Emergency Coordination

                                                      Emergency Coordinator's Page                                                                     
                       
                                            
       
(Previous articles can be found on the sub-pages at the bottom of this page)
Direct all questions about this page to kb5hpt@arrl.net

++++++ARES® Membership++++++

Qualifications for membership in El Paso County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (EPCARES) are as follows:

  1. Have the following credentials:

a.       ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System

b.      ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

c.       IS-700 NIMS, an Introduction

d.      IS-800 National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction

e.       Intro to Emergency Communication (EC-001) http://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog

Candidates should submit an ARES® Registration Form (fsd98) along with copies of the above certificates of completion. Send them to kb5hpt@arrl.net.

By submitting your application for membership in ARES® you have indicated the following:

  1. You have registered your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency.
  2. You can work in a controlled environment.
  3. You have a desire to make a contribution to your community.

++++++EPCARES Data Operators++++++

ARES® Digital Operators: Positions are available for ARES® Digital Operators within the El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES). Required stations are as follows:
                    
                        a. Winlink 2000; VHF Packet Station capable of Winlink Express and Paclink
                        b. Winlink 2000; HF Station capable of WINMOR
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

++++++ Amateur Radio Communications Teams (ARCT) ++++++

ARCT Type 2 (2 each for American Red Cross & 2 each for Salvation Army)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team leader (General class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF & HF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 3 (Multiple)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team Leader (Technician class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 4 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 2 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Technician class or higher. Capable of VHF FM (minimum) equipped. HF desired (General class or higher required).

ARCT Type 5 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 1 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operator with a vehicle. Rarely ordered singly. 1 VHF FM (Minimum) with vehicle (Technician class or higher).




September 2017

EC Bulletin

Before I get into the final article of this Monsoon Season series I want to make a couple of additional comments on the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO) statement and home weather stations.

The NWS may at times request specific information about a storm. They will do this at the bottom of the HWO statement. So, this is another reason why one should check the HWO statements often. Report this information to the NWS via the spotter’s hotline 800 number or via twitter if it will fit into 144 characters. If not make additional tweets.

The home weather stations can serve the NWS if they are connected to the Internet. Once connected to the internet they can automatically report data to the Citizens Weather Observer Program (CWOP) if the station has been registered with CWOP. Data from the CWOP is monitored by the NWS, emergency management, public safety officials as well as other weather spotters in the area. If the weather station is not connected to the Internet that’s okay. The owner should make their own reports to the NWS.  

Now, for the Post-Activation activities. Once the storm has past our job as weather spotters is not finished. I will initiate the Know Your Neighborhood Program. We will start taking damage reports for specific areas that was hit by the storm. This will give the NWS staff some extra eyes on the ground. You can find more information on the Know Your Neighborhood Program at the bottom of this page. Just scroll to the bottom of this page. Also, look at the Know Your Neighborhood List for a list of places to check in the zip code. Report any damages found to the NCS at the NWS. By submitting photographs as well as a written report will be a great help to the meteorologists in compiling their damage reports after the storm.

As the Know Your Neighborhood paper states nobody knows the areas better than those who live in the areas. They know where flooding occurs most of the time and how to maneuver around in those areas. Not all people will be activated for this event. It would behoove us to download the Know Your Neighborhood List and start locating all the items on the list before they are needed. That way when an activation occurs the hard work will be done ahead of time. This will be a time saver when actuallyneeded.

As I stated in last month’s article “doing paper work.” For us to get credit for our services we must document the service performed. If it is not documented then it didn’t happen. When SKYWARN is officially activated I will submit a Public Service Activity Report to the DEC/SEC/ARRL HQ. I will be asking for some information during the net for the report. One specific question that comes to mind is cost of the equipment used during the event. I will also ask for your logs and reports made to the NCS/NWS. This is a copy of the log entries from your station logs. These reports will become public record and will be maintained for one year.

Other News.

EPCARES will be announcing a “TIP of the Day” each day during the month of September in celebration of National Preparedness Month (NPM). The announcements will be made on the Amigo Link repeaters at 8 PM local. I will also be posting the tips on the www.hamradioelpaso.com Home Page each day. I will also be tweeting tips on Twitter each day as well. Follow me @kb5hpt.

If each tip is acted upon each day by the end of the month you will be well on your way to being prepared should a disaster occur. We will cover tips for individuals, families, children, seniors, pets, schools and the business.  

Questions and comments regarding the content of this article are welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
ARRL Emergency Coordinator – El Paso, County
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net


August 2017

EC Bulletin

This month I want to continue with the Monsoon Season trend of thought and talk about Pre-Activation. What will you need/should do prior to an actual SKYWARN® Activation. There is more to spotting than just responding to an activation. SKYWARN® Spotters must be prepared for activation. There is a plan (SOP) in place for SKYWARN® Spotters in the El Paso area. Without a plan, any unprepared response to activation would certainly wind up being a disaster and an embarrassment.

If you haven’t already done so read the July 2017 EC Bulletin below.

There are some things that should become a daily routine. One thing is that visiting the NWS website and look at the seven-day forecasts. I might point out that long range forecasts are not set in stone. The further out they are the more unpredictable they could be. Changes will happen. At any rate, an idea of what to expect can be made. Will there be a possibility of an activation in the coming days?

The next item to check is the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO). This is more specific and more up to date forecasting. At the bottom of the report a Spotter Activation Statement is given. Pay attention to this statement. I am currently posting the Daily Spotter Activation Statement on the Announcement page in this website. There isn’t a given time that the report must be put out so be sure to check back frequently to get today's statement.

Another tool is to look at the Storm Prediction Centers website http://www.spc.noaa.gov/. There are many different tools available on this website that could be beneficial to getting a better idea of the short-term predications.

Is the Go-Bag ready and loaded? This is an item that I discussed last month. Have the last-minute items been put in the bag? It would be a good idea to make a check list of items that should be in the Go-Bag. When the bag is loaded in the vehicle don’t put it in the trunk. It needs to be where it can be reached without getting out of the vehicle. Batteries, batteries, batteries. I also talked about these last month, but it is important to remind everyone to take stock of the different types and number of spare batteries that will be needed. Make sure they are charged, loaded and ready to go. I have put a couple of pages of ideas of what should go into a Go-Bag at the bottom of this page. The Disaster Supply Kit and Last-Minute Disaster Supply Kit Items. Just remember that the bags are geared mainly for weather spotting. Paperwork is in everything that we do. Make a log and keep copies of reports called in to the NCS/NWS in case something comes into question later.

Next is the vehicle that is going to be used. I discussed this one last month to a certain extent. Is it ready for deployment? Has the fuel tank been topped off? Is the vehicle maintenance up to date? Are the windshield wipers and tires in good shape? Has the Go-Bag been checked and loaded? Is it complete? It would be a good idea to create a To-Do-List so the everything can be listed and then checked off. That way nothing gets overlooked or forgotten.

Now a little bit about the nets. I have posted a copy of the SKYWARN® Weather Spotter.pdf at the bottom of this page. This is a copy of our SOP. When the National Weather Service (NWS) issues an Advisory that severe weather is imminent spotters should start making plans for activation. In other words, start charging batteries. Start listening to the radio, but otherwise continue with the daily routine. It’s business as usual. When a Warning is issued we will convene a SKYWARN® Net on the Amigo Link frequencies. Continue to make ready for deployment. Load equipment. When a Watch is issued a deployment could be imminent. Be ready for deployment orders. If the WX5ELP station is going to be activated at the NWS we will usually have plenty of notice from the NWS. I will send out emails giving everyone advanced warning that WX5ELP is going to be on the air. I will also put out QST’s on the Amigo Link advising of the activation. If you are a trained SKYWARN® Spotter and are not on my email list send an email to kb5hpt@arrl.net and I will add you to the list.

Being a SKYWARN® Spotter is not a job that is taken lightly. This is not part of the hobby amateur radio. It’s the service part of amateur radio which gives it a completely different meaning. Submitting accurate reports is why we take the spotter training. Accurate reporting is what makes radio amateurs an asset in the reporting system. The NWS is responsible for saving lives and property. They depend on the spotters to give them accurate reports so that they can make the correct decisions. Knowingly submitting a false report to the NWS is in violation of the False Statements Accountability Act of 1996 (18 USC §1001). It carries a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison.

Questions and comments regarding the content of this article are welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
ARRL Emergency Coordinator – El Paso, County
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net



 Previous articles can be found on the subpages links towards the bottom of this page.
 

The terms Amateur Radio Emergency Service and ARES are both registered trademarks of the 
American Radio Relay League Inc. and are used by permission.  

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT  
ARRL Emergency Coordinator, El Paso County
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties  
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
 
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:16 PM
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