ARES Connect Announcement, January 11, 2021

Please see the notice below concerning ARES Connect.
 
In Service,
Paul
 
Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW
ARRL Director of Emergency Management
512-940-0441
 
 
Concerned by the low adoption rate of ARES Connect reporting software two years after its introduction by the League, ARRL’s Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert (KE5ZW) instituted a review of the application that included, among other analyses, a survey of Section Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators around the country.  At the same time, recent discussions between ARRL and the ARES Connect software vendor have made it clear that the League’s evolving needs for an EmComm / Public Service reporting package are not aligned with the vendor’s future plans for the product from which ARES Connect is derived.  Following a review of all available information, members of the Emergency Management Committee, CEO Minster (NA2AA), and President Roderick (K5UR) concurred with DEM Gilbert’s decision to discontinue the use of ARES Connect and seek development of a software reporting package more tailored to the needs of ARES.

 
All ARRL Sections that have been using ARES Connect should plan to transition to the ARES Form 4 reporting form until a replacement system is identified.  ARRL HQ will continue to support ARES Connect through June 30, 2021.
 
Questions related to the decommissioning and transition can be directed to the Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert at 860-594-0333 or ke5zw@arrl.org.

Rhode Island Winter Field Day

RI ARES logoRI Section Emergency Coordinator Paul J Silverzweig, W1PJS, writes:

The last weekend in January is Winter Field Day… this is more for emergency communications practice than Summer Field Day, or at least is supposed to be… RI ARES will be sponsoring some activity for this event… mark your calendars for the Last Weekend in January… due to CoViD guidelines, it won’t be a mass group activity, so may be more like our NVIS exercise in nature… more to come…

Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS
RI Section Emergency Coordinator
All Hazards, FEMA/RIEMA ComL
MARS
RI Association of Emergency Managers
     Chair, Amateur Radio Committee
Portsmouth RI EMA
Trustee NB1RI Repeater Network
646-522-2262

Rhode Island ARES Foundation Announcement

RI ARES logoRI Section Emergency Coordinator Paul J Silverzweig, W1PJS, writes:

First I’d like to wish you all a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. CoViD guidance makes this year unusual and for many of us we won’t be able to spend time with family… so enjoy the best you can, but stay safe!

Some other things:

RI ARES has successfully created a non-profit 501c3 charity, called the RI ARES Foundation, a distinct organization from the communications group. The main focus of funds raised by this Foundation will be to fund the NB1RI repeater network, with some funds being used to actually support the Foundation itself, namely tax filings and web services, credit card fees, bank fees, other state filings, and in some cases programs or trading for RI ARES membership.

You can find the foundation’s  website at http://www.RIARESfoundation.org and are welcome to donate, whether as little as an automatic $1 per month to as much as you wish… Jeremy K1JST is the lead on this, the Treasurer, and has done all the leg work… if you have questions please ask him.

The Directors and Officers include:

Paul W1PJS
Jeremy K1JST
John N1ZO
Sandy Hodell KA1RXB
Jim KB1MAO
Chief Aaron KC1EPX
Teri W1PUP

I hope you all can help.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS
RI Section Emergency Coordinator
All Hazards, FEMA/RIEMA ComL
MARS
RI Association of Emergency Managers
     Chair, Amateur Radio Committee
Portsmouth RI EMA
Trustee NB1RI Repeater Network
646-522-2262

Clear Frequencies Requested for Caribbean Hurricane Emergency Traffic

QST de W1AW 
ARRL Bulletin 34  ARLB034
From ARRL Headquarters 
Newington CT  November 17, 2020
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB034
ARLB034 Clear Frequencies Requested for Caribbean Hurricane Emergency Traffic

Stations handling emergency traffic during the response to Category 5 Hurricane Iota, just off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, are requesting clear frequencies.

Radio amateurs not involved in the emergency response are asked to avoid (plus/minus 5 KHz) the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and WX4NHC (National Hurricane Center) frequencies of 14.325 and 7.268 MHz, as well as a Honduran emergency net operation on 7.180 MHz (net control station is HR1JFA), and a Nicaraguan emergency net operating on 7.098 MHz.

With maximum sustained winds of 160 MPH, Hurricane Iota is expected to bring catastrophic winds, life-threatening storm surge, and torrential rainfall to Central America.

Newport Co. RC Members Perform Antenna Work at Portsmouth, RI EMA Hq.

photo featuring k1npt and kc1ipc doing antenna work at portsmouth ri EMA
K1NPT and KC1IPC taking down the weather-worn, chimney-mounted antenna at Portsmouth, RI EMA Hq.

Portsmouth (RI) Emergency Management Agency is now ready for winter with a complement of three new antennas, replacing three weather-worn units. 

 
Newport County Radio Club members Ray, KC1IPC; Brian, N1TBT; Kelly, N2YFY and Mike, K1NPT spent seven hours on the fire station roof Saturday. They took down the old antennas, reinforced the mounting points, cleaned/replaced coax connections, re-mounted, and tested the new antennas.  Courtesy NCRC Facebook page.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Does Virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD Via Zoom, November 3, 2020

EMA ARES logoFrom ema.arrl.org:

On Tuesday Morning, 11/3/20, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, KD1CY-Rob Macedo, did a virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD to explain ARES role and how ARES can support Non-Governmental Organizations. The 30 minute meeting was well received by the VOAD leadership that participated. ARES has been a member within the VOAD organization since 2012.

VOAD stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. The ARRL has a national level Memorandum of Understanding with VOAD and encourages section ARES programs to work with state VOADs. Examples of organizations that are part of VOAD include ARES traditional partners such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army as well as Team Rubicon, various church groups that support disaster relief for individuals and families and many other organizations.

“We got to explain ARES role and what we can provide to Non-Government Organizations in both auxiliary communications, additional resources supporting communications and situational awareness information when normal communications means are up as well as what we can provide to them when other forms of communication fails. We also encouraged VOAD to look at ways we can help their organization based on their communications and technical needs after giving them some understanding of what we traditionally provide and explained to them all the MOUs ARES through the ARRL has with various organizations within VOAD and National VOAD” Macedo said.

Macedo reported that the members on the call understood how Amateur Radio plays a role and is often in the background performing important tasks that help their teams and other agencies. They were impressed with the presentation and look forward to future engagement both with Eastern Massachusetts ARES and Western Massachusetts ARES. “They asked for the Western Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator contact info which we provided to them along with a short presentation that we reviewed on the call and we look forward to a continued and stronger relationship with Massachusetts VOAD and the member agencies within VOAD going forward,” Macedo said.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) – Saturday 11/14/20 1000 AM-1200 PM

The Eastern MA Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) will conduct a Simulated Emergency Test on November 14, 2020 from 10 AM to 12 Noon (setup to start at 9 AM where needed) to test its capability in establishing communications with stations inside and outside of the section. Operation “Fall Fury” will attempt to build upon the lessons learned from past operational exercises. This SET is being done in coordination with a Red Cross national exercise also being held on Saturday 11/14/20.

The exercise scenario involves a fictional Category 1 hurricane which strikes MA/CT/RI as a hybrid coastal storm, battering Cape Cod and the Islands with winds ranging from 90-100 MPH. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts are left without power as the rain rapidly changes to heavy, wet snow.

“This exercise guideline is deliberately broad and generic in nature. ARES groups are free to adapt this scenario and conduct their exercise as needed for their group,” writes District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

“This is also a great opportunity for new Amateur Radio Operators, whether they are involved in ARES or not, to check into nets, provide simulated information and exercise traffic, or just check in and learn how nets work and what ARES can do during an actual event. This includes the National Weather Service SKYWARN component of ARES” writes Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in MA, it will be unlikely that groups will be able to operate at EOCs and other municipal locations. Therefore any activation of shelters will be simulated by role play. It is likely that most of the operations involved in this exercise will utilize home stations.

Some exercise objectives include:
• Simulate the activation of shelters in your area
• Simulate the activation of EOC stations in your area
• Establish and conduct a tactical net on simplex 2m FM/ repeater for your group
• Simulate contact with any Town EOC RACES stations
• Establish contact with other ARES districts where possible
• Establish an HF 75 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas)
• Pass an NTS type message on 2 meters VHF and/or 440 MHz
• Pass a SKYWARN and/or tactical message on voice 2 meters and on the HF net
• Optional components of the exercise to pass information digitally via Winlink and NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System)

For full details, see the “Eastern MA Simulated Emergency Test 2020 Scenario and Guidelines” document at https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/EasternMA-ARES-SET-11-14-20.pdf.

WMA ARES Upcoming Activities

WMA ARES logoWMA Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Meneguzzo, W1YO, writes on wma.arrl.org:
 
There is a substantial amount of work underway in the WMA Section for activities upcoming in the near future. I’m certain most of you are unaware of these since they are still in the planning stage, but I wanted to give you a quick update.I’m planning for a local Section Emergency Test (SET) to be conducted soon … likely in the mid to late December timeframe. What we’d like to do with this is (of course) exercise our voice net capabilities to give us a bit of needed practice in handling and forwarding messages to / from agencies that would likely require the same in the event of a disaster. …. But additionally, to come up to par with what ARES sections are doing across the nation, we need to also develop the capacity to handle messages digitally – and by that I mean via WinLink and NBEMS / FLDigi. Updates will appear here as things progress.

There has been a LOT of activity in this vein across ARES nationally in the past month or two. WinLink training videos (along with many other excellent and useful topics) are now available for free via Vimeo (video) to be viewed at users’ convenience. Also, you’ve all seen the offerings going on right now from the New Hampshire Training Academy … which have produced some great feedback!

But while training is great, PRACTICE is the key determinant of our abilities. To this end, our plan is to setup additional nets for practice handling digital messaging, and some additional exercises (beyond just check – ins) for voice nets.  To do this we need participants … which we have a good share of for our HF voice nets, but to a lesser extent for UHF / VHF repeater and simplex nets. MUCH testing has been done recently to determine our capacity for cross – county communications on HF, and VHF digital operations (digital VARA FM via 6 meter repeater, for ex.) and for simplex on VHF. Work will continue in these areas. The VHF / UHF repeater capacity should be back to its original capabilities in the near future also, so hopefully the VHF/UHF net participation will increase.

If you have digital capability already ( HF and / or VHF ) and would like to become part of the proposed digital messaging networks, please let me know (k1yo@arrl.net) . If you don’t have the experience but would like to get involved, that’s great !   We have some pretty good startup documents to help you and will offer short Zoom classes to finalize your capabilities …. even one on one if needed !

Anyone with solid digital messaging experience would be welcome to help train others to come on board!  Those with traffic handling expertise are also needed to get users up to speed on how messages should be passed to existing NTS traffic nets as that would be a probable conduit in a large scale disaster.

Simply, there has recently  been much work done  towards reviving the ARES capabilities of WMA. I believe we are now ready to start moving forward – simply at first – but engaging additional capabilities and technologies as we ready ourselves to meet the needs of our healthcare partners, agencies, and communities

The only thing missing is you !

Vy 73
Bob – K1YO
SEC WMA ARES

P.S. .  Several Worcester area stations have already volunteered for helping with additional testing … my apologies but due to an email error I have lost the specifics on  those of you who already contacted me!  Please resend – thanks.

Connecticut Section Simulated Emergency Test Recap

Chuck Motes, K1DFS, writes:

A big Thank You to all those in Connecticut who participated in the annual Section Emergency Test (S.E.T.) this year.  It took place during the first weekend of the month.

Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) CT and NTS CT were active on their respective nets, and a large number of messages were sent and received.  Of particular note was the use of the ICS-213 Form, which is the heart of municipal, state and federal communications messages.  A lot of us picked up very successfully on that form.  Also in use (for the MARS COMEX) was a report called the SWEAT.  It’s the report the feds (military) use to assess conditions and emergencies nationwide.  It’s short, it’s quick and it’s fast.  Hams in Connecticut made extensive use of the report.

These reports were sent via voice, via digital on HF and VHF and via Winlink radio and internet.  One set of these reports numbering 52 in total was relayed to MARS via 60 meters in one burst using MT-63 digital.  This was a month-long opportunity for hams to contact MARS stations directly, and is authorized through the end of October.

The MARS COMEX (Army and Air Force) was terminated normally on 23 October.

Thanks to all — hams, ARES, NTS, especially the Section Emergency Coordinator, the District Emergency Coordinators and the NTS officials–everyone who participated in the S.E.T. and in the COMEX.  Call it a resounding success.

73 to all, and have a great Halloween!

——————————————————————–
ARRL Connecticut Section
Section Manager: Charles I Motes Jr, K1DFS
k1dfs@arrl.org
——————————————————————–

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