! Cook County ARES Net--20031022--Training Segment

First, I'd like to thank all of those who participated in the Statewide ARES Exercise on Sunday October 19, and particularly those who participated in the Cook County ARES net. I'd expecially like to thank Milan, K9HDX, one of our Official Emergency Stations, for being our HF Net liaison, and for running the net on 146.52 simplex. We are looking for a few more Official Emergency Stations. Although you need not be a member of the ARRL in order to participate in ARES, you do need to be a member of the league to hold an appointment, such as official emergency station, in the ARRL field organization. If you are interested, you can learn more about what official emergency stations do by visiting the ARRL's web site, or contact me. I'd also like to thank the board and members of the SARA repeater for allowing us to use their fine repeater.

I'd also like to thank the ARES folks who participated in the Ron Santo Juvenile Diabetes Walk public service event which was run by the Maine Township Emergency Management Agency earlier this month. I'm glad we had an opportunity to work with the Maine Township group, as they have a lot of experience in emergency and public service communications, and I hope we will be able to work with them again.

Our simulated emergency test (S E T) or SET will be held on Sunday, November 2, in the afternoon. This should be an interested exercise. Although, strictly speaking, you don't need to be an ARES registrant in order to participate in the SET, if you haven't registered we have no way of knowing who you are and how to contact you to alert you that the SET is taking place and give you instructions. Thus, if you want to participate, we strongly urge you register in ARES. You can find our registration forms at our web page: ares.n9nl.com, or contact me after the net.

The simulated emergency test is designed to test your preparedness for emergency communications. I don't want to give away the details of the test now, but I would like to give you some hints regarding the types of things that may affect your preparedness and your success in participating in the test:

  1. You may be asked to operate simplex, away from your home QTH. Do you have a radio that puts out at least 5 watts that you can remove from your home QTH and/or car for use in a remote location?
  2. Do you have a suitable antenna and battery? You may need to operate from inside a building without power? A mag-mount antenna, portable j-pole, or other transportable antenna may be helpful. Consider whether you can operate for an 8-hour shift, if necessary, on battery or generator power.
  3. Do you have feedline and adaptors for your radio and antenna?
  4. Do you have a portable power supply that will operate the radio or recharge your batteries?
  5. Do you have a map of the area you live in?
  6. Do you have a note-pad and pen that with your emergency supplies that you can use to take notes?
  7. Is your radio programmed with your local emergency communications organization's frequency plan? For example, many ARES registrants are members of the Schaumburg ARC. The Schaumburg EmComm Group has published a list of frequencies and has asked you to program your radios with these frequencies. Have you done this? Even if you can program your radio on the fly, you might lend the radio to another who will not know how to program it.
  8. Manuals.
  9. Refreshments and personal needs.
  10. Medical supplies--prescriptions, etc.