Ham Training, 20 Sept 2015
A net was never declared. This changes some of the call sign rules, like changing the rule to end all conversations with call signs to one where you needn’t. Most operators yesterday were not ending conversations with call signs. A net also allows the NCS to announce that this is a drill, and that no one actually died. In the end we violated a number of FCC rules. Running without a net also means that if someone else wanted our frequency, we’d need to give way (this is a custom, not a rule.)
The information we were reporting seems to have changed since last year. This is good practice for reporting in an emergency, where the organization reporting or the organization needing information may change at a whim as the situation develops. The creation of the 2nd ward didn’t help, but it gave us an idea of what a real emergency will be like when block captains aren’t available to report…we will have a lot of missing information, and our reported to NCS will need to reflect both what we know, and what we don’t know. In this drill we only reported what we knew. No one reported how many blocks and how many citizens were completely unknown.
Some operators seemed overwhelmed with the data and everything going on it the room. This will be a lot worse during an emergency. We need to learn how to deal with it. Also, be careful about how loud your radio is if you are in the main reporting area, so you don’t become the distraction (headset/headphones?). Some data was reported poorly, or inaccurately… make sure you have your report written down on some official form or in your notebook before making the call to report to the net control station.