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Cook County Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®)

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This is the home page of Cook County Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®).



 Next ARES Events  
  ARES events only. See complete calendar below for other events,
  including public service events run by other groups.
Homeland Security Threat Level
  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events
Sun Sep 22 0700 Public Service: Fall Frolic Run/Walk 5K
Wed Sep 25 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Sun Sep 29 0700 Public Service: Bike the Ridge--Evanston
Sat Oct 05 0830—1600 Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
Sun Oct 13 0500 Public Service: Chicago Marathon
Wed Oct 23 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz


   Quick Jumps

ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events
Invitation to Join ARES
ARES Registration Forms
Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Training 2012
Chicago-Area and Illinois Nets, including ARES, Skywarn, and Public Service
Cook County ARES Net--4th Wednesday every Month
Schaumburg ARC Emergency Communications and ARES Net
ARRL Field Day--Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Operations
Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) 2013
Skywarn® Recognition Day 2013
Further Reading about ARES and Public Service
Contact Cook County ARES


ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events

  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events
Day Date Local Time Event
Sun Sep 22 0700 Public Service: Fall Frolic Run/Walk 5K
Wed Sep 25 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Sun Sep 29 0700 Public Service: Bike the Ridge--Evanston
Sat Oct 05 0830—1600 Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
Sun Oct 13 0500 Public Service: Chicago Marathon
Wed Oct 23 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Wed Nov 27 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Fri-Sat Dec 06-07 1800--1800 Skywarn® Recognition Day
Wed Dec 25 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz

Detailed Information on Public Service Events*:

Date/Time Event Location Contact and Additional Details
Sun Sep 22
0700
* Grayslake Running Club Fall Frolic Run/Walk 5K Grayslake, Illinois
Central Park
250 Library Ln.
  • For general information about the event, visit this link.
  • For additional information or to volunteer, contact Wendell Smith N9REP
    • E-mail: here; or
    • Tel: 815 245 9325 C
  • Communications provided by SWANI/N9REP
Sun Sep 29
0700-1400
* Bike the Ridge Evanston
  • Communications support organized by Evanston Amateur Radio Community.
  • For general information on the event, visit this link.
  • For additional information or to volunteer, contact Scott Irwin W8UFO
    • E-mail: here; or
    • Tel: 847 492 3456
Sun Oct 13
0500-1600
* Chicago Marathon Chicago (numerous locations)
 * Events marked with an asterisk are run by organizations other than Cook County ARES and are advertised here as a service to the event organizers and to ARES members interested in public service activities. Information is believed accurate, but you should contact event organizers directly to learn of any changes and to let them know you are available to assist.

Invitation to Join ARES

To All Radio Amateurs:

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a voluntary organization of licensed amateurs who have registered their capabilities and equipment for providing emergency communications as a public service to the community. The purpose of the ARES is to furnish communications in the event of natural disaster, when regular communications fail or are inadequate. Sponsored by ARRL®, the ARES functions at the local level to meet local communications needs.

The ARES has a long history of public service going back to its formal inception in 1935. Since that time, the ARES has responded countless times to communications emergencies.

Experience has proven that radio amateurs respond more capably in time of emergency when practice has been conducted in an organized group. There is no substitute for experience gained before the need arises.

The ARES in each locality operates under the direction of the Emergency Coordinator (EC), whose function is to direct the activities of the ARES to maintain a state of readiness.

To register in the ARES, send the detachable registration form above directly to your EC, or to ARRL Headquarters for forwarding to your EC. League membership is not required for registration. Registration does not require the possession of any specially designed equipment. All amateurs can be of assistance to the ARES. There is provision in the ARES for every amateur regardless of class of license, equipment owned, or personal circumstances.

Won't you join us in providing this essential Amateur Radio service?

Richard Palm, K1CE
Field Services Manager

ARES Registration Forms

Illinois Nets, including ARES, Public Service, NTS, and Skywarn® Nets

Cook County ARES Net

The Cook County ARES Net meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 9:00 PM local time on the SARA repeater (146.88 MHz R-600 PL107.2). All amateurs with 2-meter privileges and an interest in emergency and public service communications are welcome, without regard to ARES membership, ARRL membership, or county of residence. The net features a brief training session each month designed to improve each participant's competence in emergency communications. The net also includes announcements regarding emergency and public service communications. Suggested reading material for each training session will be available here or via e-mail.

Schaumburg ARC Emergency Communications and ARES Net

The Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Emergency Communications and ARES Net meets on the first Thursday of the month at 8:20 PM local time on the SARC repeater (145.23 MHz R-600 PL107.2). If the repeater is unavailable, the net is conducted in simplex on the repeater output frequency. All amateurs with 2-meter privileges and an interest in emergency and public service communications are welcome. The net features a brief training session each month designed to improve each participants competence in emergency communications. The net also includes announcements regarding emergency and public service communications. Suggested reading material for each training session is available here or via e-mail.

Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Operations

ARRL® Field Day 2013

June 22-23, 2013

ARRL®Field Day is the largest Amateur Radio emergency communications exercise, and is held annually in late June. (More info.)

Amateur radio operators (or "hams") numbering in the tens of thousands, throughout the US and Canada, will demonstrate their emergency communications capabilities by trying to contact as many other stations as possible over a 24 to 27 hour period, using emergency power sources and temporary stations and antennas erected in the field for this event. Many hams participate in this event as part of a local amateur radio club or emergency communications volunteer group. Some clubs/groups operate at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of a government or other served agency, instead of building stations in the field.

Field Day is not just for experienced hams. Visiting a club/group Field Day operation is a great way for new hams to learn more about emergency communications and to meet other hams in their neighborhood. And Field Day is an excellent introduction to ham radio for the general public.

We encourage all amateurs to participate in this fun and educational emergency communications exercise. Most clubs/groups will be delighted to welcome you as a visitor, even if you're not a member of the group, and even if you're not a licensed ham.

Maps and additional information on club/group Field Day operations in Illinois in 2013 are available at the Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Directory:

A Thumbnail Map of Northeast Illinois Field Day Locations Another Thumbnail Map of Northeast Illinois Field Day Locations

http://fieldday.n9nl.com/

And while you're planning to visit one of these Field Day operations, please consider bringing along a friend or neighbor who might enjoy learning about amateur radio. Kids love Field Day because there's always something going on!


ARRL Field Day 2014

June 28-29 2014

ARRL Field Day is always the fourth full weekend in June.

In 2014, ARRL Field Day will be held over the weekend of June 28-29. The Illinois and Chicago-Area Area Field Day Page for 2014 will be posted around April 2014.

For Further Reading on Amateur Radio Emergency and Public Service Communications, Including ARES

Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Training 2012

Severe Weather Spotter Training by the National Weather Service Chicago (Romeoville) Forecast Office

The National Weather Service (NWS) offers severe weather spotter training classes at dozens of locations throughout the Chicago forecast office's county warning area (CWA) in Northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana through mid-April.

The classes are about 1-1/2 to 2 hours and feature a multimedia presentation and talk by a NWS meteorologist. Most classes are open to the public, but some host agencies limit participants or require pre-registration. Contact the host agency well in advance to learn of any restrictions and to register. Most classes are free of charge; an exception is the DuPage Advanced Weather Spotter Seminar on 2012/03/10.

Upcoming Severe Weather Spotter classes in the Chicago area:

  • March 29: Naperville, 1300 and 1900.
  • April 02: Libertyville, 1500 and 1900.
  • Aprli 16: Des Plaines, 1900.

Severe Weather Spotter Training by Other NWS Offices

Tom Skilling Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab--April 14, 2012

Tom Skilling presents an annual Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab. Although not spotter training, many people interested in tornadoes and other severe weather phonomena find the seminar informative and enjoyable. Two identical presentations are offered, one beginning at 1200, and the other beginning at 1900. The presentations run about four hours. The seminar is offered free of charge and no tickets are required. Because seating is first-come, first-served and space is limited, it is wise to arrive well in advance. For more information, visit: http://www.asktom.org/.

Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
5 October 2013 (Saturday)
1330Z — 2100Z (0830 — 1600 local)

SET: An Opportunity to Test Emergency Communications Capabilities

ARES units throughout Illinois will participate in a statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on 5 October 2013.

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is an annual opportunity for amateur radio operators and emergency communications groups to exercise and test their emergency communications skills and equipment while interacting with served agencies, NTS nets, and other ARES and EmComm organizations.

The following description of the 2013 Illinois Statewide SET exercise scenario was posted by Section Emergency Coordinator Brad Pioveson W9FX on 23 September 2013 in a message to the Illinois_ARES Yahoo! group.

2013 ILLINOIS ARES SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST

DATE: 05 OCT 2013 1330Z — 2100Z (0830 — 1600 local)

EXERCISE NAME: HACK ATTACK

SCENARIO NARRATIVE:

Unknown assailants engage in malevolent cyber attacks on Internet-connected devices in Illinois which systematically shut down and/or damage these devices. Those devices directly affected will, in many cases, result in cascading failures in other systems. The first wave of trouble shows up as a failure of the electrical grid, statewide. The hackers have gained control of all of the switches used at the major substations and power plants.

  • All substations go off line
  • All power generating facilities, including nuclear power plants, are shut down, either as a result of the substation failures or because they were directed to shut down by the hackers

Within a few minutes, a different group of hackers gain control of the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems controlling the flow of natural gas thru pipelines and their associated pumping stations.

  • All natural gas pumping stations in Illinois and those feeding Illinois from border states are shut down as valves close. Some explosions and fires result. There are almost 12,000 miles of these pipelines in Illinois.
  • All facilities running electrical generation systems which rely upon natural gas are rendered useless

The third phase of the attack has two parts.

  • First, the loss of AC power and natural gas has caused an immediate and network- crushing overload of the landline and cellular communications systems (which are operating on battery power).
  • Second, the hackers target the relay points and switching stations that handle telecommunications, bringing all IP-connected systems down.

All media outlets—TV, CATV, satellite providers, AM and FM radio—are off the air as a result of the loss of IP-remote connections between studios and transmitters and/or the loss of network capabilities.

The Emergency Action System (EAS) is inoperable as no networks are available with which to communicate to the transmitters.

In short, all of the technology upon which we rely, is unavailable.

TIMELINE:

All of the above takes place in the 60 minutes PRECEDING the opening of the drill. In other words, the damage has been done, the infrastructure is down, and, in some cases, irreparably so.

DISCUSSION OF THE SCENARIO:

This scenario is ripped from today's headlines. Cyber attacks are very much at the forefront of U.S. emergency and military planners.

PURPOSE OF THIS EXERCISE:

To encourage ARES Emergency Coordinators, their staff and members to plan for and execute a communications response plan (or plans) to meet the perceived needs of their served agency or agencies and community in the event of such a disaster.

EXERCISE OBJECTIVES:

  • To test ARES organizations' abilities to communicate strictly using RF means
  • To test ARES organization's abilities to move data from their local communities to the State RACES/AUXCOMM station
  • To test ARES organizations' abilities to move data, i.e., digital message traffic, from their local communities to the State RACES/AUXCOMM station located in the alternate IEMA communications facility in Springfield.

GUIDELINES FOR EXERCISE PLAY:

As each local ARES organization's members, singly and collectively, possess unique abilities, and each organization has it's own roster of served agencies, demographic and geological features, all Illinois EC's are free to work within the framework of the scenario to add elements, injects, and/or challenges as they see fit. The statewide exercise scenario is a framework and defines the general exercise parameters. How this type of disaster would affect a particular local community depends upon the community and each participating ARES group will determine the nature of the needs in their respective area.

Having said that, EC's are strongly encouraged to look outside their own jurisdiction to determine how they can help their neighboring jurisdictions and ARES groups, i.e., offering mutual aid.

ARES organizations are also encouraged to play this as a real event. In the first few hours of such an event, HF communications by voice will be the norm. As the event wears on, however, the need for data comm's will become apparent, and, digital communications between local agencies and state agencies will become of primary importance. For that reason, each participating ARES organization is asked to field at least one station capable of sending traffic via digital means. Messages should be addressed to NC9IL@winlink.org or NNN0MIL@winlink.org (both callsigns are for the State RACES/AUXCOMM station). In the absence of any such station, local ARES groups may send messages may send messages via the National Traffic System.

THE CHALLENGE IS FOR EACH PARTICIPATING ARES GROUP TO BE ABLE TO FORMAT AND SEND A MESSAGE ADDRESSED TO THE STATE RACES/AUXCOMM STATION.

NC9IL will be operating on SSB and Winmor. Pactor is available, as well. We will NOT be responding to requests for PEER to PEER (PTP) Winmor requests. In the event of an emergency, peer-to-peer messaging is not an efficient use of time or resources. Instead, we ask that you send your messages to a Winlink 2000 RMS using RADIO, NOT TELNET, anywhere in the U.S. addressed to NC9IL@winlink.org. It will get to us, and, will do so in a very timely manner.

If there is no digital capability in your group, then the message(s) may be sent using the National Traffic System (Illinois Sideband Net), or, by checking into the C&C net where arrangements will be made to receive your message traffic.

Message format may be ARRL Radiogram or ICS 213, if sending directly by digital means. If messages are sent via the NTS, then, ARRL Radiogram format is to be used.

Message content should include the jurisdiction of the originating ARES group, the number of members that are in the group (enrolled, not just those participating), and the zipcodes of the residences of the members. You do not have to identify the member by callsign with the zipcode, only a list of unique zipcodes. (We will use the zipcode info to plot the locations of capable and willing communications volunteers on a statewide map, to be used for planning purposes).

Here's the text of a sample message:

HEADER XXX

MIDDLESEX COUNTY ARES X TWENTY SIX MEMBERS X

60601 60602 60603 60604 60605 60607 60609

BT

SIGNED XXX

Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps MARS will also be participating in this exercise.

The same types of messages are requested from their organizations.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

An After Action Report is requested from each participating entity. A sample AAR can be viewed in the FILES section of the Illinois_ARES groups.yahoo.com website.

FREQUENCIES OF OPERATION:

The Illinois ARES HF Net will be operating on 3.905 MHz, primary, 7.230 MHz, alternate. This will the the command and control (C&C) net.

Additional frequencies may be utilized depending upon the traffic load on the primary. These will be announced as needed on the C&C net.

MARS operating frequencies will be sent directly to the participating agencies' MARS points of contact.

EmComm Round Table for All Interested Hams

Third Saturday of the Month--0900 AM
Hoffman Estates P.D.

Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC hosts an EmComm Round Table meeting for hams interested in emergency and public service communications on the first third Saturday of most months.

The Em Comm Round Table is a public service and emergency communications amateur radio operators interest group. The meeting is open to amateur radio operators and members of clubs, ARES, and RACES. Participants share experience and network with one another. The format typically includes "hot wash" of past events, a posting of upcoming events and coordinator contact information, a brief presentation on a selected topic, followed by a round-table discussion on the presentation topic and any other topics participants wish to raise.

The meeting is held at the Hoffman Estates Police Department, 411 W Higgins Rd., Hoffman Estates. The meeting begins at 9:45 AM 9:00 AM. Participants gather in the lobby of the Police Department and are guided to a meeting room.

For more information:

Note: This meeting is organized by Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC, but is not an official activity of Hoffman Estates EMA or Cook County ARES.

Skywarn® Recognition Day

Friday 6 December 2013 1800 CST through
Saturday 7 December 2013 1800 CST.

Skywarn Recognition Day is a FUN amateur radio operating event to celebrate the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Amateurs visit National Weather Service offices throughout the U.S. to set up ham radio stations and operate during the 24-hour period of the event. The goal for these stations is to contact as many other stations, including other NWS offices, as they can. Other amateurs participate from home, club, mobile, or portable stations. They try to contact as many participating NWS offices as possible. Certificates are available to participants who contact a threshold number of other stations.

Although Skywarn Recognition Day is intended principally as a fun operating event, EmComm-focused amateurs can use this as a great learning opportunity, because Skywarn Recognition Day is a great emergency communications exercise. In some cases, operations at NWS offices are like a winter Field Day, in which visiting hams set up several additional stations and antennas to supplement the stations permanently installed at the office. And maximizing the number of participating stations contacted requires operating skills similar to those needed in an emergency.

The National Weather Service is an important served agency for amateurs throughout the region. Can your station communicate directly with the Romeoville forecast office via simplex? If you now expect to use one of NWS' selected liaison repeaters, and that repeater is out of service, will you be able to use one of the other repeaters? Skywarn Recognition Day will give you an opportunity to find out.

How to participate:

  1. Review the Skywarn Recognition Day information at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/hamradio.
  2. Make contacts with WX9LOT, the station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville, IL on as many of the repeaters listed below as you can. See "Special Note" below.
  3. Make a simplex contact with WX9LOT on one or both of 2m and 70cm.
  4. If you have HF privileges, make contacts with WX9LOT and as many other participating Skywarn Recognition Day stations as you can on HF.
  5. If you want a certificate or QSL cards from participating NWS Skywarn Recognition Day stations, follow the instructions at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/hamradio.

Skywarn Recognition Day is held on the first Saturday of December--in 2013, that's December 7. The event runs from 0000 to 2400 UTC (i.e., the event begins at 1800 CST on Friday and runs through 1800 CST Saturday).

Special Note

WX9LOT at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville makes a special effort to contact hams in the 23 counties of the NWS Chicago County Warning Area (CWA) on the 2m and 70cm bands. Repeaters typically used include:

RepeaterOutput FrequencyPLOffset
Valparaiso, Indiana147.105 Mhzpl 131.8+
FishFAR--Schaumburg442.900pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Gilberts442.925pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Joliet442.925pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Chicago442.975pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Gilberts146.925pl 100.0
Dupage Radio Club442.550pl 114.8+
Kankakee, Illinois146.94 Mhzpl 107.2+
Grundy County, Illinois442.325 Mhzpl 114.8+
Ogle county, Illinois147.165 Mhzpl 146.2+
Corrections from NB9R and AB9MZ applied.

Contact Cook County ARES

For more information on how you can be a part of ARES in Cook County, Illinois, contact:
   Neil Ormos N9NL
District Emergency Coordinator, ARES Region 4
(Cook, DuPage, Lake Counties)
2700 S. Briarwood Drive West
Arlington Heights    IL    60005-4603
Tel:   +1 847 477 7104
E-mail: ares1 at-the-domain N9NL.com

Outside of Cook, DuPage, or Lake Counties? Visit the Illinois Section ARES page at http://www.qsl.net/ares-il/ to find the ARES unit serving your county.

 

 


Trademark acknowledgements:  
  • Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceARES, and A R R L  are registered trademarks of American Radio Relay League, Incorporated, 225 Main St., Newington CT 06111.
  • Skywarn  is a registered trademark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC 20230-0001.


 

Page Version: 2014-02-27 10:58:09 NRO