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ARES E-Letter for December 20, 2006

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  • Tom VanderMel
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2006
      > The ARES E-Letter
      > December 20, 2006
      > =================
      > Rick Palm, K1CE, Editor
      > <http://www.qrz.com/database?callsign=K1CE>,
      > <http://www.iaru-r2emcor.net/>
      > ===================================
      > ARES reports, other related contributions, editorial questions or
      > comments: <k1ce@...>;;
      > ===================================
      > Our Flagler ARES meeting was held last night at the Fire House, and
      > was essentially an "End of Year Party" (with the obligatory copious
      > pizza and soda). There was one piece of business transacted relative
      > to the proper way to check into our nets and the use of accepted
      > (standard) phonetics. A list was distributed to all in attendance.
      > The socializing was wonderful, and it occurred to me that it's the
      > camaraderie that still floats my boat in ham radio after all these
      > years. It was a great evening. Thanks to FECA for the pizza!
      > ________
      > With hurricane season over, our section's ARES leadership is studying
      > jump teams. SEC Joe Bushel, W2DWR, wants every county to draft their
      > own group ready to deploy to another county to provide relief
      > operators. He also wants each ARES district to have a super jump team
      > composed of radio amateurs with other specialties: pilots, divers,
      > law officers, medical professionals, and electronics techs, for
      > examples. Bushel's initiatives are laudable, and we are grateful to
      > have him as our SEC in Northern Florida.
      > _________
      > Controversy swirls about the Red Cross requiring background checks,
      > and our section's policy is that ARES works under government
      > emergency management, not the Red Cross. In the EOC, the Red Cross
      > has its own ESF number, and Communications has its own ESF number. A
      > shelter is opened by emergency management, requesting it under the
      > Red Cross ESF. Communications is provided to that shelter under the
      > Communications ESF at the request of emergency management to the
      > local EC. Untested yet, but Red Cross doesn't seem to be in a
      > position to demand clearance of persons working in shelters under
      > control of the EOC. At least that's the current thinking of our
      > section's leadership.
      > ====================================
      > IN THIS ISSUE:
      > + K1CE FOR A FINAL
      > ====================================
      > ARRL seeks data on mobile emergency communications vehicles: The
      > League's National Emergency Response Planning Committee (NERPC)
      > continues to invite responses from clubs or groups having access to
      > an emergency communications vehicle (ECV). If your group has an ECV
      > and has not yet participated in the survey, please have someone take
      > a few minutes and be a part of this effort. The Committee's response
      > to the ARRL Board is due in January. A number of responses have been
      > received to date, but the Committee wants to collect as much
      > information as possible to develop its report.
      > As of November 29, clubs and groups had entered information on 29
      > ECVs into the survey database. Most ECVs are owned by individuals or
      > local governments, 14 have portable repeaters onboard and another 25
      > have their own power generators. This information will help determine
      > what assets are available and help in planning for future disasters.
      > To participate, visit the Emergency Communications Vehicle Survey Web
      > site <http://www.bullock.org/nerpc>.
      > Eastern Massachusetts ARES and RACES teams went on alert November 22
      > after an early-morning explosion destroyed a paint and ink plant in
      > Danvers, 15 miles north of Boston. The blast, felt as far away as
      > Southern Maine, destroyed more than a dozen nearby homes and damaged
      > upward of 100 others. Minutes after the 2:45 AM explosion North Shore
      > ARES members initiated an informal net on a Danvers repeater while
      > monitoring the situation. The blast awakened North shore EC Jim
      > Palmer, KB1KQW, who lives about a mile from the plant site.
      > "As soon as I heard the explosion, I followed our well-established
      > ARES protocols by getting on my local SKYWARN/ARES frequency and
      > starting an informal net," Palmer said. "I also monitored my scanner
      > to hear information directly from the incident area." DEC Eric
      > Horwitz, KA1NCF, and Eastern Massachusetts SEC Rob Macedo, KD1CY,
      > were notified, as well as Region One RACES Radio Officer Terry
      > Stader, KA8SCP.
      > Macedo contacted Massachusetts Bay Red Cross, which opened a shelter
      > at Danvers High School to accommodate some 100 to 150 displaced
      > residents. Radio amateurs were ready to provide communication support
      > for the Red Cross or other agencies.
      > "We continued the informal net until 6 PM and secured," Macedo said.
      > "No deployments were required, but we were ready to deploy if needed.
      > We had over 40 check-ins to the informal net and between 6 and 12
      > amateurs ready for deployment." - excerpted from the ARRL Letter
      > The Alachua County (Florida) Fire Rescue's Reserve Division K-9
      > Search and Rescue unit has teamed up with local radio amateurs,
      > members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and reserve
      > EMTs to form a combined resources team for improved wilderness and
      > urban search and rescue (USAR). In November, the USAR K-9 team
      > initiated training in basic SAR skills for the new team members. Held
      > near the Gainesville Airport, team members conducted practice
      > searches and practiced skills required for the NASAR SARTECH II
      > certification. Nearly 20 volunteers participated in the on-going
      > training, learned teamwork, and were cross-trained in skills such as
      > medical, communications, and navigation. The team's goal is to
      > increase their response capability and improve the level of service
      > to the community.
      > The Miami Herald ran an interesting article this week about the
      > extensive preparations being undertaken by the State of Florida, DHS,
      > and others to prepare for events in the aftermath of Cuban President
      > Fidel Castro's death. The article cited potential problems with
      > communications.
      > It would seem to me that in the event of widespread civil unrest in
      > Cuba, Amateur Radio could help in the following areas:
      > (1) Handling direct requests from the population of Cuba for aid,
      > emergency supplies, etc.; (2) Providing real time intelligence about
      > conditions on the ground, by relaying reports from Cuban amateurs;
      > and (3) Relaying critical communications for the US entities on nets
      > like MARS, SHARES, Maritime Mobile Nets, etc.
      > It would be interesting to hear if any of the various ARES groups
      > have started to train or prepare for this eventuality. -- Les
      > Rayburn, N1LF, Helena, AL, Official Emergency Station
      > [As IARU Region 2 EMCOR, I can tell readers that there is a robust
      > amateur radio emergency communications community in Cuba. Of all the
      > countries in Region 2, Cuba's radio amateurs are at the top of the
      > list for severe weather and other emergency communications planning
      > and practice. - K1CE]
      > In the November ARES E-letter I read with interest the item about
      > Wisconsin's Badger Weather Net. The net was described as the nation's
      > oldest weather net, organized in December 1964.
      > While this net has been in operation for a long time, there is
      > another Weather net called "The New England Weather Net," operating
      > continuously even longer, since December, 1955. I first checked into
      > the New England Weather Net in August 1959, and am currently the
      > Tuesday net control operator. I have been active in this net for the
      > last 47 years serving as net control for much of that time.
      > The New England Weather Net was founded by a small group of amateurs
      > in the Boston-Cape Cod area who were interested in exchanging weather
      > information and communicating with other amateurs involved in the
      > Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the "Texas Towers" early
      > off-shore radar detection operations. Members of the Weather Net were
      > able to provide that vital link to the mainland that was so
      > appreciated by those stationed at sea and on the towers.
      > The net is still active today with 30 to 40 stations reporting their
      > weather conditions each morning from all of New England, to as far
      > north as Nova Scotia, as far south as Florida, and as far west as
      > Idaho. There are check-ins from 17 states, primarily in the eastern
      > section of the country.
      > The net meets each morning from 0530 to 0620 local time. At 0620, a
      > summary of the reports received is given by the net control station.
      > Each report contains the station's temperature, barometric pressure,
      > wind speed and direction, cloud cover, precipitation amounts, 24 hour
      > temperature gradient and any other data the reporting station wishes
      > to give.
      > All stations are welcome and no membership is required. We meet every
      > day except Sunday on 75 meters at 3905 kHz. Additional information
      > can be received by contacting the net manager Dave Haas, N1PT,
      > Lancaster, New Hampshire. See <http://newn.org/about_newn.asp> --
      > John P. Bretz, KE2EA <KE2EA@...>
      > [ARRL Delta Division Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, and Vice Director
      > Karl Bullock, WA5TMC, attended the Ocean Springs, Mississippi Hamfest
      > last month. Here are portions of Bullock's report. - ed.]
      > This was the first hamfest I'd been to on the Gulf Coast since
      > Katrina. The hamfest was a success, though the clubs there have lost
      > membership, and are in the rebuilding stage. The ARRL Forum was the
      > liveliest ever. The attendees were the hams who walked through the
      > fire last year, and we listened carefully.
      > TRAINING. "We're going to have to look at NIMS training, whether we
      > like it or not", was a recurring comment, along with "but, none of
      > these courses instruct hams how to communicate in an emergency. Such
      > training should be done in person. Clubs would be ideal for
      > conducting this training. Certification would be nice upon
      > completion. Needed is a syllabus, and some training aids, probably in
      > the form of a DVD video that clubs could obtain at minimal cost from
      > the ARRL."
      > Other comments: Assembling a working station isn't enough. Training
      > on message handling is needed. Attendees liked our idea of having HQ
      > originate test emergency messages, in addition to taking another look
      > at strengthening the SET.
      > "We weren't ready then, and we're not ready now," was a resonant
      > comment.
      > LICENSE EXAMS. There should be some emphasis on emergency
      > communications in the VEC Question pool.
      > LACK OF EQUIPMENT. On the coast, pre-disaster, the local hams had
      > constructed an emergency communications station complete with
      > equipment necessary to manage a large-scale local disaster. They had
      > radios across the spectrum, including SHARES, local government, HF,
      > VHF, digital, antennas, and backup power with fuel. It was totally
      > destroyed in the early hours of Katrina. Nothing else came close to
      > providing that capability, and equipment that would show up would
      > disappear when those who brought it had to go home. The equipment
      > from HQ was welcome, but again, not everything the operators needed.
      > They didn't have a solution to the problem, but we do need to look at
      > providing more capability in these large disasters. -- Karl Bullock,
      > WA5TMC, Delta Division Vice Director, and member, ARRL National
      > Emergency Response Planning Committee
      > As for the Red Cross background checks, I am concerned about identity
      > theft and exposure to errors that are inherent in any system. Would
      > the Red Cross be liable for my costs to correct problems? What
      > protection is offered? I know of two people who have still not
      > recovered from theft of their identity. I will decline the overly
      > broad demand of every bit of personal information that is required to
      > be authorized for collection. I can see the criminal check for people
      > who are working with kids and stressed adults, but what business is
      > it of theirs to find out that I owe no one anything and have never
      > missed a payment? I have done checks with the three reporting
      > companies and have found errors like one that listed some 20 credit
      > cards as active when the number is just three. I will probably drop
      > out of ARES and concentrate on RACES where the Vermont DPS has
      > already run a more reasonable background check. -- Gordon Pugh, PE,
      > W2NH
      > Last night I was watching a TV program on the 1996 civil war in
      > Liberia. At the time of the conflict, I was tuning around on 20
      > meters when I heard an emergency call to any US ham. For the next
      > several hours I relayed information from our embassy in Liberia to
      > the State Department in Washington concerning health and welfare.
      > Rebels had taken over the capitol and shut off all communications.
      > Our embassy was able to communicate using ham radio as hundreds of
      > people herded into the embassy compound for safety.
      > I was a first responder at Ground Zero, 9/11. Again, I concentrated
      > on performing the communications job at hand and was not able to
      > contemplate the event's significance, as the rest of the world could.
      > There was info going out of the area, but none coming in. The
      > helplessness of the country as they saw the damage in New York and
      > Washington must have been terrible. I feel it now, as, after watching
      > that TV program, I now feel what went on in Liberia in 1996, when I
      > was doing my communications "job." In 1996 I had no idea of the
      > slaughter that was taking place in that country, nor its
      > significance.
      > Perspective during an emergency is a strange thing: it's lost. During
      > an emergency we are so focused on doing what needs to be done that we
      > lose the impact of the event and the feelings that other people
      > experience. Amateur Radio has allowed me to help others, but I feel
      > as if I have missed real-time significance by being in another
      > "loop." - Bob Hejl, W2IK
      > Our ARES district has been asked by a local fire department to teach
      > a basic license course for their radio dispatchers. Regional police
      > have also indicated an interest in a similar course, and efforts are
      > underway to involve dispatchers from two other fire services.
      > Having taught adult learners for a living, I know how important it is
      > to make the information relevant to their jobs. That's where I need
      > some assistance. Apparently, the idea of dispatchers having radio
      > amateur licenses came from a conference in the U.S. I'd sincerely
      > appreciate hearing from anyone who may have attended such a
      > conference session, or anyone who may be teaching a similar course.
      > -- Gord Hewit, VE3GIH, <VE3GIH@...>
      > + K1CE FOR A FINAL
      > It's the time of year for cheer, friends, family, reflection, but
      > also melancholy and loss. We recently lost SEC John Warne, K4KAM. Joe
      > Bushel, W2DWR, writes: "He was a Ham's Ham, and a tremendous friend.
      > During the years that I knew John, I found him to be always there
      > when I needed his advice, which I often did, and he never shirked a
      > request for assistance. He fought illness for years with a positive
      > attitude in all he did. When North Florida lost John Warne, they lost
      > a terrific ham and a very dear friend."
      > ________________
      > For us sentimental old fools, check out http://www.novice.bappy.com
      > for a short walk down memory lane.
      > ________________
      > And finally, a gem from Joe Shea, of the HQ's Production staff,
      > reflecting on the FCC's Morse code decision, sung to the tune of "Mr.
      > Ed":
      > A Morse is a Morse, of course, of course,
      > And no one can talk with Morse of course,
      > That is, of course, unless the course is taught by A-R-R-L.
      > Go right to the source and ask about Morse,
      > We'll give you a program that you'll endorse,
      > You'll always stay on a steady course,
      > Contact A-R-R-L.
      > Phone ops yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day,
      > But Morse operators will never "speak" unless they have something to
      > say
      > A ham is a ham, of course, of course,
      > And some will talk 'til their "voice" is hoarse;
      > Would you rather sound like a horse's a--?
      > Well why not learn this: "dot-dit-dit-dit-dash"
      > ________________
      > Happy Holidays! Keep warm by those glowing rectifier tubes!
      > 73, Rick, K1CE
      > ======================================================================
      > The ARES E-Letter is published on the third Wednesday of each month
      > by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For
      > Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200;
      > fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN,
      > President.
      > The ARES E-Letter is an e-mail digest of news and information of
      > interest to active members of the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency
      > Service (ARES).
      > Material from The ARES E-Letter may be republished or reproduced in
      > whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit
      > must be given to The ARES E-Letter and The American Radio Relay
      > League.
      > Editorial questions or comments: Rick Palm, K1CE, k1ce@...
      > Delivery problems (ARRL direct delivery only!): ares-el-dlvy@...
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      > ======================================================================
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