Category: ARES

Amateur Radio Disaster Preparedness

You must make sure your personally prepared for a disaster before you can even consider helping with Amateur Radio. If you are preoccupied with personal matters, you won’t be able to help us. To be ready for disaster communications, do the following:

  • Register with your local ARES group.
    • This registration helps the ARES leadership know the number of potential volunteers and their capabilities should we be called up on to provide communications services.
  • Train regularly with your local ARES group.
    • How you train today, determines how you perform tomorrow.  Attending training, participating in ARES nets, and community service activities help you lean how to be a good communicator when there are fewer distractions.  During emergency and disaster responses, the familiarity of the net routine will help keep the frequencies and communications clear.
    • Being known to your ARES leadership is also important.   They will be making decisions as to what your assignments are.   The more familiar they are with your level of training and other skill sets, the better fit can be made.
  • Have a personal/family disaster plan.
    • If you are distracted by your home situation, you will not be a valuable asset during a response.   Take care of your own first!
  • Have all resource materials you need in printed form.
    • Don’t depend on downloading your radio manual or ID from the internet.  Computers, smart phones, etc may not work during a disaster, they require electricity for charging and are relatively fragile.
  •  Practice doing things such as calling nets and handling traffic the pencil-and-paper way once in a while. Remember, you are you may not be able to spare the amp-hours or the table space to run a computer.
  • Have an Amateur Radio “go-kit” ready to supplement your personal “go kit”.
  • Upgrade your license.
    •  Many disaster communications assignments require HF privileges to move messages in and out of the disaster area.

ICS for Amateur Radio

On Thursday April 26, at 7:00 pm Metro/Douglas County ARES and the Omaha Metropolitan Medical Response Communications Training Committee will host a training overview on the Incident Command System and how it applies to Amateur Radio Communications Volunteers.   This training will not replace the  FEMA  IS-100.b online course  but it will give you a basis for understanding the system that we will be asked to work within.  If you have taken the IS-100.b , this program will help explain how amateur radio fits into the plan.

The Class will be held at Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Building at 10629 Burt Circle in Omaha.   The building will open at 6:45 pm and the course will start at 7:00 pm.

To ensure that we have materials and seating  available for everyone who wants to attend, we asked that you sign up so we know you are coming:

Amateur Radio and the Incident Command System Registration

Please note, that all ARES Volunteers, should have the following FEMA Independent Study Courses:
IS-100.b
IS-200.b 
IS-700.a
IS-800.c

If you have taken an early version, you do not need to take the newer version.

No one is compelled to take these courses, however many of the agencies we work with required these courses for the employees and volunteers.  You may not be able to help if you have not taken these courses.  Make sure you save the certificate when you have completed them.   These same agencies may require additional training (example, to be placed, storm spotters need to have completed the annual training at least every two years)

 

 

 

 

Advanced Spotter Training

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED – All Seats are Spoken For!

Are you a SKYWARN spotter?  Have you attended a spotter training class in 2017 or 2018?  Then…
Douglas County ARES has arranged with Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service to present an Advanced Weather Spotting class for trained spotters in the Omaha Metro Area.  This training only happens every few years and covers more than the annual spotter training.

The Advanced Spotter training will be held on Thursday April 19th, 2018 at 7:00 pm at  Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services 10629 Burt Circle Omaha NE.

Attendees must have had in person spotter training in 2017 or 2018.

There is Limited Seating for this event.  To ensure seating,  attendees must sign up using the following link

https://tinyurl.com/advanced-spotter

The registration form will automatically close when the seating limit is reached.

Upcoming Public Service Event, Drills and On Air Activities

The following events are excellent ways to practice net procedures and operating in a remote situation.

Nebraska State High School Track Meet  – May 18th and 19th
Beat the Heat Race – July 8th
Major Accident Response Exercise (MARE) – July 28th
Offutt Air Show – August 11th
Corporate Cup – September 9th
Market-to-Market Relay  – October 6th
Epply Full Scale Exercise – October 13th

 

HF events that ARES members are encouraged to participate in:
Nebraska QSO Party – April 21st &  22nd
Museum Ships Weekend – June 2nd & June 3rd
ARRL Field Day – June 23rd & June 24th
ARRL Sweepstakes (CW) – November 3rd & 4th
ARRL Sweepstakes (SSB) – November 17th & 18th
SKYWARN Recognition Day – December 1st
Winter Field Day  – January 26th (2019)

 

 

FEMA Courses

IS-100.b – Introduction to Incident Command System

Introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Revised 10/12/2010.

IS-200.b – ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
ICS 200.a is designed to enable personnel to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). It provides training on and resources for personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within the ICS. Revised 10/12/2010.

IS-700.a – National Incident Management System (NIMS)
NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and non-governmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents. Revised 12/22/2008.

IS-800.b – National Response Framework, An Introduction
This course introduces participants to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework. Revised 10/12/2010.