRL ARES-related publications is underway.
A full article on the ARES enhancements, once approved, will appear in September QST.
With the record-setting 2017 hurricane season still fresh in most American’s minds, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in conjunction with local emergency managers, is rolling out a new hurricane and severe weather evacuation system.
To read more, see:
Info below received via our SEC:
The pressure has been on for some time to have the ICS 213 form appear more like the FEMA hard copy. The biggest constraint to doing this was trying to get the HTML code, Java Scripting, and Winlink Express command lines to cooperate. This is why what you saw in previous versions was the best that could be offered, until now.
Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT, our recent addition to Winlink Template group and his Java scripting expertise, we have a new 213.
Up front I have to thank Greg and his countless hours on this project, to include putting up with my never ending changes and questions.
As such when the next Template pack version 46.0 is “pushed” via the internet you will have the new ICS 213 available, version 25.0.
If you have no Internet available at a managed site you may update the forms yourself.
This new ICS 213 is NOT fully backwards compatible. If someone uses the old version to send, the new will at least display the message
information, just many other fields will not propagate.
PLEASE read the instructions that are are part of the Initial Entry form and try a few to understand the REPLY portion changes.
Any and all questions, help needed, suggestions, or platitudes go to KG6SJT@ winlink.org
The New Form:
– We were able to remove the sometimes accidental bringing up the ICS-213_SendReply.txt by error, you no longer see it.
Now you can only click on the ICS213_Initial.txt (Setting the ICS 213 as a “favorite” template did prevent this).
-Screen shot of the Initial entry form:
Note you can not use this form to reply from, read the instructions. But you can print it in order to obtain a written response.
When you print the items marked in YELLOW are removed.
– Screen shot of the final ICS 213 to print or save.
We understand that with chnage comes anxiety. Test and learn this forms process and how to initiate a Reply. Some will not like this new format as it is a departure from the previous two years. But SHARES, served agencies, and others have been asking for this for some time. Is it perfect? Perhaps not, best that can be done at this time.
Links to the ARRL Emergency Communicator training (EC-001 and EC-016) have been added under then Training tab (top of the screen). These courses are specific to the amateur radio communicator and are good resources for any AUXCOMM member. Please take some time to review the courses and determine if this is something of interest to you.
I’ve updated the CALV ICS-205 Incident Communications Plan to include the new HF voice and data frequencies. Also updated is the CTCSS tone that the Davidsonville two-meter repeater now transmits.
If you haven’t already, please update your radios and files with the changes. The ICS-205 (non-incident specific) form is always found at the top of the Frequencies page.
On the morning of August 14th, 2003, no one foresaw how that day would test their preparedness against disasters and put millions of people’s emergency plans into action. Just after 4:10 PM a cascading voltage drop, caused by a software bug and power lines coming into contact with tree limbs, led to a blackout that put roughly 55 million people in the dark.
This event didn’t just affect people’s abilities to turn on lights and keep their food cold but also took down communications infrastructure. Many cellular systems failed when generators ran out of fuel, cable television systems went offline until their home offices regained power, and Internet connectivity similarly went down causing those that relied on Internet connectivity for news and communications to be left in the dark. Amateur radio operators in Suffolk County, NY, handled roughly 500 pieces of traffic of which the majority was health-and-welfare traffic.
The power outage affected New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. At least ten deaths are attributed to the outage and New York City Fire Department handled 60 “all-hands” fires that were caused by people using candles for illumination.
In the aftermath of the Northeast US blackout of 2003, we learned some lessons that can help prevent further emergencies while reducing the load on emergency services.
Amateur radio operators are likely to be better prepared for a communication outage since we utilize communication methods that are both efficient (little bandwidth, less power consumption) and don’t require Internet or other commercial infrastructure to function.
There are some basic things we need to take into consideration, however:
Since 1980, Maryland has been affected by 56 hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions. Most of these storms hit in September and bring flooding, high winds, and power outages.
The biggest threat that comes from these storms is storm surge. When tropical cyclones make landfall they bring with them a mass of water above what is already wind driven. This, plus an ill-timed tide, can cause significant flooding which can cut off evacuation routes, isolate people from resources, and cause serious property damage and death. According to Maryland Department of the Environment, 5.1% of Calvert County is in the 100-year floodplain which includes 3300 people and 1134 structures.
If there is a good aspect to hurricanes it is the advance notice we typically get from the National Hurricane Center. Advance notice of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are measured in minutes where hurricanes are typically forecast days in advance. It’s important to prepare yourself and your property now.