Hillcrest Emergency Communications Net from KF7K.com

UVARC Announcement

UVARC monthly club meeting: 6 October Thursday 6:30 at Orem City Council Chamber Room, 56 N State St. All are welcome! The first 15 minutes of each meeting are eyeball QSOs, and they call the meeting to order afterwards. One breakout session is programming the Baofeng radios by hand! If you have one of the cheap intractable radios, this would be a good activity to meet people and get that thing programmed.

Website is http://uvarc.club. Club repeater is 146.78- 100.0 Hz tone.


Orem City Drill

The drill seemed to go okay, with the exception of one relay being needed, and one radio losing power because it wasn't charged. The net control station (me) also got confused about which ward was being represented, but I got it right in the end. Not bad, overall. 

Turns out the Lindon ERC wasn't all that interested in collecting our numbers, but they did want us to check in. Some areas (stakes) were reporting individual block information or neighborhoods (wards), though it seemed silly to us so we reported the area only (the stake combined numbers).

So, terminology changes: 

Area = Stake

Neighborhood = Ward

Block = Block

Orem City Emergency Drill


We are setting up for another emergency drill, this time sponsored by Orem City. Here is the communications layout:


It appears as though the stake will report to the Lindon EOC and to the city of Orem, like last time.

The city is organized into larger quadrants of areas (stakes), and here is ours:

SE Orem: 147.560 MHz simplex
Hillcrest Area
Lakeridge Area
Orem Area
Sharon Area
Stonewood Area

If these fail, tune to 146.780 MHz simplex

Last time our frequency was dead, no one answered.

Training: Go-bags and Preparation

When an emergency strikes, rapid response is needed to save lives. Part of the neighborhood Emergency Plan is to have all families equipped to live three days out of the house. Three-day kits, typically stored in 5-gallon buckets, are an essential part of getting ready. These would have food, water, change of clothes, first aid kit, and other things like a radio and books or games for the kids.

Ham radio operators, anticipating that they will be called into action by their units, should also be prepared. We also need something we can grab on the way out of the house that will allow up to perform out communication duties.

The Go Bag:

  1. Contains all the things needed to get on the air and stay on the air for at least a day.  
    1. Radio
      1. Should be your normally-used radio, which you store in the go bag 
      2. This gives you a chance to inspect the gear you have there regularly
    2. Spare antenna is good, external if possible (usually isn't, because of lead-in and mount)
    3. Charged batteries, at least two
      1. This is tricky keeping a charge on the batteries
      2. Keep them out of the radio to extend the charge
    4. Alternative power source for the radio
      1. a solar panel for charging the unused battery
      2. an AA battery pack
    5. Connectors to use a 12v power source
      1. 12v plug
      2. PowerPole connectors (for using the power of other hams)
    6. Notebook and pencils
    7. Any reporting forms you might want
  2. Contains personal supplies
    1. Water!
      1. at least two quarts
      2. refillable bottles
    2. Trail mix/granola bars/nutricious snacks (with long expiration dates)
    3. Medication/toiletries suited for your disaster
    4. First-aid kit
    5. Cold-weather mylar blanket/bivy-bag
  3. All of this can fit into a medium- to large satchel
    1. Keep it by the 72-hour kits near the door
  4. Some examples:
    1. Base operations: http://www.harc.net/programs/amateur-radio-go-kit.pdf
    2. Large kit: http://www.qsl.net/kc0nrk/go-bags.html
    3. RACES: http://www.races.org/gokit.htm
    4. Greene County ARES (three kits): http://gcares.febo.com/jumpkit.htm
    5. Kansas ARES (several configurations): http://ksarrl.org/ares/gokit.php

Training: Who We Are and What We Do

  1. In the beginning there was the Mercury Net.
    1. Run by the church
    2. Everything from local nets, like ours, to the nationwide nets
    3. Went silent when someone in SLC realized it was against FCC rules (a net supporting an organization isn't allowed)
    4. To meet FCC rules, we use synonyms:
      1. Stake = "neighborhood"
      2. Ward = "unit"
  2. Now there are three ham radio emergency communication entities that matter to us:
    1. UCARES:
      1. supported by the Utah County Sheriff's department
      2. uses ARRL training and structure
      3. has ranks and formal leadership
      4. we are not involved in the UCARES efforts
    2. Lindon ERC
      1. reports come from church leaders, and go to the church welfare system
      2. our reports seem unknown to them--anyone know a reason?
      3. We were created to support the Lindon ERC
    3. Orem City
      1. The newest players in emergency communications
      2. No report forms?
      3. We also now report to Orem. So far all drills have coincided: when Orem has a drill, the Lindon ERC lights up.
  3. Our mission, as spelled out in the Stake Emergency Plan:
    1. Each chapel becomes the center of local emergency response.
    2. One side of the building is to care for casualties, the other for organizing volunteers. The gym is the casualty treatment center, and the morgue is in a corner of the parking lot.
    3. Each bishop's office becomes the center of operations for that unit.
    4. Families:
      1. Everyone's first priority is to their own family.
      2. If they are healthy, report to the block gathering point.
      3. If they are not healthy, send a representative to the gathering point to report your casualties
      4. Once your family is okay, then you are free to support other activities.
    5. Blocks:
      1. Block captains, who should already have a list of everyone in their area (6-10 families), will report to the block assembly area to see who is okay, and who isn't.
      2. Five minutes after the start of the emergency, the block captain will fill out a report form and send it with a runner to the unit leader (bishop's office).
      3. Ham radio operators assigned to run the neighborhood (stake) net will get on the air and call the net, this time with the designation, "This is not a drill."
      4. All ham radio operators in the neighborhood should have radios turned on and monitoring our frequency by this time. This is why "go bags" are a thing. We'll talk about these in a future training.
    6. Unit Leader (Bishop's office):
      1. Block reports are compiled, and an initial report is created by the leadership (not by us).
      2. Designated ham radio operators will report to the bishop's office, having come from the block assembly zone, to call the net control operator with the report.
      3. Further reports will follow as additional information is gathered, especially after the block captains make an investigation into homes which did not report.
    7. Neighborhood leaders (Stake offices):
      1. Ward reports are compiled.
      2. A member of the neighborhood leadership (stake presidency) will begin dispatching volunteers to areas where help is needed right away. Some of these orders will come back to your units by way of radio (this is something we've practiced only once, and it didn't go very well).
      3. The Lindon ERC is given the report by radio.
      4. The Orem city net is given our report by radio.
      5. As further reports roll in, updated reports are sent to the ERC and to Orem.
      6. At some point, you will be given permission to stand down by the net control station. You can request to be dismissed from the net, but typically after a replacement has been found for your post, if it is still active. You are not expected to be at your post longer than eight hours at a time.
    8. The net will close when city and county emergency personel have moved in and have taken over all aspects of the rescue and welfare operation.
 ❮Older postsBlog - Home