David Gillespie‎ to Alabama Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)

2017 Alabama Amateur Radio Emergency Service – Simulated Emergency Test Overview – This year’s SET will be a state-wide event that most counties will conduct on October 28th. Individual counties may wish to conduct their drill on other dates that are more convenient for their needs. This year’s event is to simulate our communication response to a multi-state, multi-day power outage. The loss of power can occur for a variety of reasons. This event is a blue sky outage initially thought to be limited to a few small isolated events that quickly cascaded into a large event that does not appear to have been accidental. Five states are reporting significant outages that include both controls (software) and distribution (transmission lines and equipment). The overloading of individual stations caused automatic procedures to kick in an attempt to support the needs of adjacent stations – causing tripped breakers and spreading the outage. 95% of Alabama is without power and there is no forecasted date for the return of service. Our goal as AL ARES is to provide communications between served agencies and be available to local and state agencies as the situation develops. Amateur operators are encouraged to review their plans, equipment and operating stations to determine what impact a prolonged power outage would have on their ability to operate to support emergency communications. As in past SET operations VHF will be the primary operating band, BUT, the use all modes and frequencies that are available to amateur operators is encouraged.

SATURDAY: Emergency Coordinators for each county will designate an NCS and together they will also identify the primary served agencies to be contacted, and to simulate reporting to their county’s EMA officials. Simulated messaging and contacts with the served agencies will take place on Saturday as in past years operators will deploy and simulate the activation of shelters, health, food and watering distribution stations across their county. This effort will commence at 08:00 on Saturday and will continue until the time the EC and NCS determine (typically 12:00).

SUNDAY: Sunday evening will be the HF, and some VHF Simplex portion of the SET and this will be accomplished using the normal time slot for the Traffic Net Mike Sunday evening net at 18:30 and other scheduled VHF nets. Sunday’s net will incorporate additional check in information will be requested by the NCS. These HF and simplex nets provides full state coverage in real time without the use of repeaters. The SET events of the day will be reviewed and the NCS will provide updates and request the participants to provide information related to their activity in the SET events.
HF: TUNE IN TO 3.965 MHz / Backup frequency is 7.243 MHz SUNDAY AT 18:30. CAROL OSWALT, KI4ZZD WILL BE THE NCS. VHF SIMPLEX: 146.520 MHz.

Thanks for your support of this important exercise and don’t hesitate to contact me with suggestions, corrections, edits, etc. I will need everyone’s help on this one. In the past we have always had pockets of SET activity, this year I hope we can truly demonstrate the capabilities of operators across the entire state. How great would it be to have the map with all 67 counties ECs and EMA offices accounted for?