A nuclear attack on US soil would most likely target one of six cities: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington, DC.
But public-health experts say any of those cities would struggle to provide emergency services to the wounded.
The cities also no longer have designated fallout shelters to protect people from radiation. Yahoo News
Each city has an emergency-management website that informs citizens about what to do in a crisis, but most of those sites (except for LA and New York) don’t directly mention a nuclear attack. That makes it difficult for residents to learn how to protect themselves if a bomb were to hit one of those cities.
I find it interesting that in 2019, having actually suffered from numerous terroristic style attacks (you might say guerrilla warfare) FEMA is now talking about nuclear attack. Or at least it is one of six scenarios they are considering. Their conclusion: Cities might struggle to provide emergency services after a nuclear strike
Hallowe’en is just around the corner, and that means the end of the hurricane season is close at hand. For those playing the home game, we are up to Nestor (a Tropical Storm).
For those helping with the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend, or running in it, stay safe.
November 3 is when we fall back an hour to Eastern Standard Time.
I expect t-shirts will be delivered to me on Friday (finally) and I will get them in the mail as soon as I have them sorted and into envelopes. Sorry for the delay.
For those of you who are following along, there are several messages on the ZuckerbergApps about ARESConnect. I have been in contact with the email provided. Those of you who have had trouble signing up in the past should be added to the system now. I have logged my issues with the system, and I have not gotten any good answers back, so in no particular order:
Can you be a member of more than one ARES team? No answer has been provided on that yet.
What are the points for? Official Response: POINTS: We are working on POINTS to put together a system of Points for items for Virginia Section, they were working to combine them with the old NTS PSHR (Public Service Honor Roll). So from David’s perspective, it’s nothing more than a scoreboard.
In general, I see no real value to ARESConnect from PWCARES standpoint. I can see where it would help those who do not have well-formed cadres or no web sites, but it is a lot of work to double and triple entry. For now, I will do what they tell me to, but so far, they have not given any firm direction.
November Training (November 16)
I have to go to the AuxComm training during our November Training (November 16), the week before Turkey Trot (which usually happens on the same day as our November Training. I have been asked by several for a digital exercise, so I think that the Cadre should get together and do just that. If you would like to participate, please drop me a note, and I will create an open mailing list for coordination (and then dismantle it after the training). If you feel you need access to the EOC, please let me know so I can make the request.
Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital (Charlottesville, VA)
Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital (Harrisonburg, VA)
Sentara Albemarle Medical Center (Elizabeth City, NC)
Sentara Careplex Hospital (Hampton, VA)
Sentara Heart Hospital (Norfolk, VA)
Sentara Leigh Hospital (Norfolk, VA)
Sentara Lake Ridge (Lake Ridge, VA)
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (Norfolk, VA)
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (Woodbridge, VA)
Sentara Obici Hospital (Suffolk, VA)
Sentara Princess Anne Hospital (Virginia Beach, VA)
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital (Virginia Beach, VA)
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center (Williamsburg, VA)
Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital (South Boston, VA)
We should only be responsible for the two in our jurisdiction, but we may be asked to cover others. More details as I get them, obviously, but this will be a combination of HF, VHF, and likely digital.
On the fourth weekend in June, Amateur Radio operators take to the field to practice and hone their skills. Field Day is Amateur Radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 Amateur Radio operators throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate our science, skill, and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933 and remains the most popular event in Amateur Radio.
This year, Members of the Prince William County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22 – 23, at Prince William County Emergency Operations Center, 1 County Complex Ct. in Woodbridge, VA. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend.
Back in 2010, the ARRL announced the official vest we are supposed to wear:
ARES members, while activated, deployed, in community service activities or otherwise on duty shall wear over their normal apparel, at minimum, a florescent green ANSI Class 2 reflective, 100% polyester vest. The vest shall be decorated in the following manner:
On the Back:
In minimum 2” lettering, Arial Black font, black in color, imprinted above the horizontal reflective tape:
Those in a leadership position may add their title (SEC, DIRECTOR, EC, PIO, etc) below the words “Emergency Communications” in not less than 3″ tall font, black. (Under the lower reflective stripe). Local jurisdictions may elect to add their organization name above the words “Amateur Radio” with no larger than 1″ Arial Black lettering, color black.
On the Front:
On the Left Chest, the ARES logo, minimum 3.5 inch diameter, black in color, negative background. The Right Chest shall remain blank so as to allow wearer to affix their ARES or ARRL name badge.
Vests may have zip or Velcro type front closures. Members may choose vests with or without pockets, at their own discretion. Other apparel, such as short and long sleeve tee shirts, jackets and coats are approved for member use as long as the garments meet the same color, ANSI Class 2, lettering and decoration standard. A waiver of this standard may be given by an SEC for specific purposes with good cause.
Florescent green is the same as fluorescent yellow, which is what most vendors call it. It is not the same as fluorescent orange, which is what hunters generally wear.
The League sells a mesh vest, but the quality is questionable if you expect to use them frequently. They also have a solid vest, which is a bit more solid, but I think those of us that have used them find they are not a lot better, especially for multiple deployments (I have gone through several vests in a year). They also lack pockets or MOLLE attachments, which several have found to be a disadvantage.
Andy, KJ4MTP, Tom, W4PIO, and I have moved to a sturdier surveyor’s style vest. I can report that it has survived a couple of washings already, which is more than the League’s vests did. The problem with the non-league supplied gear is having to be handy with a needle and thread, or know someone who is, and pick up the associated panels. (Links below)
CopQuest (link below) has a panel that is 11″ by 4″ where you can get either combination:
The bigger letters are 2″ while the smaller letters are only 1″, so while it does not meet the letter of the requirement, it certainly meets the spirit and, it is reflective, unlike the League’s offering, which is matte black. Only the tape around the vest is reflective. If you do enough outside nighttime events, you will appreciate the additional ability to glow in the dark.
I generally wear the former with the larger Amateur Radio so as not to be confused as part of the Emergency Service.
Similarly, most of us use our fabric badge instead of having the ARRL ARES logo imprinted on the vest. You can quickly sew a small strip of velcro on the back (or use the pre-adhesive version) and stick it to one of the velcro mounting points on the vest. The downside to the pre-adhesive version is our summer weather. Over time the glue begins to deteriorate. I have looked at morale-styled badges (with hook velcro all over the back) but there is an increased cost. Until we run out of the current badges, we will continue to use these. If you are new to the Cadre, you are entitled to one badge. If you need to get more, please visit our swag link to order one.
If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a note.
On Saturday, March 23, 2019, PWCARES supported the Marine Corps Marathon Program Office with the annual 17.75K run through the Prince William County Forest. Thanks to all who came out to support the event.
What Went Right
Despite the wind, the antenna at Start/Stop stayed up, thanks to proper guying by Tom, W4PIO.
The 6m frequency worked for communications among those that had it.
What can be improved
Oddly, 2m communications did not work. Whether that can be attributed to a geomagnetic storm that rolled through Friday into Saturday, or something else, we are not sure. As the sun came up the communications improved. In one case, David, KG4GIY and Tom, W4PIO were standing almost next to each other and one could hear the communications and one could not, and there was no predictability about who heard what, when.
Despite 6m working, it is not conducive to those that have to walk a bit to be able to see all of their section, making it a less than optimum solution.
Several folks forgot their access passes.
Thanks to Brian, WC4J (top photo) and Eric, KJ4MSW (bottom photo).
As we discussed, with regards to training, we will continue along the current training schedule and not worry too much about the new League’s training requirements for now. The on-line course is all full for this year’s offered courses as of now.
If you have Winlink questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
The ARRL created a new portal for coordinating and consolidating events and activities across the ARES activity space. This is called ARES Connect. Prince William County ARES is registered as Prince William 153VA – Volunteers under the Virginia drop down. It is a bit convoluted to use at the moment but hopefully things will clear up.
What this means to you is we have another area to register (sorry) and if you would click “attend” for our various events as you participate in them, this helps the League track volunteer participation throughout the year.
For the EC, this is double entry work (triple entry work if you include the tracking site for the Marine Corps Marathon Program Office work we do).
I have posted all of our upcoming events for 2019, they are the same as you will find on the front calendar of our main site.
If you have any questions, send them my way and I will do what I can to get them answered.
There are new required training events, posted on the Training Page. For the classroom courses, we will be working with the County to get them arranged, either as a part of our regular training or a couple of evening trainings. Please send your certifications to the EC when you have completed the courses. If you have prior versions, you do not have to retake the course.
There have been some minor changes in the ICS 213 form and the ICS 214 forms. Please make sure you have the current forms in your kits. There are also new forms you need to know about, including the Prince William County Resource Form (see the Quick Reference Guide) and the Volunteer Request Form. Please familiarize yourself with these forms. One minor change from past years is that the paper process will be used over WebEOC, which will have a limited role going forward. If you are familiar with WebEOC, you can forget all that material.
The ICS forms tab has now been updated with the relevant forms you should have in your kits.
A hearty thank you to the cadre for all the help in 2018 and I look forward to a great 2019.
Christmas is behind us, and New Year’s Day is right around the corner, but in the meantime, you probably have a few hours to kill. How about doing some training?
New training requirements are coming. The 2019 training calendar is already posted, and along with the usual requirement of IS-700, IS-800, IS-100, and IS-200, there are new training classes that we all have to take to stay current with the county. For the on-line classes, the new ones include:
Both of these courses are new for us and we are required to take them as soon as possible. There are also some new classroom courses that will be sprinkled into the training as we go, but some of you may already have them. They include:
EOC–101 Operation in the PWC EOC.
G–191 Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface.
G–775 EOC Management and Operations.
There are also some new optional course that you can take if you have some spare time.
Remember, if you already have one of these courses, you do not currently have to retake them. So if you have IS-700a, (the current version is 700b), you are covered.
As always, please send the Emergency Coordinator a copy of your certificate for those classes that you passed.
See you at the January Training! (Saturday, January 19, 2019) at the EOC.