March 2016 Exercise

Prince William County ARES March 2016 Exercise

Version: 20160318–01 v1

Overview

The March PWCARES training will be a communications check in preparation for the MCM Crossroads 17.75 run on Saturday, April 2, 2016.

Rally Point

We will meet at the Visitor’s Center of the Prince William Forest Park parking lot (to the left as you approach the Visitor’s Center) at 0930. There is no need to pay the visitors fee for the duration of this exercise. We will do assignments and deploy from there.

Equipment

This is a mobile exercise, and depending on your location, you will want all 50 watts.

Operational Parameters

We will be testing the K3FBI repeater at 147.345+ PL 167.9, the Woodbridge machine at 147.240+ PL 107.2, and simplex at 147.525, the normal ARES operational frequency. Please ensure each of these frequencies and their PL tones are in your radio to make net changes efficient.

Each operator will be asked to take up station at one of the parking lots or crossroads as indicated on the check sheet which will be provided on Saturday morning along with a copy of the map. We will then systematically check that we can hear each other at each location around the park in each mode. You will likely want to have a pen and paper with you.


Maps

17.75 Crossroads Map

Crossroad Map

Prince William Forest Map

PWForest Map

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Air Force & Army MARS COMEX

Air Force & Army MARS COMEX

By: Clarence, K4CNM – (AAA3R3, Army MARS Region Three Operations Officer)

The Air Force and Army MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) will conduct their first 2016 communications exercise (COMEX) from 7:00 am until 6:59 pm EST on Friday, 12 February. The scenario will be: there is no power, no phones (cell or landline), and no internet. Also, internet linked radio repeaters (such as D-Star) should not be used. One of the objectives of this COMEX is to reach as many counties and cities within the entire country as possible. It is expected that sometime during the second hour (8–9 am), a request will come down asking MARS stations to contact hams for a local conditions report. That request will probably have a deadline of around eight hours (and certainly be due a couple of hours before End of Exercise – ENDEX). Prior contact and pre-arranged schedules between MARS stations and hams is permitted and encouraged.

MARS stations will be instructed to collect the data from hams via radio only – using any FCC authorized amateur frequency and/or mode – and prepare the report that will be consolidated within the region and then sent back up the line. Note: In order not to unduly excite those who are not aware of the COMEX, only real information should be reported. Following is a list the items (with possible conditions) that will be requested:

  • Power: Fully functional, brownout, rolling or partial blackouts, complete outage
  • Water: Full service, service in parts of county only, contaminated, no service
  • Sanitation: Fully functional, service in parts of county only, no service
  • Medical facilities: Fully functional, partial service due to facilities, partial service due to personnel, facilities max’ed out, none available due loss of personnel or infrastructure
  • Communications: Fully functional, partial service, no service
  • Transportation: Fully functional, service in parts of county only, no service

Unless there is something actually going on, report everything as fully functional. The condition of one or more of these might not be known, that’s okay, report what is known; reports from other hams may fill in the missing data. Hams can report on any county or city that they have first-hand knowledge of.

MARS Region Three is the same as FEMA’s Region Three and includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) code list there are 245 counties and 42 independent cities within our region. Virginia has 95 of those counties and all but one of the cities.

More information about the Army MARS program is available.

All Amateurs are encouraged to forward this to other groups and clubs that you are a member of and to any of your ham buddies that might be interested. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Preparing for an Emergency

On Saturday, January 16, 2016, PWCARES had their normal training where we discussed preparing for all emergencies. This discussion was generated from this new reference page, which will now be found at Preparing for and Emergency and has its own tab. The slides from the presentation are available at Haiku Deck. Updates will be added as needed or relevant. Please send any corrections or updates to the Emergency Coordinator.

Summary


Personal Preparedness

Routine things to think about

  • Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in a password-protected area, either in a shared storage location or a secure flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available. This flash drive can be kept on a key ring so it can be accessed from any computer, anytime, anywhere. Remember important documents, such as:
    • Personal and property insurance
    • Identification: Driver’s license/passport (for family members, as well)
    • Banking information
    • Don’t forget your pets!
      • Store your pet’s veterinary medical records documents online.
      • Consider an information digital implant.
      • Keep a current photo of your pet in your online kit to aid in identification if you are separated.
  • Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  • Do you take maintenance medicines
    • What happens if you cannot get them
    • Do you know what they are
    • Do you have a list of them with you
  • Create a communications plan
    • Contact numbers and addresses
    • Alternate meeting places
    • Alternate means of communications
      • Text
      • Social media
      • Amateur Radio
  • Shelter in place or Evacuate
    • What is your decision tree?
      • How do you decide it is time to go?
    • What do you need to shelter in place?
    • What do you need to evacuate?
      • Transportation?
      • Road conditions?
      • Weather conditions?
  • Consider a Personal Emergency Kit
  • Personal hygiene
    * Toothbrush
    * Wet wipes
    * Hand sanitizer

    • Whistle on key ring

Things you might not think about

  • The best thing you can do to prepare is be in good physical and mental shape
  • If you own a cell phone, keep extra batteries for your phone in a safe place or purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger. These chargers are good emergency tools to keep your laptop and other small electronics working in the event of a power outage. If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger because you can charge your phone if you lose power at your home.
  • Text messages and the internet often have the ability to work in the event of a phone service disruption
  • If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power
  • What happens when your commute does not go as planned?
    • Options?
    • How do you get home if your travel system breaks down?
    • Can you walk out if you have to?
  • What happens if a disaster happens at work?
    • Active shooter
    • Long-term shelter in place
  • Go bag should weigh no more than 1/4 your body weight

Return to Summary


Family Preparedness

Routine things to think about

  • When did you last exercise your plan?
  • When did you last update your plan?
  • Create/Update your communications plan
    • Contact numbers and addresses
    • Alternate meeting places
    • Alternate means of communications
      • Text
      • Social media
      • Amateur Radio
  • Family first-aid kit
  • Shelter in place or Evacuate
    • What is your decision tree?
      • How do you decide it is time to go?
    • What do you need to shelter in place?
    • What do you need to evacuate?
      • What are you going to take with you?
      • What are you going to put it in?
      • Traffic?
      • Road conditions?
      • Weather conditions?

Things you might not think about

  • How will you be warned of an emergency
  • What would you do for shelter?
  • Can you treat the water?
    • Bleach
    • Pills
    • Filter systems
  • Has everyone in the family taken a first aid course lately? CPR?
  • Go bag should weigh no more than 1/4 your body weight.

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Preparing to Deploy

Routine things to think about

  • Do not self-deploy
  • Is your family safe?
  • Point the media to the PIO/JIC/Leadership team
  • Are your batteries charged?
  • Do you have a manual for your radio(s)
  • Do you know where you are going?
  • Do you know who to check in with?

Things you might not thing about

  • Are you prepared to be deployed longer than expected?
  • Are you ready to be flexible?
  • Do you have something to write on?
  • Do you have something to read?

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Weather issues

  • Snow
    • Make sure to add additional blankets
    • Are you tires ready for winter?
    • Is your car ready
      • Antifreeze
      • Windshield washer fluid
      • Temperature appropriate oil
      • Chains where appropriate/required
  • Severe cold
    • Similar to snow
    • Block heater where appropriate
    • Follow your user’s manual for proper low temperature operations
  • Floods: Turn around, don’t drown
  • Severe weather
    • Lightning
      • Do not seek shelter under a tree
      • Disconnect all radios and move them away from the antenna line(s)
    • Tornado
      • Do not seeks shelter under an overpass
    • Hurricane
      • Pay attention to warnings
      • Flooding and tornados are likely

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Make a Plan

Return to Summary


The Emergency Kit

Your kit should be sufficient to sustain you, your family, and your pet, for at least 72 hours, either sheltered in place, or in case of an evacuation. You kit should include, water, food, and other supplies you will need. Remember that in the event of a large scale emergency, routine resources such as electricity, water, and sewer may also be cut off, so your kit should include resource to compensate for this.

There are a number of ways to build or buy an emergency kit. A simple web search will show you a number of pre-made kits, complete with carrying devices, for anywhere from $40 to over $500. Even if you decide to buy one, consider what you need in your kit before you rush out to purchase one.

Personal Emergency Kit

There are several different personal emergency kits you could make and carry with you. Some fit in a small tin, other in a larger personal pouch. In most cases, your personal kit is not likely to pass muster with TSA unless you remove certain objects.

SAS personal kit

  • Tin to store it in
  • Matches
  • Candle
  • Flint
  • Magnifying glass
  • Needle and thread
  • Fish hook and line
  • Compass
  • “Beta” light (tritium)
  • Snare wire
  • Flexible saw
  • Medical kit
    • analgesic
    • antibiotic
    • intestinal sedative
    • water sterilizing tablets
    • anti-malaria tablets
    • potassium permanganate
  • Surgical blades
  • Butterfly sutures
  • Band-aids
  • Condom (non-lubricated)

Pouch sized ekit

  • Milti-tool
  • Flashlight
  • Mini-pry bar
  • Whistle
  • Smoke mask
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof matches
  • EMT shears
  • Cord
  • Pouch to put it all in

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Suggested Foods

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants/pets
  • Comfort/stress foods (a bag of Doritos goes a long way to making you feel better)

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Suggestions for Water

You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.

To determine your water needs, take the following into account:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
  • Do not forget extra water for your pets

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Suggested Supplies

This list is not all encompassing and should be amended and supplemented as needed. For example, if you have a pet, you may want to add a grooming brush or favorite chew toy.

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container, flash drive, or stored in the Internet.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from Ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container (and a striker!)
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for yourself, and your children
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Return to Summary

Suggestions for the Radio Kit

  • Identification
  • Photo ID (driver’s license)
    • Copy of FCC license
    • Other ID and paperwork(Emergency management ID, health insurance, medicine list, next of kin)
  • A radio
    • At least a 5W dual-band HT
    • Charged batteries or charger
    • A (well read) copy of the manual (Paper or electronic)
  • A spare antenna and coax
    • J-pole
    • Magnetic mount
  • Headset/external mic
  • PWCARES Quick Reference Guide
  • ICS forms & Notebook
  • Personal Medications
    • Your favorite pain reliever
    • “Sucky things” (lifesavers, throat lozenges)
    • Allergy medicine
    • Other basic meds (pain relievers etc)
    • Sunscreen
    • lip balm
    • Appropriate Clothing and Footwear and Hat
    • Food, water, snacks
  • Money
  • Extra power (deep cycle batteries, solar, generator)
  • Connectors
  • Supplemental reference material
  • Tool kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Work gloves/latex gloves
  • Collapsable chair
  • Collapsible table
  • Change of clothes
  • Clock/Wrist watch
  • Extension cords (power and signal)
  • Sweater/Sweatshirt
  • Blanket
  • Downtime entertainment
  • Supplemental lights
  • Non-flammable flairs
  • Toiletries
  • Clean underwear
  • Shelter

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Seasonal issues

  • Summer Preparations

    • Additional water
    • Sunscreen
    • Hat
    • Light weight, light colour clothes
    • Bug spray
    • Tarp and rope to provide extra shelter
  • Winter Preparations

    • Winter Hat (watch cap/beanie)
    • Gloves
    • Second change of clothes
    • Wool socks
    • Wool sweaters
    • Specialized winter clothing
    • Additional blankets

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Resources

Return to Summary

Welcome to 2016!

Welcome to the New Year!

Summary

Every indication is that 2016 is going to be a busy year. Starting off with a bang, the weather. As we go into 2016, we are already dealing with record warm temperatures caused by our friend El Nino. According to most sources, this is not likely to let up in 2016 and has been called a Godzilla event. The predictions for warmer, wetter weather in the Northeast are already up, as well as predicitions for heavy rains and mudslides in California. In between, who knows what will happen. There is already heavy flooding in the midwest, especially along the Mississippi which we do not normally see until spring. So already, 2016 is going to be a year of some unpredictability. Which brings me to the first topic: Are you, and your family, prepared?

Preparations for 2016

Take a moment and ask yourself: If I were to lose my house, right now, would I be able to:

  • Survive for the next 48–96 hours?
  • Care for my family?
  • Prove I owned it?
    • Be able to fill in the insurance paperwork to get the money for the things I lost?
  • Do you have copies of all the important documents, such as:
    • Passports
    • Driver’s License
    • Marriage/Divorce paperwork
    • Bank paperwork
  • Other things that might be critical?

There are a number of things that could put you in the situation where you cannot get to your critcal paperwork. Do you have copies of it in a secure location (or several secure locations?). Make photocopies and send them to trusted releatives (or friends), get a safe deposit box, make copies and carry them on your phone, or put them in some off-line storage. These are just some of the suggestions.

Can you survive for 48–96 hours? Food? Water? Generator? Batteries? What do you need to survive. And do not forget your pets. Last winter there were several cities that had power outages for extended periods of time. Clearly staying in the house was not an option and many went to hotels. Do you know the nearest pet friendly hotel? An all-hazards aproach to preparation is best, but it means you have to sit down and take a look at what you have and what you would need. For additional information, please visit the FEMA READY website.

And of course, it is winter, so make sure you have some additional supplies, just in case:

  • Blanket
  • Ice scraper
  • Snow shovel
  • Kitty litter

We will cover this and more as part of the Workshop at the January meeting. Saturday, January 16, 2016 @ 0900 @ EOC

2016 Training

The Training link has been updated for 2016. More information will be added as events are confirmed and finalized. But if you are curious, here are some of the PWCARES specifc training plans for this year.

Date Location Event
16 Jan EOC Training: * Review 2015 * Look ahead to 2016 * Field Day 2016 * Action Plan review * Prepare for 2016 workshop
19 Mar EOC Training: TBD
2 Apr Prince Wiliam Forest Park MCM Crossroads 17.75K
21 May EOC Training: Digital/Traffic in the field
25/26 June TBD Field Day 2016
16 July EOC Training: Digital/Traffic in the field
17 Sept EOC Training: TBD
Oct Virginia Section wide Simulated Emergency Test (est)
30 Oct DC et al Marine Corps Marathon
19 Nov EOC/MCB Quantico Training: MCM Turkey Trot

Field Day 2016

The last time PWCARES participated in Field Day was 2008, and you can see the video here if you are interested to see what we did. It does not have to be a large operation, but it would be nice to put on a demonstration. If you would be interested in heading up the effort, please contact David, KG4GIY.

SET

Every October, the ARRL conducts a simulated emergency test (SET). Traditionally, the SET for Northern Virginia has been the Marine Corps Marathon, an event that requires over 150 operators. This year, our new Section Manager wants to do a section wide SET. And of course, the Marine Corps will still be hosting their marathon, and they will still need operators. The specifics of the exercise have not been released but once they are, they will be communicated to the cadre so you can balance your participation in the SET and the Marine Corps Marathon.

Other MCM Events

Two MCM events, the Crossroads 17.75K and the Turkey Trot are held in Prince William County every year. This year the Crossroads 17.75 will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016 in the Prince William County Forest. We usually need about 20 operators for this event and a sign-up link will be sent once the Program Office provides it.

The Turkey Trot is normally the third Saturday of November, this year, Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Marine Corps Base Quantico. This is a good introdcutory event. We use about a dozen operators for this event. Details will be provided as we get closer to November.

And there we have it. It is already a busy year for us and more events will be added as the year progresses. For example, there has been a discussion about doing a county-wide exercise, but there are no details availble yet.

As always, if you have questions, issues, or things you would like to talk about, please contact David, KG4GIY.

Good-bye 2015

Where did the year go? No, really? What happened to 2015? It will go down as being warm. Thank you El Nino for providing us with one of the warmest Christmases on record. It was quiet, from a hurrican perspective in the Atlantic basin. Again, thank you El Nino. It was, weatherwise, a very calm year.

It was also a quiet year event wise. Prince William County ARES participated on one exercise, Operation Summer Deluge and a couple of Marine Corps runs providing safety and security on the course. We will be doing it again in 2016.

We have had a couple of quiet years. It has been nice. We have added new members, and focused on beefing up our digital activities. We will move on in 2016 to increasing our use of digital systems and work with Prince William County to integrate with their systems as best we can.

Our goals for 2016?

  • Practice, practice, practice. There is never enough time to practice.
  • Traffic handling. We need to practice traffic handling, both voice and digital. Again, we never practice this enough.
  • BBHN. I am looking forward to seeing what BBHN can do to improve our digital connectivity.
  • HF Digital. I would like us to work on our HF skills, and HF digital is an increasingly popular way to do that.
  • MCM support. We will again be supporting the Marine Corps Marathon program office at the Crossroads 17.75 and Turkey Trot directly as well as the Marine Corps Marathon indirectly.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Did I mention we will be doing lots of practice?

Want to get more invovled? Our next meeting is Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 0900 at the Prince William County EOC, 3 County Complex, Prince William, VA. Hope to see you there.

Operation Summer Deluge

Operation_Summer_Deluge_20150811_CotsOn Tuesday, August 11, PWCARES participated in Operation Summer Deluge, a full scale shelter exercise at Freedom High School in Prince William County.

The scenario:

On August 10, 2015, the remnants of a tropical storm struck Prince William County, Virginia. The storm caused an average of five to seven inches of torrential rainfall per hour overnight, causing ground saturation and flooding. Given the expected rainfall in the next 24 hours, there exists significant probability that an overtoping event at Lake Montclair Dam will occur, which could destroy at least a dozen home and displace households withing the inundation zone. The Director of Emergency Management has authorized the opening of a shelter with an anticipated need to shelter two hundred individuals.

An overtoping is EM speak for water will overflow the dam, and that is a bad thing.Operation_Summer_Deluge_20150811_antenna

There were numerous objectives, but for PWCARES, our objectives were straight forward:

  • Evaluate the shelter for radio opartions
  • Get traffic from the shelter to the EOC (and back)
  • Demonstrate BBHN for use in a shelter in the event of Internet interuptions

The exercise was for both a human shelter and a pet shelter, just in time training, and to practice shift change, starting at 0900 and ending at 1500.

PWCARES had the following operators:

  • ECIC: David, KG4GIY
  • First Shift: Chuck, KA3EHL and Mary, KK4GOW at the shelter. Keith, KM4AA and Ric, KJ4ZIH at the EOC
  • Second Shift: Zach, K4RSU and Spenc, KG4GFW at the shelter. John, KG4LAA and Jeff, WB6UIE at the EOC
  • BBHN: Clarence, K4CNM and Terry, WA5NTI

We used ICS-213 as our message template and ICS-214 as our unit log.

What went right:

  • We got a signal out of the shelter site using an antenna and a cross-band radio
  • We practiced sending traffic
  • We practiced a shift change, which is not something we have done
  • We got a view of the shelter operation process
  • We got to demonstrate BBHN
  • We gained valuable exposure for our skill and professionalism

What we need to work on:Operation_Summer_Deluge_20150811_registration

  • CSALTT: We need to make sure our messages contain Capability, Size, Amount, Location, FEMA Type, Time needed
  • We need to practice sending messages via voice
  • We need to work on our digital set ups. While we did not do one for this exercise, we probably could have
  • We need to work on our handwriting. Many of our forms have to be read by others. Some options suggested include a portable printer at each site to print off messages.

It was a good exercise, with lots of opportunities to practice. A success in all people’s eyes.

July Exercise Write Up

Stu, WA0DYJ (L) and Dave, W4DAV (R) getting set up to operate
Stu, WA0DYJ (L) and Dave, W4DAV (R) getting set up to operate

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, the Prince William County ARES cadre took to the field for a communications exercise. The exercise was centered around a recovery operation, the day after a hurricane came through the region. There were seven operational stations representing the Emergency Operation Center, the two primary hospitals in the county, two shelter locations, and two points of distribution for supplies. The exercise was designed with a mixture of message types, both voice, and digital. The messages were representative of the types of traffic that would be passed during a normal activation. There were fifteen operators acting as the various locations. It was a successful exercise with numerous lessons learned and several opportunities for improvement in the coming months.

What went right:

Clarence, K4CNM acting as Novant Hospital (Prince William)
Clarence, K4CNM acting as Novant Hospital (Prince William)
  • One of the best exercises we have done! It was one of the first blended (voice and digital) exercises we have done as a cadre and the first real exercise we have done in the last couple of years.
  • Everyone using digital stations did manage to pass at least one message and the messages were received by every participating station.
  • Voice messages were passed.

What do we need to work on:

Chuck, KA3EHL (back) and John, KK4TCE, (foreground) act as Net Control/EOC
Chuck, KA3EHL (back) and John, KK4TCE, (foreground) act as Net Control/EOC
  • We need to work on our voice message passing.  We are out of practice. Some additional work on “prosigns” and procedure needs to be done.  Eric, KK4NXU has offered to spearhead an ARES practice network. Details to come.
  • Digital messages are improving but there is a request for:
    • Another confiruation session (including some documentation). David and Chuck have volunteered to host a configuration session in August.
    • A useage session was also requested to go through how to do things, like send message traffic. A session for this will also be set up.
    • We need to start moving the stations apart and to that end, as part of the potential ARES net, we will work on voice and digital. This is also a work in progress.
  • A PC in the EOC will need to be configured with FLDigi and be part of the EOC network for access to WebEOC for cutting and pasting. David will take that up with Pat this week.

Thanks to Paul, N2PJ, for the great pictures!

July Training Exercise Set – 0800 @ EOC

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and has been enjoying this wonderful weather.

As I mentioned, we will be having another exercise this month, and we will be doing it outside. Because of this, and the potential for hot, steamy weather in July, we are going to have an earlier start time. This is so we can exercise and get out of the heat sooner!

We will again set up on the grassy area between the parking lots for McCoart and Owens.  This is a surface only setup – no spikes, stakes, or burrowing animals please.

The plan is this:

  • Set up (7:00 – 8:00)
  • Briefing (8:00 – 8:15)
  • Exercise (8:30 – 10:00)
  • Hotwash and cleanup (10:00 – 11:00)

I will provide 2 pavilions, two tables and two operation position chairs in addition to one for myself.  If we want more sites/operating locations, someone will need to help with the gear.  The plan is to use both voice and digital to pass routine messages that we might be called upon to pass during a normal post-emergency event. Responses will be at the capability of the stations set up. Digital will be on 2m and voice will be on 440.  There is no power, so bring batteries and anything else you think you will need to operate.

The scenario is this:

On Thursday July 17 and Friday July 18, Hurricane Emma, a category three hurricane, roared up the eastern coast of the United States, making landfall south of Salisbury Maryland before heading inland, crossing the Chesapeake Bay and tracking up the tidal Potomac River, impacting Stafford, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Fauquier county. The storm spawned several tornadoes, caused flooding and severe damage all across the region.

Damage includes downed trees and power lines. Cell towers, running on batteries have gone down. Radio communications are overloaded. Roads are blocked and flooded. People are expected to be in the dark for several days.

Today is Saturday, July 19, 2014. It is a lovely day and PWCARES is beginning their third day of operations. We are transitioning from life safety to recovery.  It is the first shift of the day and new teams are reporting for work…

The plan is to staff the following “sites:”

  • EOC
  • Novant (PW) and Sentara (Potomac) Hospitals
  • Battlefield and Freedom shelters
  • Two Points of Distribution (POD)
  • Additional sites could include:
    • Manassas & Manassas Park EOC
    • Manassas Park Shelter
    • Additional hospital locations

I will play the roll of OEM and other served agencies. If we get additional AECs to come out, they can be the ECIC!

Should the forecast predict hellfire and brimstone for that Saturday, we will move inside to the EOC at the normal time and cover another topic.

Questions?

July Training/Exercise?

July is traditionally a hot month. How hot? Well, during the CW150, held the last week in July a few years ago, I seem to remember losing several pounds in water over the four days we were supporting them. Average temperatures were between 90 and 105 and I had reports of highs upwards of 120 in certain microclimates.

We had such a great turnout at our last digital exercise, I would like to try another exercise with both voice and digital on the  lawn at the EOC.  But, like I said, it can be hot.  I think it would be a good idea. But I am willing to listen to the majority on this and do something inside.

What do you think? What would benefit you most?