ARES Activation Procedures and Protocols by yaofenji


									    ARES Activation
Procedures and Protocols

       San Benito County
Amateur Radio Emergency Services
                   From the Monterey County Version
Presented by Dan, W6FDO, Monterey County District Emergency Coordinator
     Emergency Communications in
           Amateur Radio
• Amateur Radio Emergency Communicators are
  involved in several different types of emergency
  communications organizations…
• ARRL’s ARES has longest history of public service
  of any of the above providers and is also the
• Most San Benito County Amateur Radio
  emergency communications volunteers are part
  of ARES
• Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
• RACES is limited to providing government-to-
  government communications for local or state
  civil defense or government emergency
  preparedness agencies
• Supported by FEMA
                  ARES versus RACES
               ARES                                    RACES
1.   ARRL Field Organization            1.   Official government radio
2.   Centered around served                  communication service
     agencies, both government and      2.   Centered around local & state
     non-government                          government and government
3.   Few restrictions, very flexible,        emergency management
     can talk to just about anybody
                                        3.   Limited to government-to-
4.   Activated based upon served             government communications, drill
     agency’s needs at the EC’s              time limits, message content
                                             restrictions, etc.
5.   ARES EC in charge of ARES
     communicators                      4.   Requires official government
                                        5.   Directed by the government, under
                                             strict government supervision
                More on
            ARES versus RACES
• Both ARES & RACES have their strengths and
  – RACES can operate when all other communication
    is prohibited
  – ARES is considered a more flexible service
• Dual membership may be encouraged later,
  but there is no RACES group in San Benito
  County at this time.
      Our ARES Service to OES:
  “Emergency Management Support”
• OES is one of our ARES served agencies
     • ARES operators are a County Emergency Services
       communications resource
     • A part of the County’s Incident Command System
• OES Emergency Manager advises the EC where
  communication support is most needed,
  therefore allocating the ARES unit’s
  communication abilities just like any other
  important EM resource
   Emergency Management Support
“When you look closely at ARES and RACES, the
major difference in any emergency operation is
direction and control. In an ARES operation,
amateurs work with the local emergency
management coordinator under the direction and
control of the local ARES EC. In a RACES operation,
amateurs work for the local emergency
management coordinator under his RACES Radio
Officer’s direction and control.”
                          ARECC Course III, Learning unit 5
          Who ARES Serves During an
 The agencies we have or will have relationships with:
      OES
      San Benito EOC
      Red Cross
      Salvation Army
      Hazel Hawkins Hospital
      CDF
      etc…
 Relationships based upon MOUs
  (Memorandas of Understanding)
      and more importantly…
 Agency membership & involvement (face time)
                     The EC
Field Operations are centered around the EC
    The key team leader at the local level

Each EC coordinates emergency
 communications for their jurisdiction

EC is the one in charge of all ARES
 communication resources
      San Benito County ARES
     Organizational Chart (draft)
  Jim Clark                   DEC
                       Kathy Hill – KB6INO

Hollister EC            Aromas/SJB EC        South County EC
 Unfilled                  Unfilled              Unfilled

    Red Cross
Brad Klemek – KJ6ATF
     Because we are a small group
          in a large county…
• Unlike Silicon Valley
  (where each city has
  dozens of hams), the
  pool of operators in
  San Benito County
  work wherever
  necessary, especially
  in a small scenario
      San Benito County ARES Recon Levels
                  ARES Emergency Readiness Conditions (RECON)
 ARES maintains a given Ready Condition (RECON) at all times. As a situation develops the current RECON level may
     change. All ARES members should be responsible for knowing the present RECON.

                                          Ready Condition (RECON)
 1)     Imminent Danger. Severe weather warnings or actual conditions (i.e. high winds, tornado, or
        flooding). ARES is activated with all available resources. Assignments issued via radio.
 2)     Alert. Severe weather warnings (i.e. high winds, high water, or tornado, flash flood, or storm
        warning). Members that are available to respond are instructed to have all portable gear
        ready and be monitoring the coordinated frequencies.
 3)     Caution. Situation that presents a potential threat. Members should monitor the coordinated
        frequencies or advise how they may be reached.
 4)     Awareness. Higher level of readiness. Could be triggered by the onset of a particular hazard
        vulnerability season, such as hurricane, tornado, or flash flood seasons, or increased fire
        threat due to severe drought. Notification of ARES members not yet necessary.
 5)     Situation normal. This is the RECON level ARES is in most of the time.

1)     In the event of a wide spread power failure and/or phone service failure for any reason, ARES is automatically placed
       on RECON 3 and members should be monitoring COORFREQS without notification.
2)     Although all of the COORFREQS have emergency power, should the repeaters be down, use the repeaters output
       frequency and TX/RX simplex.
3)     The current RECON is announced periodically on the primary repeaters.
 When situation is developing…
• Monitor primary ARES frequency for announcements
• Recon 3: Resources will be polled for availability:
   – Telephone tree
   – Members notifying EC of
      their availability
   – Repeater announcements
• Recon 2: Resources will be tallied
  for deployment
   – Ongoing Resource Net
   – Standby and be ready
• ECs/AECs will be in contact with served agencies
• You won’t always know something has happened
     When an Activation Occurs:
                Served Agency Assignments
• Served Agency needs will be
  continuously evaluated by the EC
• Shift assignments are coordinated
  through the supervising EC or the
  Agency EC (AEC) of the served
• Unless you are the EC/AEC or
  appointed member coordinating
  with your served agency:
      Do NOT self-deploy –
      Wait to be assigned!
• Non-ARES served-agency
  deployments will usually be OES
  “Emergency Management Support”
Department. Depending on the length of the emergency, this position will be rotated
on a regular basis during the event. Duties will include:

•Giving direction and control to other Operators not at the EOC as directed by OES
•Contacting outside agencies (i.e. State OES) for assistance and info as directed by OES
•Receiving calls from the local mobile and base operators.
2. MOBILE OPERATORS assigned to a fixed or mobile field location. This would include
assignments at local agencies (cities, fire, staging, shelters, etc.) or on a mobile task

3. HOME BASE STATIONS may provide long-range communications to areas outside
the emergency area. The base stations should also monitor the National Simplex
channel to direct any outside Amateur Radio Operators coming up on the air
volunteering their assistance.
•Where you declare your availability and obtain a communications assignment
•Continues in place for the duration of the event in order to coordinate personnel
and assignments

•Participation limited to assigned operators
•New volunteers appearing on tactical nets should be pointed to resource nets or
given EC contact information
•Net control duty performed in shifts (w/contingency plans and coverage breaks)
•May be combined with resource nets

•Section-level coordination nets
•Digital nets

DEC may contact FCC District Director and request a declaration of a communications
state of emergency
         NETs – Levels 1-4 & 4R
1. REGIONAL NET: COUNTY EOC to STATE OES – Provide direction and control
communications between the County EOC and Regional EOC (REOC) located in
Oakland. The REOC is the regional office for the State OES.
control communication between the County EOC and the Amateur Radio Operator
assigned to a local agency’s headquarters.
communications between the County EOC and deployed mobile or home base
Amateur radio units.
communications between Amateur Radio Operators assigned to local agencies and to
Amateur Radio Operators working under those agencies.

4R. OUTSIDE RESOURCES NET – Used to establish initial communication with other
Amateur Radio Operators who are volunteering their services to the incident.
                After the BIG ONE
               (i.e., an instantaneous mess)
• Available ARES operators gather on
  first available ARES repeater (or
  output simplex)
• No net control? You’re it!
• Gather as much information as you
  can about what has happened
• Start tallying resources
• Determine served agency needs as
  much as possible
• Wait for served agency requests or
  official OES EM (or RACES)
  activation and deployments
• ARES leaders won’t necessarily be
• Share the load and ask for help
  Dealing With Served Agencies
• They are our “Customers”
   – Without them, we are communicators with nothing to do
• Do your best to be courteous and professional
   – “The attitude among a few hams is that Volunteers don’t
     have to take orders. That’s absolutely correct. We don’t
     have to take orders. But if you are not ready to follow
     instructions explicitly, you may want to do something
     outside the scope of ARES.”
• Expect disorganization and possibly some chaos
• Let your EC know as soon as possible if there are
  problems in the relationship
• Our served agencies do appreciate our work – it’s true!
 DOs & DON’Ts during an activation
• DON’T make any statements to the media or the public about the
    – The public Information Officer (PIO) for the agency being served will make all
• DON’T leave your post without informing the EC
    – Be accountable! The situation depends on it.
    – Roaming often equates to unavailability
• Pass served agency & 3rd party traffic exactly as it is written.
    – If you are not the author of the message, DO NOT CHANGE IT.
         • Remember to use formal traffic formats and forms
• Listen!!!
• Take care of your own personal needs (food)
• Stay as “Professional” as possible
    – On the air, there is never a proper time or place for emotional outbursts or
      criticism of any kind.
    – Be patient with the net control operator, they may be under high stress.
• ALWAYS take care of your family, yourself and your own
  personal property before making yourself available for
  communications duty
• Remember, we are NOT first responders
      • If you should hear on your scanner or by other means, that there is
        an emergency in progress somewhere, DO NOT rush in and
        volunteer your services or demand that you be used for
        communications. Nothing is more unwelcome and distasteful to
        the authorities than an uninvited or demanding ham. There is no
        room for ambulance and fire truck chasing in the Amateur Radio
• Follow authority instructions
   – Remember: We are communicators. We do not normally
     make decisions about anything for the authorities
• Don’t try to save the world
Much of this information may be
found with more specifics on our
Emergency Operations Guide on
         our website at
 under “Essential Documents”
   We are a team that works
    extremely well together

The only thing we are asked is to
     do the best that we can.
   San Benito County
Amateur Radio Emergency


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