The agenda for our March ARES Meeting has changed due to new information from our state ARES Coordinator. Instead of the meeting being on Digital Modes we will now be discussing and planning for a state-wide exercise that will be held Saturday, April 15th, between 8:00-10:00am. We’ll discuss our group’s plans and how we can participate next Thursday night at the meeting. Digital Modes will be moved to the April meeting (April 27th).
Here’s the general info about the event:
April 15th 8:00 AM to 10:00AM
Spring 2017: Rapid Response Saturday Drill
ARES ECs, DECs, Leadership,
A quick thumbnail of the spring exercise discussed at the most recent BirminghamFest.
Essentially the drill is a “Check In” event giving operators a chance to test their mobile and portable capabilities by operating remotely, or if they choose to simply check in with those remote operators to confirm coverage, signal strength, etc. Each county EC is advised to set up a mobile Incident Command System (ICS) location and assign a Net Control Station (NCS). The EC will dispatch other operators wishing to deploy may select locations that may have potential as a shelter location, remote ICS location, or other outdoor spot that can afford them the chance to test their equipment, skills and operating modes.
Many operators have “Go-kits” that include a complete portable station with emergency power supplies (batteries or generators, or both) radios, antennas, feed lines, etc. to operate away from home. Operators are encouraged to use this drill to determine what they would put in their “Go-kits” for the next real world emergency. There is no right answer to what should be included, every Go-Kit is a personal reflection of the operator(s) who put it together.
I suggested that ECs make the final determination for their locations. We recommended an operating window of 8:00 to 10:00 AM.
VHF calling frequency 146.520 will be the primary frequency, and we encourage operators with HF equipment to also use the 3.965 and 7.243 frequencies to attempt contact with other stations outside their operating county.
I encourage you to work together, make it fun, and use this as a learning experience. All feedback is welcomed and most of it will be read.