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Simulated Emergency Test

The K4NWS – Amateur Radio Station at the Birmingham Weather Service was physically being relocated due to renovations within the Weather Service. As a result the responding team had to set up an expeditionary station in order to communicate.

As a part of SET and to test the ALERT Team’s response capability they were not told everything until the call-out was issued on Thursday afternoon and the actual plans were not discussed until a special teleconference that occurred at 1400 Friday afternoon.

Ronnie King was tasked with being the Supervising Leader and he had the others put the plan together on the phone. The pictures below are the results.

The responding Team was:
Ronnie King – WX4RON
Justin Glass – N0ZO
Casey Benefield – NZ2O
Michael Lamb – KK4OHW

73’s

Roger Parsons
KK4UDU

 

 

radios

ronnie

 

out_ant

ronandjustin

justin2

ALERT will participate in the SET this weekend. Our activation will be Saturday 7:45am to noon.

On Saturday ALERT and several ARES/SKYWARN groups across multiple states participated in a Simulated Emergency Test or SET for short.

The rest of this post is a summary of the event from the Birmingham, AL perspective. (Material from SCARC, BARC, and ALERT)

THIS IS A TEST (SET Exercise)!

Attention all ham operators,

The following information from the National Hurricane Center has been released. All operators should watch this storm carefully. We recommend that you check your radio station and to-go kit for possible ARES activation.

Tom Appleby, W4TCA
Shelby County ARES Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

Sunday, 1000Z. The National Hurricane Center reports a tropical disturbance just north of Cuba. Warm water and favorable winds could lead to a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Monday, 1000Z. Tropical Storm Jay has formed 30 miles north of Havana, Cuba. Slight northwesterly movement is expected over the next 24 hours. Conditions are very favorable for rapid intensification of Jay into a Category 1 hurricane over the next 12 – 24 hours.

Tuesday, 1000Z update Hurricane Jay. Hurricane Jay is presently located 75 miles northwest of Havana, Cuba. This Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH and is expected to track to the west, northwest then begin a turn to the north and intensify as it encounters favorable conditions for strengthening. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys.

======================================================================

We will hold ARES training this Thursday night, Sept. 30th, at 6:30pm at the Shelby County Red Cross office.  Directions can be found here: www.w4shl.com.  David Gillespie, W4LHQ, will speak on EMCOMM and SET.

ARE YOU READY?
Is your radio programmed?
Batteries charged?
Jump kit ready to go?
In case of emergency, please check into your local ARES net and await further instructions:

Jefferson County:
Primary: 146.880-, 88.5 tone
Backup: 146.760-, Main: 88.5 tone, 114.8
if East of Jefferson County, 94.8 Western area.

Shelby County:
Primary: 146.980-, no tone
Backup: 145.290-, no tone

Stay tuned and get prepared!

73,
Hub Harvey, N4HUB
Amateur Radio Emergency Service:
Jefferson County Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

All SCARC members,

The Shelby County ARES Emergency Net is activated on 146.98.  All stations are requested to check in now and participate.

73,
Tom Appleby, W4TCA
Shelby County ARES Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

From one of our ALERT volunteers:

All in all thing went good. When I arrived and turned on the station. The computer had been turned off and when we put in the login and password on the bottom of key board the password had expired. Si with help from the staff we made a new password which is attached to the bottom of the keyboard and was able to get the computer up and running.

I was able to get the chat boards and radar but unable to get wxwarn or the weather warn chat to work. The dsatr radio I could not get to work on dstar.

Several contacts was made and 880 and shelby nets was checked into.  Was able to test with shelby simplex to clanton on 222 freq.

Also checked into walker ema net.

was able to chat with them on chat board.

Several relays was made of information from the area and from the hospitals.  When Russell arived to relieve me he said he knew what was wrong with the dstar and would fixit.

the drill was very good I only wish we would have had a better script to follow instead of making it up as we went.

jek KJ4OPX

======================================================================

W4AGA / NNN0BFG Participation in the 2010 Simulated Emergency Test (ARRL SET).

I participated in this SET in several roles:

1. As an ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) OO (Official Observer) and OES (Official Emergency Station).

2. As an ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) Operator and AEC (Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Jefferson County Alabama) I was involved in the planning and operation of the SET.

3. As an ARES Liaison to the ARC (American Red Cross) I passed VHF voice and digital traffic between the organizations, including operator deployment and station-keeping traffic for ARC Shelters opened for the SET.

4. As a NAVMARCORMARS (Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Service) Operator and the Central Alabama ARES-MARS Liaison I stood ready to pass traffic between organizations.

5. As a SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) Operator I stood ready to pass traffic between organizations.

6. As an SBDR (Southern Baptist Disaster Relief) Operator and Disaster Relief Chaplain I passed traffic between organizations and stood ready to deploy should CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) skills be needed.

7. As an Emergency Coordinator for the Cahaba Radio Club I was involved in the planning and operations of this SET, communicating with base and mobile operators including our ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle).

8. As a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member and ARES Operator I stood ready to liaison between ARES and the Irondale CERT.

9. As the ARES NCO (Net Control Operator) for VHF Simplex.

10. As an ALERT (Alabama Emergency Response Team) Operator for the NWS (National Weather Service) and an NWS-ALERT-ARES VHF-HF Liaison I stood ready to pass traffic since their HF radio was not operable.

For this SET I performed both voice and/or digital communications on two HF amateur bands (3.965 and 28.405) and on one MARS band (4038.5), operated as the NCO on VHF 146.520 Simplex, ran an APRS Digipeater, and interacted with operators of ARES and served agencies on the W4CUE BARC (Birmingham Amateur Radio Club), W4SHL SCARC (Shelby County Amateur Radio Club) and WB4TJX UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Amateur Radio Club repeaters, on cell phone and via internet email.

When I could not contact any central Alabama station on 3.965 due to antenna selection and propagation I moved the HF net to 10m 28.405 and the HARES (Hospital ARES) net was moved to VHF Simplex where several contacts were made. All HF HARES hospital stations reported difficulties with near-field (0-100 miles) communications on 80m but several were able to communicate on 10m and all of them established communications with Net Control on VHF Simplex. 80m near-field under this day’s conditions pretty much required NVIS antennas and very few amateurs (and none of the HARES hospitals, EMA, EOCs or NWS) are so equipped.

I operated both on mains power and on mobile power in my car. My base station for this SET consisted of a Kenwood TM-D710 VHF/UHF/APRS Digipeater, a Kenwood TM-D700 VHF/UHF, and a Personal Computer linked to an ICOM 7000 using Ham Radio Deluxe for remote control on a B&W NVIS Broadband Folded Dipole and a Butternut HF-5 Beam. My Mobile station was equipped with a GPS-enabled Laptop Computer, Kenwood TM-D710 VHF/UHF/APRS Digipeater, Wouxun VHF/UHF HT and Citizen Band radios.

Planning. preparation and interoperability between all involved operators and organizations was excellent, with a SET scenario and injects which were very similar to real-life emergency communications. What few issues arose were dealt with quickly and in a professional manner and all traffic was delivered in an accurate and timely fashion. While I do not have the actual numbers I believe that participation by operators and agencies was at an all-time high, making this SET both an important training event and an excellent display of the value and capabilities of ARES to our served agencies.

Thank you to all who participated,
Ed Manley
W4AGA / NNN0BFG

======================================================================
ALERT member’s comments:

I enjoyed it. I thought that net control on the BARC repeater did an excellent job. I did not hear anyone on the Shelby county machine. I know that d-star was up and the hospitals were quite active.

The most important note I can make is that it was very orderly. In the face of a real emergency radio confusion must be avoided. This made it a suitable test session
Jeff Drew

N4JDU

======================================================================

On Saturday ALERT and several ARES/SKYWARN groups across multiple states participated in a Simulated Emergency Test or SET for short.

The rest of this post is a summary of the event from the Birmingham, AL perspective. (Material from SCARC, BARC, and ALERT)

THIS IS A TEST (SET Exercise)!

Attention all ham operators,

The following information from the National Hurricane Center has been released. All operators should watch this storm carefully. We recommend that you check your radio station and to-go kit for possible ARES activation.

Tom Appleby, W4TCA
Shelby County ARES Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

Sunday, 1000Z. The National Hurricane Center reports a tropical disturbance just north of Cuba. Warm water and favorable winds could lead to a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Monday, 1000Z. Tropical Storm Jay has formed 30 miles north of Havana, Cuba. Slight northwesterly movement is expected over the next 24 hours. Conditions are very favorable for rapid intensification of Jay into a Category 1 hurricane over the next 12 – 24 hours.

Tuesday, 1000Z update Hurricane Jay. Hurricane Jay is presently located 75 miles northwest of Havana, Cuba. This Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH and is expected to track to the west, northwest then begin a turn to the north and intensify as it encounters favorable conditions for strengthening. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys.

======================================================================

We will hold ARES training this Thursday night, Sept. 30th, at 6:30pm at the Shelby County Red Cross office.  Directions can be found here: www.w4shl.com.  David Gillespie, W4LHQ, will speak on EMCOMM and SET.

ARE YOU READY?
Is your radio programmed?
Batteries charged?
Jump kit ready to go?
In case of emergency, please check into your local ARES net and await further instructions:

Jefferson County:
Primary: 146.880-, 88.5 tone
Backup: 146.760-, Main: 88.5 tone, 114.8
if East of Jefferson County, 94.8 Western area.

Shelby County:
Primary: 146.980-, no tone
Backup: 145.290-, no tone

Stay tuned and get prepared!

73,
Hub Harvey, N4HUB
Amateur Radio Emergency Service:
Jefferson County Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

All SCARC members,

The Shelby County ARES Emergency Net is activated on 146.98.  All stations are requested to check in now and participate.

73,
Tom Appleby, W4TCA
Shelby County ARES Emergency Coordinator

======================================================================

From one of our ALERT volunteers:

All in all thing went good. When I arrived and turned on the station. The computer had been turned off and when we put in the login and password on the bottom of key board the password had expired. Si with help from the staff we made a new password which is attached to the bottom of the keyboard and was able to get the computer up and running.

I was able to get the chat boards and radar but unable to get wxwarn or the weather warn chat to work. The dsatr radio I could not get to work on dstar.

Several contacts was made and 880 and shelby nets was checked into.  Was able to test with shelby simplex to clanton on 222 freq.

Also checked into walker ema net.

was able to chat with them on chat board.

Several relays was made of information from the area and from the hospitals.  When Russell arived to relieve me he said he knew what was wrong with the dstar and would fixit.

the drill was very good I only wish we would have had a better script to follow instead of making it up as we went.

jek KJ4OPX

======================================================================

W4AGA / NNN0BFG Participation in the 2010 Simulated Emergency Test (ARRL SET).

I participated in this SET in several roles:

1. As an ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) OO (Official Observer) and OES (Official Emergency Station).

2. As an ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) Operator and AEC (Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Jefferson County Alabama) I was involved in the planning and operation of the SET.

3. As an ARES Liaison to the ARC (American Red Cross) I passed VHF voice and digital traffic between the organizations, including operator deployment and station-keeping traffic for ARC Shelters opened for the SET.

4. As a NAVMARCORMARS (Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Service) Operator and the Central Alabama ARES-MARS Liaison I stood ready to pass traffic between organizations.

5. As a SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) Operator I stood ready to pass traffic between organizations.

6. As an SBDR (Southern Baptist Disaster Relief) Operator and Disaster Relief Chaplain I passed traffic between organizations and stood ready to deploy should CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) skills be needed.

7. As an Emergency Coordinator for the Cahaba Radio Club I was involved in the planning and operations of this SET, communicating with base and mobile operators including our ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle).

8. As a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member and ARES Operator I stood ready to liaison between ARES and the Irondale CERT.

9. As the ARES NCO (Net Control Operator) for VHF Simplex.

10. As an ALERT (Alabama Emergency Response Team) Operator for the NWS (National Weather Service) and an NWS-ALERT-ARES VHF-HF Liaison I stood ready to pass traffic since their HF radio was not operable.

For this SET I performed both voice and/or digital communications on two HF amateur bands (3.965 and 28.405) and on one MARS band (4038.5), operated as the NCO on VHF 146.520 Simplex, ran an APRS Digipeater, and interacted with operators of ARES and served agencies on the W4CUE BARC (Birmingham Amateur Radio Club), W4SHL SCARC (Shelby County Amateur Radio Club) and WB4TJX UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Amateur Radio Club repeaters, on cell phone and via internet email.

When I could not contact any central Alabama station on 3.965 due to antenna selection and propagation I moved the HF net to 10m 28.405 and the HARES (Hospital ARES) net was moved to VHF Simplex where several contacts were made. All HF HARES hospital stations reported difficulties with near-field (0-100 miles) communications on 80m but several were able to communicate on 10m and all of them established communications with Net Control on VHF Simplex. 80m near-field under this day’s conditions pretty much required NVIS antennas and very few amateurs (and none of the HARES hospitals, EMA, EOCs or NWS) are so equipped.

I operated both on mains power and on mobile power in my car. My base station for this SET consisted of a Kenwood TM-D710 VHF/UHF/APRS Digipeater, a Kenwood TM-D700 VHF/UHF, and a Personal Computer linked to an ICOM 7000 using Ham Radio Deluxe for remote control on a B&W NVIS Broadband Folded Dipole and a Butternut HF-5 Beam. My Mobile station was equipped with a GPS-enabled Laptop Computer, Kenwood TM-D710 VHF/UHF/APRS Digipeater, Wouxun VHF/UHF HT and Citizen Band radios.

Planning. preparation and interoperability between all involved operators and organizations was excellent, with a SET scenario and injects which were very similar to real-life emergency communications. What few issues arose were dealt with quickly and in a professional manner and all traffic was delivered in an accurate and timely fashion. While I do not have the actual numbers I believe that participation by operators and agencies was at an all-time high, making this SET both an important training event and an excellent display of the value and capabilities of ARES to our served agencies.

Thank you to all who participated,
Ed Manley
W4AGA / NNN0BFG

======================================================================
ALERT member’s comments:

I enjoyed it. I thought that net control on the BARC repeater did an excellent job. I did not hear anyone on the Shelby county machine. I know that d-star was up and the hospitals were quite active.

The most important note I can make is that it was very orderly. In the face of a real emergency radio confusion must be avoided. This made it a suitable test session
Jeff Drew

N4JDU

======================================================================

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