CX2SA > ARES 19.11.21 15:10l 522 Lines 27920 Bytes #999 (0) @ ARRL
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Subj: ARES E-Letter November 17, 2021
Sent: 211119/1331Z @:CX2SA.SAL.URY.SOAM #:1361 [Salto] FBB7.00e $:1361_CX2SA
To : ARES@ARRL
The ARES E-Letter November 17, 2021
Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE
- ShakeOut 2021 - A Win with Winlink DYFI Reports to USGS
- Hams Assist in Rescue of Firemen Buried In a Brazilian Cave
- Minnesota ARES, VOAD Partner for 2021 Fall SET
- It's All about Working Together: Operators Provide Comms for PGA Tour
- Emergency Communications Academy: Plan Now to Attend the 2022 ARRL
National Convention at Orlando HamCation and Emergency Communications
Training Track on Thursday!
- Spotlight: Hawaii ARRL SET, ShakeOut Exercises
- Same Time, Next Year: Providing Support for the Tour de Lincoln Bicycle
- ARES Resources
- ARRL Resources
ARES¶© Briefs, Links
A major nor'easter struck eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island last month
with ferocious winds stronger than those that Tropical Storm Henri brought
to the region in August. Starting on the evening of October 26, eastern
Massachusetts amateur radio operators on the ARES and SKYWARN?½ storm
spotter teams joined forces to help emergency services provide a focused and
effective response as the powerful nor'easter caused widespread damage. Tree
and wire damage, trees falling on homes and cars, and a few cases of direct
structural damage to weakened structures were reported. "We have handled
several hundred reports of damage, and photos of damage are streaming in
from ARES and SKYWARN operators to support damage assessment efforts and to
keep the NWS in Norton apprised of the severe weather conditions affecting
the region," said Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section
Emergency Coordinator and ARES-SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Boston/Norton.
Read the full story here. - Thanks, Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, ARRL news desk,
View the 2021 Virtual National Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Workshop
of presentations and discussions conducted by leading SKYWARN, ARES,
National Hurricane Center amateur station WX4NHC, VoIP Hurricane Net
operators and other practitioners.
Fremont, Nebraska agencies conducted training exercises with the Nebraska
National Guard and amateur radio organizations recently. The National
Guard's 72nd Civil Support Team worked with first responders on a series of
hazardous materials (HAZMAT) incident scenarios at the Fremont Splash
Station and Fremont Family YMCA. The exercises' radio communications
services were provided by the Pioneer Amateur Radio Club's ARES, part of
Dodge County Emergency Management. Steve Narans, WB0VNF, Dodge County
Emergency Coordinator, said the organization has an incident command post
that communicated with the emergency operation center in the Dodge County
Courthouse. "It's fully powered with a generator, computers and
communications and recording assets for filling out forms," he said. "It's
basically used for briefings for the hazmat groups, fire and police
departments." A Fremont Tribune article covered the story.
ShakeOut 2021 - A Win with Winlink DYFI Reports to USGS
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) received 774 Winlink Did You Feel
It (DYFI) reports with information and coordinates for plotting on a map.
Significantly, 73% of the reports were sent via RF, with the remaining 27%
sent via internet or mesh networks. USGS was impressed with the responses
from all over the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Australia
Special thanks were conveyed to all ARES and other emergency communications
groups that made Winlink DYFI part of their exercises for ShakeOut 2021,
which was held on October 21. For example, the EmComm Training Organization
(ETO) made Winlink DYFI part of its Winlink Thursday exercises -- 348
Winlink DYFI reports were submitted by participants. ETO plotted the
response by its participants on a DYFI map.
In another example, southern California (SoCal ARES) groups, ARES LAX, San
Diego ARES, Ventura ARES/ACS, Eastern Kern County ARES and CREBC (Tijuana)
organized activation/deployment exercises that combined passing local agency
traffic with sending Winlink DYFI and other out-of-area traffic. Moreover,
these groups tested their direct collaboration in disasters and coordination
on a state level with Jim Price, KO6GM, in Sacramento (the state capital)
acting as a central out-of-area contact for all groups. Many other groups
from all over North America and the Pacific organized meaningful exercises
For DYFI reports, the USGS reminded participants that street address means
house number, street name, city and state (and zip code, if possible).
Approximately 30 entries could not be plotted because they were missing city
and state entries. Changes to the Winlink DYFI platform have since been made
Decimal degree longitude in North America is a negative number. For example,
the White House is located at 38.8977, -77.0365. A few stations sent
positive longitudes, which located them in Tibet. For stations that provided
US street addresses in addition to the incorrect longitudes, the USGS used
the street address. The USGS encourages all groups to regularly conduct
Winlink DYFI exercises to train with, test, and have fun with DYFI.
In the SoCal ARES ShakeOut exercise, digital HF circuits became quickly
saturated as several large groups responded to the same event. The HF
traffic jam eventually dissolved, but messages took longer to transfer than
necessary. Improving coordination and local-gateway-to-out-of-area-gateway
techniques may provide higher throughput in the future.
Training with local and regional partners proved to be extremely valuable.
Moving traffic on local, regional, state and national levels requires
training, practice and coordination, if it is to succeed. Going forward,
local exercises and ShakeOut 2022, the upcoming Haywired Scenario and
Cascadia Rising exercises will provide additional opportunities for large
scale traffic handling by amateur radio groups, which will include Winlink
DYFI. -- Oliver Dully, K6OLI, District Emergency Coordinator, ARES LAX
Hams Assist in Rescue of Firemen Buried In a Brazilian Cave
On Sunday, October 31, 2021, the SÇo Paulo, Brazil, State Amateur Radio
Emergency Network (REER-SP) provided support in the response to the disaster
that occurred in Altinopolis/SP. Twenty-eight civil firefighters were
carrying out an exercise in the Duas Bocas Cave when part of the cave
collapsed, leaving nine dead among the buried victims. Search and rescue
operations were carried out by the SÇo Paulo Fire Department, with support
from the State Civil Defense.
The radio amateurs played an important role in providing communication
between the Command Post positioned a half a mile from the cave, and the
rescue area, which was difficult to physically access. The hams' service was
effective, providing infrastructure and radio equipment to facilitate
communication between the Operation Command and the rescue teams, who were
out of contact due to lack of telephone or internet signal. The support by
the hams made operations more agile, enabling the command to receive and
transmit messages directly to the rescue team. The group expressed sorrow
for the victims and condolences to their families. - Thanks, ARRL Letter,
Ken Bailey, K1FUG, ARRL HQ; and Hilton Libanori, PY2BBQ
Minnesota ARES, VOAD Partner for 2021 Fall SET
On Saturday October 23, 2021, Minnesota VOAD (MNVOAD, Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster) and Minnesota ARES teamed up for the ARRL
Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Ten operators participated from three
locations near Minneapolis -- Long Lake Regional Park, the Salvation Army
Roseville headquarters, and the MNVOAD President's home. The objective was
to send messages from a simulated disaster that disabled all communications,
leaving amateur radio as the only option.
The scenario: Following a severe weather event, a rural mobile home park is
damaged. 200 residents and 30 animals require shelter and feeding.
Communications and power infrastructure are damaged. Multi-agency
coordination is required. A Long Lake County Sheriff was dispatched to
notify local hams to report to the county emergency manager for assignment.
The Players: Dennis Walter, N0VZB, ARRL State Government Liaison, played the
Long Lake County Emergency Manager, with ARES Assistant SEC for Liaison
(SEC-L) and MNVOAD President Ryc Lyden, KD0ZWM, playing the State Duty
Officer. Benton Jackson, K0BHJ, Section Emergency Coordinator, played the
COML, AUXCOMM and exercise observer. Erik Westgard, NY9D, played the
Salvation Army's Major Michele Heaver, K8EDS, Salvation Army Liaison, and
Matt Stepaniak, N0TNL, represented the entity. Red Cross liaison was Steve
Hartman, WD0BOI. A simulated Incident Command Post (ICP) was set up at the
park, with a tower trailer and 12 V battery power. On the tower were two
dual-band antennas, and an HF 40-meter inverted V used for VARA-protocol
The first message transferred was a letter to the Governor requesting state
disaster assistance, sent via Winlink VARA HF as a Word document attachment.
The next two messages were requests for a 200-bed shelter from the Red
Cross, and 200 meals from the Salvation Army, formatted in the ARRL
Radiogram version of the ICS-213 message form. These messages were sent by
voice. Another message was sent via packet. The Red Cross liaison contacted
the ARES operation on a repeater with an update on when the shelter was
expected to be ready. The Salvation Army was able to contact ARES with an
ETA of the meals.
The Red Cross initiated the next formal message: they had found that among
the 200 evacuees were 30 dogs, 20 cats, reptiles, and two llamas, so the
message was a formal request for animal support functions for these pets.
The last message passed was from the Emergency Manager to all partners that
cell phone service would be restored by 1400 local time, which would end the
exercise. This was passed on the local repeater, and on 146.700 MHz.
The mobile 30' tower trailers were quite useful. One was solar powered with
a VHF/UHF antenna. The other was battery-powered and loaded with two dual
band antennas, a wireless access point, and the 40-meter dipole.
The relationship between the local emergency manager and amateur radio
operators was a key to success. Contacting a ham outside the affected area
on a repeater also outside of the area was also a key.
Having a pre-arranged contact at MNVOAD allowed a route for messages to get
to VOAD agencies that could provide support. All messages planned for the
exercise were sent, including confirmations of messages received.
Improvement Plan, Courses of Action
It was discovered at the last minute that the parks administration does not
allow training exercises on county parks without a permit. The problem was
quickly corrected, but the group will need to plan farther in advance for
the next exercise.
Winlink messages need to be sent to multiple call signs, with email
addresses as backup. All email addresses need to be confirmed/documented
ahead of time; the ARES group had no email address for the State Duty
Officer. In a no-comms emergency, a Winlink-generated email would be a way
to communicate that help was needed. Winlink HF gateways have a user time
limit, thus message handling must be performed efficiently.
The group didn't have enough antennas and coax, or an antenna tuner for the
40-meter dipole. An operator needs to be assigned to cover every
communications mode at the ICP as some messages were missed.
At times, all operators were head-down trying to solve technical problems.
This was not good: at minimum, one operator needs to be available to take
messages from the nets and communicate with the emergency manager to ensure
messages get passed efficiently.
Minnesota Section Emergency Coordinator Benton Jackson, K0BHJ, said
"overall, this was a successful exercise," adding "a lot went well, and we
learned a lot about our capabilities. This operation was predicated on a
prior relationship between the Long Lake County Emergency Coordinator and an
amateur radio operator. Without this relationship, the amateur operators do
not get to help. We need to find ways to foster these relationships wherever
The major takeaway from this exercise was the new relationship forged with
MNVOAD. "Our plan going forward is that any exercise or emergency that calls
out a MNVOAD agency will bring amateur radio with it," Jackson said.
Postscript: From the Minnesota VOAD President
"I'm currently the Assistant SEC and Liaison for Minnesota ARES and as such,
represent ARES to MNVOAD, the Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in
Disaster. Two years ago I became the President of MNVOAD. As a strong
supporter of amateur radio I created a protocol for governing our
"MNVOAD has found a real use for our communications teams. They conduct
safety checks, requests and documentation. We use the following format,
Conditions - What we observe
Actions - What has and is being accomplished
Needs - What resources are needed
PAR - Personnel Accountability Reports
"These 'CAN-P' reports are concise and easy to transmit. When MNVOAD is
activated, I call out our Regional Liaisons and communications teams. Our
comms teams set up at work sites, send in their CAN-P reports to a net
control who shares them with VOAD organization leads, local emergency
managers, State emergency management and MNVOAD leadership. These reports
tell us how many volunteers are active and how many hours are accumulated,
all vital information.
"Communications teams can be requested to be the sole resource for the city
or county, augment their local assets or simply be a MNVOAD team: there will
be communications deployed in all disaster responses in Minnesota.
"It is also of note that most VOAD agencies are not familiar with ICS forms
for official documentation. By having our communications teams pick up this
task, we are providing a service to our communities that would otherwise be
"It is our hope that emergency managers will see what we are able to do and
the value that they receive." -- Ryc Lyden, KD0ZWM, MNARES Assistant Section
Emergency Coordinator - Liaison, Bloomington AuxComm Director, President
It's All about Working Together: Operators Provide Comms for PGA Tour Cycle
Last month, 24 amateur radio operators from seven northern Florida counties
supported the PGA Tour Cycle to the Shore event, October 23-24. This annual
event starts at the North Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine and ends
at the Hilton Hotel in Daytona on the first day. Then, on the next day the
riders return to the airport in St. Augustine. It is a 150-mile ride and,
this year, there were a thousand riders. As I have written in past articles,
the job of a PIO is to build relationships. These relationships are not just
with our served agencies, the media, and the public; they are also with
other amateur radio organizations and clubs. Without these relationships, it
is difficult, if not impossible, for us as amateurs to work together when
disaster strikes. When served agencies or organizations request your support
for an event in your county, try to enlist the help of other, nearby
counties' amateurs to help. Building these interop relationships prove to be
beneficial when serious assistance is needed. My thanks to those 24
operators who helped in the PGA Tour Cycle to the Shore! -- Scott Roberts,
KK4ECR, ARRL Northern Florida Section Assistant Section Manager and Public
Information Coordinator, ARRL QST NFL newsletter, October 2021 issue
Emergency Communications Academy: Plan Now to Attend the 2022 ARRL National
Convention at Orlando HamCation and Emergency Communications Training Track
Plan on attending the 2022 ARRL National Convention, set to take place at
Orlando HamCation¶© on February 11-13. A day-long workshop on emergency
communications is scheduled as one of the training tracks that will be
offered as part of the National Convention program that will precede
HamCation on Thursday, February 10. The training presentations will feature
current protocols, techniques, and responsibilities for the modern volunteer
radio operator serving partner agency and organizations. The presenters are
all subject-matter experts. Topics to be covered include the ARES, AUXCOMM
and Florida Emergency Communicator Position Task Books, an overview of
amateur radio responses to disasters, basic voice traffic handling with
hands-on voice traffic net/message transfer practice, using the ICS-213
form, Winlink's ARDOP (Amateur Radio Digital Open Protocol) and VARA
protocols, and the Radio Mail Server (RMS) hybrid internet/HF radio gateway
system. The event will be held on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at the
Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. Participants should arrive at the
hotel, check in at 8 AM, and be in seats by 8:30 AM. A National Convention
Luncheon (for everyone) runs from noon to 1 PM in the banquet room. The
track ends at 5 PM. Registration for the ARRL National Convention at Orlando
HamCation is now open.
Spotlight: Hawaii ARRL SET, ShakeOut Exercises
For this year's ARRL SET, held on October 2, Hawaii radio operators provided
damage reports to simulated county emergency management/Civil Defense
agencies in response to a simulated 9.2 magnitude earthquake in the
Aleutians that resulted in a Great Aleutian tsunami, causing damage to all
counties in the State of Hawaii. The purpose of this communication exercise
was to verify operator ability to use digital protocols as well as voice to
pass messages. Operators worked from home or safe location. (If the operator
lived in an extreme tsunami evacuation zone, the amateur was asked to
simulate evacuation to a safe area or a designated county tsunami refuge
area. Operators were requested to use auxiliary power -- batteries, solar
panels, and generators.
Objectives: participants were to transmit three Winlink messages using the
Winlink templates/forms -- Check-In, ICS-213, Check-Out. Winlink modes used:
Telnet, VARA FM, VARA HF, VARA HF Peer to Peer (P2P), PACTOR, Packet and
AREDN Mesh. "Hub and Spoke" concepts were used to forward messages. Voice
messages were also involved.
What went well: Most radio operators were successful in sending all three
Winlink messages. Hawaii used two county reports that the county EOC would
actually receive in a real event -- the Situation Report (SITREP) and
Request for Assistance (RFA). The Hawaii forms were modified with numbers,
which made it easier to pass messages by voice. The gateways worked well.
Exercise instructions were helpful. AREDN Mesh was used by one station.
Relays were successfully set up as Hub and Spokes. Oahu VARA FM digipeating
worked. On Oahu, the simulated EOC had 14 voice check-ins, and 10 voice
damage reports were received. Many stations operated on auxiliary power.
Challenges: Exercise was limited to Winlink and voice relays. Some gateways
were busy. Voice messages were transmitted too fast. Only two HF P2P
messages were received.
What could be improved: In the future, operators should not use the word
"repeat"; they should use "say again" in voice messaging. More practice is
needed for sending voice messages. We need to encourage more participants
for future exercises and incidents, and more Winlink users.
All of Hawaii's four counties were represented with a total of 58 radio
operators participating and 157 messages sent. In summary, the 2021 SET was
successful with the three Winlink and the two Big Island County forms sent
Hawaii Great ShakeOut 2021
The Hawaii Great ShakeOut was held Saturday, October 16, 2021, the second
time Hawaii has participated in this annual event. The exercise was based on
a real magnitude 6.2 earthquake that occurred at 10:58 AM on Sunday, October
10, 2021, off the Big Island and felt throughout the state. The October 16
simulated exercise temblor was located inland in Volcano National Park. The
simulated magnitude 7.2 earthquake resulted in various simulated damages on
the Big Island and felt throughout the State of Hawaii. It occurred at 8:50
AM HST and Hawaii hams started reporting to the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) using the Winlink DYFI form beginning at 9 AM.
The objective was for Hawaii amateur radio operators throughout the state to
submit a Winlink DYFI (Did You Feel It) template with simulated responses
per their location from the center of the simulated earthquake. Digital
email modes used were VARA FM, VARA HF, Packet and Telnet. Operators used
the Winlink RF email system to submit reports directly to the USGS main
computer system (USGS has developed an interface to support amateur radio
reports for simulated and real events.)
Same Time, Next Year: Providing Support for the Tour de Lincoln Bicycle Event
Twenty-two amateur radio operators from California's Western Placer Amateur
Radio Club (WPARC) provided communications and other support for the Rotary
Club's Tour de Lincoln charity bicycle event on Saturday, October 30. The
Tour de Lincoln consists of three ride courses: 25K, 50K, and 100K runs
through the hills of Lincoln, California. There were at least 425 riders.
This was the 14th year that WPARC volunteers have supported the event.
"Our goal is to help the cyclists, their support crews, and their families
have a safe and enjoyable event," said Roger Brunnquell, K6OU, the club
coordinator for the event. "Similar to a real emergency event, we have to be
flexible in our planning and execution." In addition to communications,
the WPARC radio operators are able to help with basic bike repair, and
transport a broken bike and/or a tired rider back to base. All radio
operators get to dust off their event and emergency communication skills
in providing support that is greatly appreciated by the riders and the
The operators use the WPARC repeater (K6PAC) as the backbone for most
communications. Two alternate repeaters in the area are available for
tactical and emergency use. "This year, we had 14 SAG (Support And Gear)
units on the course and hams at the three Rest Stops," said Brunnquell. "All
ham radio vehicles on the course and at Rest Stops had letter-sized S-A-G
signs, printed on bright orange cardstock so riders could flag them for help."
The team deals with real-time situations from the routine coordination of
food and water for the volunteer-runner rest stops, transporting bikes and
tired riders, replacing colored bike route arrows, to communicating
emergencies and initiating first responder support.
"We take our responsibilities very seriously, but have a lot of fun at the
same time -- one of our rules as a club is that we never leave our assigned
positions as long as there is a rider on the course," said Michael Buck,
K6BUK, who leads the Net Control team. "At Net Control, we log the time and
content of every communication, something that was important several years
ago when a rider had an aneurysm and succumbed on the course."
The Net Control station was located at McBean Park in downtown Lincoln, the
event's base and the riders' starting and ending point. The experienced team
of three net control operators set up a station, ran the event comms, and
interacted with the event director from that central location-- from
coordinating vehicle rollout at the starting line, to staffing the rest-stop
relay stations, checking out first aid and mechanical kits, and getting
things ready for the event.
"The Tour de Lincoln is such a great event for our amateur radio operators
to participate in," adds Don Hayes, N6DPH. Many of the WPARC radio operators
have been helping with the Tour for over 10 years. "Every year we add a few
new radio operators, which helps our continuity of operations for the
subsequent years," Brunnquell emphasized. "But what makes the amateur radio
portion of the event so successful is those who come back year after year --
they know the routine, they just need updates, course changes, and
additional training determined from the last year." After the event, the
volunteers evaluate their efforts: what went well, and what improvements are
After the closing, the Rotary Club event director, Bryan Ludwig, mentioned
to Brunnquell that some riders commented that the ham radio support was an
order of magnitude better than what they had experienced in other cycle
events. It made them feel safe. -- Frank Boardman, K1FMB, Roseville,
¶ú Download the ARES Manual [PDF]
¶ú ARES Field Resources Manual [PDF]
¶ú ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Fillable PDF]
¶ú ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book [Word]
¶ú ARES Plan
¶ú ARES Group Registration
¶ú Emergency Communications Training
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service¶© (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs
who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with
their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service
when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in
ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for
membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully
in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because
ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible
for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable,
but is not a requirement for membership.
How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit
it to your local Emergency Coordinator.
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