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ARES E-Letter for June 21, 2006

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  • Tom VanderMel
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 22, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      > The ARES E-Letter
      > June 21, 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@...>;
      > ===================================
      > Looking out the back window as this is written, it's pounding rain
      > and the trees are whipping from winds of the outer bands of Tropical
      > Storm (and potential hurricane) Alberto. I've just answered an e-mail
      > from our county ARES reflector about possible deployments. And I'm
      > checked into the Northern Florida ARES Net on 3950 kHz, listening to
      > the State EOC's John Fleming, WD4FFX, inform the net of storm
      > preparations. Here we go: Another tropical weather season underway,
      > and the hair starts to rise on the back of the neck.
      > NOAA predicts an 80% chance of an above-normal 2006 north Atlantic
      > hurricane/tropical storm season: 13 to 16 named storms, with eight to
      > 10 becoming hurricanes, of which four to six could become 'major'
      > hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher," says NOAA Administrator
      > Conrad Lautenbacher.
      > The first named storm of the 2006 season is this one, "Alberto." The
      > name "Katrina" has been removed from the list of storm names.
      > =========================================
      > IN THIS ISSUE:
      > + K1CE FOR A FINAL
      > ===========================================
      > * Ridgecrest, California - A small city in the high desert,
      > Ridgecrest endured a recent series of electrical failures, one of
      > which lasted over eight hours. East Kern County ARES/RACES provided
      > critically needed communications support when a major substation
      > serving the valley went down. As soon as the event was officially
      > declared a disaster, 34 responded and were quickly assigned to the
      > EOC, the local hospital, and ambulance service, and other areas
      > around the valley.
      > ARES hams kept up an information network, especially appreciated by
      > the Police Chief and the administrators of the hospital who were able
      > to change plans as needed utilizing immediate and accurate
      > information so vital during an emergency. Although the local police
      > officers all had department issued cell phones, they quickly became
      > useless as circuits became overloaded.
      > EC/RO Jerry Brooks, KK6PA, commented that he "was pleased at how many
      > hams responded and how well they synchronized with emergency
      > services." -- Judith Rogow, N7TTH
      > * Staten Island, New York - ARES participated May 21 in an American
      > Red Cross drill dubbed "The Staten Island Storm Rehearsal," designed
      > to prepare volunteers by providing a hands-on experience in emergency
      > shelter operations. "ARES is relied upon by our clients, like the Red
      > Cross, to be able to quickly, adequately and professionally set up
      > and run a portable communications system to help those affected by a
      > disaster," said ARRL New York City DEC Mike Lisenco, N2YBB. During
      > the "blackout" scenario, ten ARES operators on battery power
      > maintained communication with the Red Cross EOC in Manhattan.
      > * New England -- ARES volunteers provided communications in a major
      > flooding emergency. On May 18-19, the Massachusetts Bay Red Cross
      > Chapter requested Amateur Radio communication support for damage
      > assessment, and on May 20, the northeast Massachusetts Red Cross
      > Chapter requested ARES support for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
      > to help facilitate distribution of clean-up and care kits to coastal
      > communities north of Boston. Severe weather occurred May 21. Eastern
      > Massachusetts SEC Rob Macedo, KD1CY: "The incident happened so
      > quickly, we self-activated our nets and fed reports of damaging winds
      > and large hail via the spotter line and the Web." Waterspouts were
      > reported off Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and a tornado was reported in
      > Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Four injuries were reported in the NWS
      > Taunton warning area.
      > * East Central Florida -- On May 9, four Seminole county ARES/RACES
      > members went with fire personnel to Volusia county to support forest
      > fire fighting at New Smyrna Beach. A Division of Forestry trailer was
      > used and is equipped with a 100 foot crank-up tower, VHF repeater and
      > 64 hand held radios. -- Dick Fess, K4FUY, EC Seminole county
      > ARES/RACES
      > Red Cross' Central Massachusetts Chapter recently provided training
      > in "Preliminary Disaster Assessment" to Worcester Emergency
      > Communications Team (WECT) amateurs, managed by Mark Rubin, WB1ARZ.
      > Hams were trained to assist the Red Cross in the earliest stages of
      > disaster response, including how to recognize and report observations
      > of the scope of a disaster and factors affecting disaster relief
      > delivery. Examples of the observations requested include the
      > geographic boundaries of the affected area, numbers of dwellings
      > impacted, demographics of the populations affected, status of
      > utilities and roads, and other factors affecting service delivery. By
      > providing spot reports of these data to the Red Cross Chapter, the
      > hams can play a role in expediting disaster relief. The training was
      > presented by Monty Plough, KB1HXZ, and Tom Carrigan, NE1R, both of
      > whom are active with Red Cross Disaster Services, and was well
      > attended by hams from the Central Massachusetts area and Emergency
      > Management officials. -- Tom Carrigan, NE1R
      > Orange County, California - On May 10, eight HDCSC members worked at
      > the St. Joseph Hospital in Orange to provide back up communication
      > during major phone work. To have good communications with the hams
      > inside the hospital and maintain communications with the base
      > station, one member put his car on the roof of the parking structure,
      > erected a "big stick" antenna, dropped coax over the side to the
      > security office and hooked up to his radio. With phones going down
      > throughout the work and at times all phones being down, the operators
      > were kept busy. There were "stat pages" called down to the PBX and
      > numerous contacts between ICU, ED and the lab and pharmacy. Before
      > the night was over, HDSCS communicators also assisted in calling a
      > "Code Blue" from the CCU and facilitating a report from a Children's
      > Hospital unit to the OR when a sick baby needed emergency surgery.
      > The next morning the operators were up participating in a twelve
      > hospital earthquake drill. HDSCS simulated a "Core Team" response,
      > which is an automatic response to check on hospitals and go to the
      > county EOC. Some hospitals simulated evacuations of their command
      > post locations necessitating, once again, the need for HDSCS
      > operators' portability and flexibility. The drill lasted for three
      > hours. Twenty-three HDSCS members participated in this daytime drill.
      > More activity on the horizon: HDSCS will be operating Field Day at
      > the Huntington Beach Hospital. -- April Moell, WA6OPS, EC, Hospital
      > Disaster Support Communications System <emcom4hosp@...> and
      > <www.hdscs.org>
      > The ARRL West Central Florida Section Quarterly ARES Emergency
      > Coordinators meeting was held June 10, at the Charlotte County EOC.
      > ARES ECs, AECs, and OESs were encouraged to attend.
      > The WCF Section leadership began a policy of holding rotating
      > quarterly ARES EC meetings at the EOCs of the ten counties. This was
      > done to promote interoperability among the ARES programs in the
      > individual counties and to promote closer ties between these programs
      > and their respective Emergency Management agencies.
      > The Section is a leader in Florida in accomplishing having all
      > counties achieve a combined ARES/RACES or ACS organization and in
      > having interested emergency management directors attend the quarterly
      > ARES EC meetings.
      > Of the meetings held to date, four county emergency management
      > directors have attended and expressed their support for using Amateur
      > Radio as part of their county's ESF-2 backup/auxiliary communications
      > plans.
      > All counties in the ARRL West Central Florida Section are now staffed
      > with a single ARES/RACES or ACS leader of a unified ARES/RACES or ACS
      > organization that has a working relationship with their county's
      > emergency management agency. --Gary Sessums, KC5QCN, EC/RO
      > Hillsborough County ARES/RACES
      > ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, will represent the
      > League at the second Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
      > (GAREC) Conference. GAREC 2006 is taking place now, June 19-20, in
      > Tampere, Finland, in parallel with the International Conference on
      > Emergency Communications (ICEC 2006).
      > "Many new experiences resulted from dramatic events over the past 12
      > months, new lessons have been learned, and new concepts have been
      > developed," said IARU International Coordinator for Emergency
      > Communications Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS.
      > Continuing the work begun during GAREC 2005, this year's conference
      > will consider the latest developments in the application of Amateur
      > Radio to emergency communication and cooperation with institutional
      > partners in emergency response and disaster relief. It will also
      > review progress made on concepts developed during last year's
      > conference and formulate additional proposals.
      > Zimmerman noted that the concurrent ICEC 2006 will review the
      > application and implementation of the Tampere Convention on the
      > Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and
      > Relief Operations. "Holding the two events at the same time in the
      > same location allows us to give high visibility to the important role
      > of Amateur Radio in emergency communications," he said.
      > [Readers can learn more about the Tampere Convention and Amateur
      > Radio emergency communication capabilities in other Region 2
      > countries: <http://www.iaru-r2emcor.net/> -- ed.]
      > Under the leadership of "cool EC" Alan Bosch, KO4ALA, the Arlington,
      > Virginia ARES collected the latitude and longitude of local shelter
      > locations during shelter communications checks. Coordinates were
      > badly needed by hams responding to Hurricane Katrina. James Olson,
      > W4JO, wrote: "Most useful equipment that I wish I had brought was a
      > GPS receiver with detailed mapping display. With road signs missing,
      > the GPS could find your way. This would also be especially helpful if
      > the Red Cross were to give us the GPS coordinates of the shelters
      > that we were heading out to serve."
      > Bosch has now started "Project Where?" to collect the coordinates of
      > other locations including hospitals, and nursing homes, and then
      > exchanging this information with other local ARES groups.
      > To get the coordinates for the local Red Cross chapter, school,
      > shelter, Salvation Army unit, and others, search the name in the
      > Geographical Names Information System (GNIS) database:
      > <http://geonames.usgs.gov>. To find the coordinates of the Red Cross
      > chapter, for example, go to the geonames homepage, select "Domestic
      > Names," then select "search GNIS" and enter "Red Cross" into the GNIS
      > database as the "feature name." Next enter the name of the state and
      > county. The database will return the appropriate coordinates along
      > with the elevation of that feature and the name of the USGS 1:24,000
      > topographic map for that location. -- Jim Hastings, K9AUC
      > <k9auc@...>
      > Communications Academy is a non-profit coalition of volunteer
      > communications teams providing training to the Pacific Northwest. By
      > providing a once-a-year large-scale venue for training, volunteer
      > communicators learn emergency management, communications techniques
      > and protocols, real-life emergency responses, and other related
      > subjects.
      > The Communications Academy is open to anyone with an interest in
      > emergency communications, volunteer or professional. The
      > presentations are designed to promote the development of
      > knowledgeable, skilled emergency communicators who will support their
      > local communities during a disaster or emergency response. Readers
      > can get handouts and information at its Web site:
      > <http://www.commacademy.org/2006/handouts.php> -- Communications
      > Academy
      > FEMA's NIMS Integration Center and Emergency Management Institute
      > have made available new online, interactive Web-based training that
      > will help incident managers establish NIMS-related systems that will
      > help them get the resources they need to respond to an emergency or
      > disaster. Resource management is an ongoing process that establishes
      > systems to describe, inventory, request and track resources. The
      > systems are used during deployment or recall of resources in
      > connection with an incident.
      > Resource management is a key component of the National Incident
      > Management System (NIMS), which standardizes the procedures and
      > functions involved in the resource management process. The course is
      > called IS-703 NIMS Resource Management and demonstrates how
      > resources, such as personnel, teams, facilities, equipment and
      > supplies, are managed through advance planning, resource
      > identification and ordering, categorizing resources, use of
      > agreements, acquisition management, management information systems,
      > and protocols for ordering, mobilizing and dispatching. To take the
      > course on-line go to <http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is703.asp>
      > I first became interested in setting up a communications systems in
      > Towns County, Georgia, in response to an ad run by the Red Cross,
      > seeking ham operators to set up an emergency communications network.
      > I was the only responder.
      > As a result, thanks to much equipment donated by other hams and a lot
      > of hard work put in by local hams, we now have three fixed stations
      > with 2 meter capability, and soon two will also have HF capability.
      > Some of these hams were already Red Cross members.
      > The local Red Cross is doing great things to provide aid and comfort
      > during fires, highway accidents, and other disasters, and on a very
      > limited budget. So far, no ham (or Red Cross Volunteer) has
      > complained about not being compensated for time and expenses. When
      > you have a funds-strapped Red Cross that is as active as ours, and
      > hams who are willing to give their time and donate equipment to the
      > cause of public service, I think asking for monetary compensation is
      > totally NOT in the radio amateur's code! -- Alton Higgins, W4VFZ,
      > Towns County EC for Red Cross, RACES and ARES <manmtn@...>;
      > If it weren't for the people who listed their titles, classes, and
      > certifications in the contest, I wouldn't have known what others were
      > doing. They serve as fine examples of what others could do, too. --
      > Matt Cassarino, WV1K, Brewster, Massachusetts
      > Brevard County, Florida -- During a recent county disaster drill,
      > responders were expected to arrive on the scene ready for deployment.
      > Fire responders showed up in full fire gear, Police in full police
      > gear, CERT members with appropriate gear including helmet, orange
      > safety vest, long pants, shirt, heavy shoes, gloves, face mask,
      > flashlight, as well as HT, and necessary tools. Our ARES members
      > showed up only with their HT, with some in shorts, sandals, no head
      > gear nor uniform/identification of any kind.
      > ARES responders need to meet the same equipment standards as Fire,
      > Police and CERT personnel. Had ARES members attending our mock drill
      > arrived and reported for an actual event, they wouldn't have been
      > deemed prepared and likely would be sent to NIMS-IC "camp" for
      > training. ARES/ARRL needs to develop gear standards. ARES personnel
      > need to arrive on the emergency site ready to be deployed. Prepared
      > for deployment means ARES members having more than the clothing on
      > their backs and an HT (with only one set of batteries) in their
      > hand!-- Lyle Schultz, KI4MYT, <ki4myt@...> Titusville, Florida
      > As a coordinator of public service events and a RACES/ARES appointee,
      > I assign amateurs to positions at these events. It became a
      > frustrating task due to the lack of knowledge of the amateurs'
      > complement of equipment and capabilities. Having been exposed to the
      > ICS system and working with the local emergency management office I
      > considered resource typing. Today I use the resource typing document
      > in capturing capabilities of amateurs signing up for duty for public
      > events as well as RACES/ARES activities. It is available for viewing
      > at <http://home.comcast.net/~jrgalvin2/resourcetypeC.pdf>. It's easy
      > to use. If you need five event shadow operators for example, then you
      > ask for five Type S operators. It might be a good model for others.
      > -- John Galvin, N5TIM <jrgalvin2@...>
      > The observations of the Crepeaus [May issue] in Katrina and Wilma are
      > worthy of much consideration, as they are born out of direct
      > experience in those disasters. With regard to their opinion that the
      > ARRL ARECC courses should be required, the courses should first be
      > updated to be NIMS compliant. Part of this effort includes making
      > message forms and standards using plain language, replacing the codes
      > and jargon. All the ARRL courses should be updated before we consider
      > mandating them for ARES membership.
      > If they are going to be required, they should also be online as are
      > the required FEMA courses, and cost the same as the FEMA courses in
      > that format. Of course, if one wishes to buy the services of the
      > current Web site ARRL utilizes in order to take the course and be
      > mentored, they should expect to pay for it. Similarly, if they wish
      > to purchase a hard copy of the course materials from ARRL, they
      > should expect to pay for it, since it costs to print. But having a
      > PDF file of the course materials and questions, such as FEMA does,
      > available free on-line is a low cost, low maintenance proposition.
      > Taking the test, once materials are learned from the downloaded PDFs,
      > from an appropriate VE at the current cost would then be a low-cost
      > alternative to make it easier for hams to complete any ARECC course.
      > -- Bill Farnham, KI4FZT, EC Roane County, Tennessee
      > When it comes to placing amateur equipment in EOCs, I have had to
      > become a "consultant" to architecture firms as well as electricians,
      > cable pullers and others that don't know what our gear looks like,
      > what it needs, or how much space it takes up. This, of course, is a
      > good thing because it means that we are being taken seriously enough
      > that we merit space in places that are, in many cases, already so
      > pressed for space that the Chief Executive is sitting on the lap of
      > some other functionary (metaphorically speaking, of course) but it
      > also means that we have to be able to provide this information.
      > I am setting up a "workspace" and taking pictures of it so that I
      > have something to show the contractors when they ask "what do you
      > need?" I already had a worksheet with pieces and prices that I can
      > e-mail and this is the next logical step.
      > I am curious if anyone else is in this "business" yet? I am also
      > curious if we can get the drawings from the manufacturers or vendors.
      > -- David A. Lane, KG4GIY, EC/RO Prince William County, Virgina
      > <http://www.qsl.net/pwcares/>
      > We have all seen e-mails to media, business and government officials,
      > in which words are spelled incorrectly, there is a lack of
      > subject-verb agreement, lack of apostrophes to indicate possession,
      > improper capitalization, improper punctuation, not dividing into
      > paragraphs, etc. I know this may sound like "word smithing," but come
      > on ladies and gentlemen. This is ninth grade English.
      > Every e-mail program I know of has a spell-checker. Another
      > alternative is to type the message in a word-processing program, and
      > use the grammar and spell checker there to correct the e-mail. And
      > there are always dictionaries.
      > When we write like a third-grader, we will be perceived as a
      > third-grader and our ideas received on that level. So, think of
      > writing a personal letter or e-mail to your boss or someone you want
      > to impress. Take some time to write properly. And when you are
      > invited to that next meeting, as a result of well written
      > correspondence, dress appropriately. -- Jimmy Bishop, W4CYF
      > + K1CE FOR A FINAL
      > As it turned out, Tropical Storm Alberto spun out of strength and
      > departed the scene rather more quietly than expected. That is good.
      > It did cause Florida ARES leaders to look even harder at
      > preparedness, and we now have a meeting scheduled for next week in
      > Tallahassee at the State EOC. I'll tell you about it in the next
      > issue.
      > In response to last month's "Final," a number of readers pointed out
      > the detractions of satellites as platforms for Amateur Radio emcomms.
      > Their points are certainly valid, but I still feel that a good long
      > range goal would be a satellite, or at least a satellite channel,
      > available to amateurs for use in meeting incident needs as another
      > arrow in our quiver of capabilities. Like the stock market, it's good
      > to diversify.
      > See you next month if the ARES E-Letter Corporate Office Suite
      > Complex on its main campus here in Flagler county is still standing.
      > - 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@...
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      > ======================================================================
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