What is a watch?

March is the time when we start to see more severe weather.  It’s always good to get a refresher on what the terminologies mean…

Posted in Training, Weather | Comments Off on What is a watch?

Calvert ARES Report for March 2015

The monthly ARES meeting was held in Prince Frederick on 2015-03-17.  We started working on pre-planning for some “common” scenarios and will continue to do so
over the coming months.

We also met at the home of KR3A to help deploy two HF antennas.  Ended up erecting one and getting the hardware setup for the second.  We hope to do more outdoor activities over the next few months now that the weather is warm.

Posted in Monthly EC Report | Comments Off on Calvert ARES Report for March 2015

DHS OEC Emergency Communications Forum – Volume 15

DHS has just released their latest OEC Emergency Communications Forum bulletin.  There are some good scenarios that show work arounds in public safety communications as well as some future looking technology coming out.

Take a read!

Posted in Training | Tagged , | Comments Off on DHS OEC Emergency Communications Forum – Volume 15

Scenario Planning

During the March AUXCOMM meeting Shawn, N3AE, presented scenario planning and provided a template for creating the scenarios:

  1. Scenario Title
  2. AuxComm Task and Objective
  3. Supported Agency
  4. Command Structure
  5. Communications Structure & Plan (nets, frequencies, backup’s)
  6. Anticipated Duration of Operation
  7. Deployed Location(s)
  8. Pre-positioned Equipment (if any)
  9. Required Equipment for Deployment (by location)
  10. Number of Operators Required and Skills
  11. Documentation During Operations
  12. Recommended Personal Gear
  13. Operator Relief and Changeover Plan
  14. Plan for Termination of Activities and Tear-Down
  15. Post-Event Hot Wash and Documentation

The meeting ended with a homework assignment for everyone to work on several scenarios and bring them to the next meeting.  The following scenarios need to be written up to be added to the EOP:

  • Severe Weather
    • Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm
    • Hurricane/Tropical Storm
    • Flooding/Flash Flooding
  • Shelter Operations
  • Loss of County Gov’t communication systems
  • Loss of Telephone Service and 911
  • HAZMAT Operations
  • Nuclear Hazard
  • Public Health Quarantine
  • Backup Hospital Communications

Please take a stab at one or more of the scenarios and bring it to the April meeting.  There are no wrong answers so give it your best shot.

Posted in Meeting Minutes, Training | Comments Off on Scenario Planning

DRILL: Prince Georges County ARES Breakfast Deployment

PG County ARES has announced their annual breakfast deployment drill to be held on Saturday, March 21st.  Starting at 10:00AM, PG County ARES will be deploying to the field and will be operational on the 145.230MHz repeater (- offset, PL 110.9Hz) and 3820kHz.

Calvert County AUXCOMM will deploy after the CARA monthly breakfast to Don, KR3A’s house.  Our mission is to erect two HF antennas and make contact with PG county on HF.  We’ll also attempt communications with them on their repeater.

Additional information will be forthcoming.


Posted in Drills | Comments Off on DRILL: Prince Georges County ARES Breakfast Deployment

Calvert ARES Report for February 2015

The month of February saw lots of snow and ice.  We went into a standby mode for the first ice and wind storm of the season but didn’t see any power or communication outages that warranted an activation.

Our regular meeting (third Tuesday of the month) was canceled due to the possibility of ice on the roadways and an on-air net was used to take its place.  The training given during the net revolved around the wilderness protocol and how it could be used during an communications failure event (or really any time).

We’ve started doing message handling training at the end of the club’s weekly net (Monday nights at 19:30 on 146.985 repeater) which seems to get several active and passive participants.  Utilizing the trivia messages that routinely come through the Radiogram list, stations practice receiving the message and can send a response as well.  I already relayed one message from this week’s trivia on the MEPN from one of our stations here in the county.

While not specifically ARES related, we have secured space on a tower in Prince Frederick for the 444.950 repeater (FM and System Fusion) and APRS digipeater which should help provide coverage to the south end of the county.  This will also provide geographic diversity for our current site.

March’s training will include development of guidelines for responding to known threats (hurricanes, fire/EMS communication failures, etc) where we’re familiar with what will likely be asked of us.  We also plan to participate in PG County’s breakfast field operation on March 21st.

Posted in Monthly EC Report | Comments Off on Calvert ARES Report for February 2015

Message Handling Training

Our January meeting dealt specifically with message handling.  The ARRL Radiogram, ICS-213 message, and other ICS forms were discussed.  We’ll start doing weekly training on message handling immediately following the CARA net.

If you missed the training, or would like to refresh your memory, you can find all the resources under the training tab under “Message Handling“.

If you want to use your training on a regular basis I highly recommend checking into one of the following nets:

We also have several elmers that can help you with passing traffic.  Please send an email to the list or ask for help on the next CARA net (or contact Eric directly).

Posted in Meeting Minutes | Comments Off on Message Handling Training

New version of the Emergency Operations Plan available

I received some additional feedback from a couple of members last month and I’ve unfortunately delayed the release of these changes until now.  Please take a look at this new version and download a copy for yourself.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New version of the Emergency Operations Plan available

December Monthly EC Report

Total number of ARES members: 15
Change since last month: None

Local Net Name: Currently meet with the CARA Net
Total Sessions: 5
NTS liaison with: Maryland Emergency Phone Net (MEPN)

Number of drills, tests, and training sessions: 1
Person Hours: 36

Number of public service events this month: 0
Person Hours: 0

Number of emergency operations this month: 0
Person Hours: 0

Total number of ARES operations this month: 1
Person Hours: 36


Website: https://auxcomm.k3cal.org
E-Mail List: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/calv-ares

The monthly ARES meeting was held in Prince Frederick on 2014-12-16. We trained
on communications capabilities of federal, state, and local emergency response
agencies and our own capabilities. Familiarization of federal training
requirements, as well as, ICS chain-of-command was also discussed.

Posted in Monthly EC Report | Comments Off on December Monthly EC Report

Tornadoes in November

While our neighbors to our south (Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina) our worrying about the possibility of a tornado or two today up here in Maryland things are just looking… wet.  Personally, I’ll take wet and chilly over a cone of vertically moving air any day.  That’s not to say that we should let our guard down, however.

According to the Storm Prediction Center there have been nine tornadoes within 120km of Prince Frederick in the past fifty years on this date (+/- 10 days).  Clearly this is well below the threshold of ‘keeping you up at night’ but it’s interesting to see there are no months where we don’t have to worry about the freak storm spinning up something bad.

If you’re interested in the environmental numbers for today we’re well below the threshold for anything really severe.  Effective shear is around 15kts, effective helicity is 20 m²/s², and ML LCL is 432m.

Just as a fun fact, most tornadoes strike on this date around 6PM (local).  Maybe they’re just hungry for supper?

Posted in Weather | Tagged | Comments Off on Tornadoes in November