WC-ARES COMM PLAN


 
 

1
THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE® EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
January 23, 2012
1. INTRODUCTION
a. The Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service ® (ARES) functions under the direction of the Williamson County Emergency Coordinator (EC), and the District Emergency Coordinator who is appointed by the South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) with the support of the Williamson County Amateur Radio Club.
b. The Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is composed of FCC licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and equipment for emergency communications service.
c. Under Federal regulations, the contents of messages handled by amateur radio are not divulged to unauthorized persons and such public service communications are furnished without compensation of any kind.
d. The EC may appoint Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC) sufficient to function efficiently.
2. PURPOSE
a. The purpose of this plan is to provide a written guide containing the minimum information that would be needed in an emergency. Each emergency is different and flexibility is a necessity to provide an adequate response.
b. The primary responsibility of Williamson County ARES is to furnish emergency communications in the event of a natural or a man-made disaster when regular communications fail or become inadequate.
c. All drills, training and instruction shall be carried out to ensure readiness to respond quickly in providing effective emergency communications.
d. The following jurisdictions/agencies shall be served, as requested, in an emergency:
1. Incorporated Jurisdictions in Williamson County.
2. The Unincorporated Area or Populations under the authority of the Williamson County Judge and the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management.
3. The American Red Cross
4. Police and Fire Departments
5. Hospitals and Nursing Homes
6. The District Emergency Coordinator, South Texas Section of the ARRL, when surrounding counties request assistance.
7. The State of Texas Division of Emergency Management
8. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
3. PLAN ACTIVATION
a. Any member of the Williamson County ARES who becomes aware that a communications emergency may exist, should contact the EC and if unavailable any AEC and monitor the Williamson County Emergency Net repeater for activity. (Emergency repeater frequencies and tones are documented in Appendix 1
b. If local telephone service is available, the EC and/or Assistant ECs shall be notified by telephone or by any other means available. Paging can also be used as described in Appendix 3.
c. In any emergency in which amateur radio is requested to serve, amateur radio operators may be alerted by any City/County Emergency Management Coordinator, Red Cross, or State official notifying the EC. In the event the EC is unavailable, an Assistant EC shall be notified. The Assistant will attempt to notify the EC periodically.
4. MOBILIZATION
a. The EC will notify ARES members by using the paging systems described in Appendix 3. If the Emergency Management Coordinator of the affected jurisdiction considers the emergency of
2
sufficient magnitude, the ARES EC may contact local Television Media to assist in the activation of the members for immediate service.
b. The EC, or operator designated by him, will transmit on each of the three main VHF 2-Meter repeaters, in turn, advising all stations of the ARES® activation and request that all operators switch to the ARES® frequency for further instruction.
c. Upon the awareness that a communications emergency exists, members of the Williamson County ARES will check-in on the Williamson County Emergency Net and then maintain radio silence pending further direction from the Net Control Station. (Emergency frequencies are documented in Appendix 1)
d. Mobile and Portable units will be activated at the direction of the EC/AEC.
e. The EC will assume NET CONTROL or delegate another operator to act as Net Control Station (NCS) (See Appendix: 1).
f. Net Control Stations will be activated for every served agency requesting one if resources allow.
g. VHF frequencies will be used unless otherwise directed by the EC.
h. HF stations will be established as needed at a location away from the disaster site at the residence(s) of an ARES operator (or operators) unless portable HF stations are required. HF stations will maintain a link with the NCS (see Appendix 1) and use appropriate HF frequencies (see Appendix 5).
i. Operators with pre-assigned operating positions/locations shall contact the EC/AEC to determine if they should proceed to their operating locations immediately or standby on the primary net frequency for further instructions.
5. DUTIES OF NET CONTROL STATION, (NCS)
a. The Williamson County Emergency Net will be activated by the Net Control Station. Stations will be fully advised as to the nature of the activation.
b. CHECK-IN STATIONS Stations will be checked in from their home stations, mobiles, portable stations and handheld radios. All stations shall standby for further instructions. Pre-assigned station operators will be deployed to their Served Agency as safety conditions and need is determined (see 4.i). Operators of hand-held portables will be advised to save batteries by switching them off while in hearing distance of a non-battery operated unit. Mobile operators will be reminded to re-fuel if possible and run engines only when necessary. Stations operating from generators will be reminded to arrange for fuel. An inventory list will be made of operators and equipment for possible assignment as relief operators.
c. HF liaison stations may be assigned to the Texas Traffic Net. See Appendix 5 for frequency information. If possible an EOC liaison on 2 meters will be assigned to HF liaison stations for maintaining contact with EOC NCS on the assigned VHF frequency.
d. The NCS will establish other nets as conditions dictate, on various frequencies, for handling Welfare type traffic. An incoming and outgoing traffic system will be established with mobile runners. NCS OPERATOR, DEPLOYED NCS AND LIAISON STATION relief shift schedules shall be developed when 8 hour or longer operation is needed.
e. Operators on each net should wear HEADPHONES at agencies to reduce background noise and to reduce audible interference.
f. Mobiles and Portables will be dispatched as needed. The location of each will be noted at all times by the NCS. Once deployed they should use a tactical call sign. (This helps everyone to know where they are and that they will need a relief operator)
h.
6. OPERATIONS
a. MESSAGES
1) Winlink based e-mail
3
a. In no event should time critical information be sent via Winlink without voice tracking to insure delivery has occurred.
b. Local messages should be sent with Winlink when messages are not time critical. This system allows greater accuracy and message through-put when this system is available.
c. See Appendix 2 for a list of local Winlink server station including HF nodes. These resources must be monitored to insure that local Internet service is functioning at a particular node.
2) Formal Messages
Formal messages should follow proper National Traffic System procedures as outlined in Appendix 4.
3) Tactical Messages
Tactical Emergency messages, such as FIRE, POLICE or Life-or-Death situations do NOT require NUMBERS. They also do NOT need to be in formal message format when timeliness is more important than form.
These are first priority messages and we use "Break, Break!" to get attention of the NCS, between transmissions. When accepting such messages for transmission, require only the following information:
To (Example: Georgetown Fire)
What (Example: Pumper)
Why (Example: Structure fire)
Where (Example: Georgetown High School)
Who (Example: Lt. Scott Gibson, GTN Fire)
b. TRANSMITTING Stations do not transmit unless invited to do so by the Net Control (NCS).
1) Exceptions:
-Stations having Emergency traffic
-To recheck into the net after having been directed by NCS to pass traffic on a different frequency.
2) Keep transmissions short and to the point.
3) New stations on the net should wait for an invitation to check in from NCS unless they have traffic for the net. If they hold emergency or priority traffic, they should check in when the current exchange is completed.
4) Station previously checked in wishing to call NCS should do so by transmitting “recheck”. NCS will recognize the station in a first come basis.
5) Use of “break, break” should only be use when emergency traffic is pending.
7. DRILLS, TESTS AND ALERTS
a. An annual test will be conducted during October of each year in conjunction with the nationwide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) sponsored by ARRL, or at such other time as determined by the EC. Periodic exercises will be conducted in cooperation with the Williamson County Emergency Management Coordinator or other served agencies.
b. The Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Training Net will be held at 8:00 P.M., local time, every Sunday night, on the Williamson County Emergency Net repeater (See Appendix 1).
c. At the discretion of the EC, ARES will be activated unannounced at least once a year.
d. A Standard Operating Procedure detailing emergency response procedures and actions shall be written and attached to this plan.
e. The Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Plan and the Standard Operating Procedure shall be reviewed annually with updates as necessary to keep this plan current and viable.
8. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
a. All licensed amateur radio operators are eligible for ARES membership.
b. All members must be willing to provide emergency communications services when requested and when personal circumstances permit.
c. All members must be willing to participate in local training activities on a regular basis.
4
d. Application for membership is made by entering the requested personal information on the South Texas Section web site. Membership is at the approval of the EC.
Jim Hester, K5HTK
Williamson County ARES® Emergency Coordinator
Signed: /s/ Jim Hester
5
APPENDIX 1: REPEATER AND SIMPLEX RESOURCES
Primary emergency net repeater: N5TT 146.64 (-) MHz (PL 162.2)
Secondary emergency repeater N5MNW 146.700 (-) MHz (PL 110.9)
Tertiary emergency net repeater: NA6M 147.08 (+) MHz (PL 100.0)
Other local repeaters that may be used include:
W3MRC 146.900 (-) MHz 3M Austin
KE5ZW 146.680 (-) MHz Cedar Park (PL 123.0) WCARES and TCARES Interops
W2MN 146.980 (-) MHz Cedar Park (PL 103.5)
K5AB 147.380 (+) MHz Florence (PL 100.0) (Will become Secondary after final installation)
WC5EOC 145.450 (-) MHz Taylor (PL162.2)
UHF Repeaters (not preferred – 2M is primary band)
KE5ZW 443.775 (+) MHz (PL 131.8)
KE5ZW 442.650 (-) MHz (PL 114.8)
NA6M 444.525 (+) MHz (PL 100.0)
W5TEY 442.825 (+) MHz (PL 114.8)
D-STAR Repeaters:
KE5RCS 145.130 (-) MHz Walburg (“C” node)
440.575 (+) MHz Walburg (“B” node)
Note: The plan refers to the “Primary emergency repeater”. That would be the repeater listed as primary above unless otherwise indicated by the EC or if that repeater is not functional. Normally the EC would next choose the secondary repeater, or the tertiary repeater if the secondary were not functional. Users should program their radios for all of the repeater and simplex frequencies in advance of an emergency.
N5TT repeater notes:
Trustee: N5TW Tom Whiteside 512-863-6865
146.64 (-) MHz (PL 162.2)
DTMF Codes:
NA6M repeater notes:
Trustee: NA6M Mark Stennett
VHF Repeater (147.080 MHz)
Repeater is primary emergency repeater for the Lone Star Storm spotters.
This repeater is an Echolink resource (node 147080) that can be used to link in other emergency communications in other areas. To connect to another node on the Echolink network, key your radio and touch tone in the node number you want to connect to. To disconnect, press #. To disconnect all connections, key up and press ##. To list connections, key up and press 08. Two digit shortcuts are assigned to frequently used nodes or conferences. To add a shortcut, contact Mark Stennett, NA6M.
168
Carrier Access Enabled
169
Tone Access Enabled
170
Morse system and battery voltage report
171
Morse cabinet temperature report
173
Restore normal courtesy beep
174
Set courtesy beep to Morse “W” to indicate a weather warning
175
Reduced power (5W) for battery operation – this command is initiated upon losing power
176
Forces high power (20W) in battery mode. A Morse “B” indicates battery operation
6
ECHOLINK COMMANDS
OPERATION CMD Disconnect # Disconnect All ## Status 08
NA6M Repeater notes continued:
DTMF Codes:
*168
Carrier Access Enabled
*169
Tone Access Enabled
*180
Repeaters Stand Alone, No Internet Links
*181
VHF & UHF Repeaters Bridged, No Internet Links
*182
Echolink on VHF Enabled
*183
Echolink on VHF Disabled
*189
Repeaters Unlinked, Internet Linked
UHF Repeater (444.525 MHz; offset +5 MHz, PL 100.0)
IRLP Node 3402
Normally connected to Reflector 9873 and N6ICW in Sacramento, K5RNB in Dallas.
Simplex Frequencies
The following simplex frequencies are recommended. These are based on the 15 kHz spacing recommended in the ARRL Repeater Directory and are consistent with the Texas VHF Society published 2M band plan recommendations (as of June 3, 2007 per the Society’s web page)
146.415
146.430
146.505
146.520 = National Calling Frequency
146.535
146.550
146.565
146.580
147.400
147.415
147.430 = Simplex Primary Frequency
147.500
147.515
147.530
147.545
147.560
147.575
147.590
As with repeaters, these simplex frequencies should be programmed into radios prior to an emergency.
7
STX ARES Section 7 Repeaters (Source-STXARRL Web Site)
Dist
county
Type
Name
Comment
Repeater Freq
Repeater Tone
Repeater Offset
updated
D01
Galveston
EOC
Galveston County OEM
442.225
131.8
Plus
06/01/2011
D01
Galveston
EOC
County Office of Emergency Management
Co-located with NWS Houston/Galveston
145.410
131.8
Minus
06/01/2011
D01
Waller
other
Ken Miller
146.72
123.0
Minus
06/01/2011
D02
Angelina
jumpkit
ARES Portable equipment
444.975
141.3
Plus
12/02/2011
D02
Angelina
other
Saltgrass Repeater
444.425
203.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Angelina
other
W5IRP 2M Repeater
146.940
141.3
Minus
06/01/2011
D02
Angelina
Other
W5IRP 70CM Repeater
444.975
107.2
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
EOC
Office of Emergency Management
Generator backup
147.040
131.6
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
other
Repeater #3
147.160
103.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
other
Repeater #4
442.300
146.2
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
other
Saltgrass UHF
Generator / battery backup.
443.125
103.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
other
VHF Repeater #1
Generator / Battery
147.040
136.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Polk
other
VHF Repeater - #2
Battery
145.350
131.8
Minus
06/01/2011
D02
Walker
firestation
Huntsville Firestation #2
146.860
Minus
06/01/2011
D02
Walker
other
Walker County
442.850
127.3
Plus
06/01/2011
D02
Walker
other
Walker County (W5SAM)
147.180
136.5
Minus
06/01/2011
D04
Bee
EOC
EOC
Equip. available- not installed. Limited HF 40m-6m.
147.300
107.2
Plus
06/01/2011
D05
Leon
EOC
Leon County EOC
EOC is located on 3rd floor of Annex build
147.280
146.2
Plus
08/10/2011
D06
Bandera
EOC
Bandera County EOC
147.280
156.2
Plus
06/01/2011
D07
Travis
other
TCARES Prim.
147.360
131.8
Plus
06/01/2001
D07
Travis
other
Austin AARC W5KA
Battery, Generator
146.780
107.2
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Travis
other
Austin AARC W5KA,
146.880
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Travis
other
Austin AARC W5KA
146.940
107.2
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Travis
other
Austin AARC W5KA,
444.100
Plus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
K5AB
147.380
100.0
Plus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
KE5ZW
Battery, generator
146.680
123.0
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
KE5ZW
Battery, Generator
442.650
114.8
Plus
06/01/2011
8
D07
Williamson
other
KE5ZW
Generator
443.775
131.8
Plus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
N5MNW
146.700
110.9
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
NA6M
Generator backup
147.080
100.0
Plus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
Taylor (WC5EOC)
145.450
162.2
Minus
06/01/2011
D07
Williamson
other
WCARC (N5TT)
Battery bkup. Pwr auto reduced from 25W to 5W
146.640
162.2
Minus
06/01/2011
D08
McCulloch
other
KC5EZZ
Heart of Texas Ham Operators Group (HOT-HOG)
146.900
162.2
Minus
06/01/2011
D08
McCulloch
other
WA5HOT
444.875
162.2
Plus
06/01/2011
D09
Jasper
other
W5JAS Club "go kit"
portable antenna and sectional fiberglas...
147.000
118.8
Minus
06/01/2011
D09
Jefferson
other
Jefferson County ARC
145.470
103.5
Minus
06/01/2011
D09
Jefferson
police
Port Arthur Police
147.200
118.8
Plus
10/10/2011
D09
Orange
other
Dupont - Sabine River Works
147.060
103.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D09
Orange
hospital
Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital
147.180
103.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D09
Orange
other
Orange County Road and Bridge
147.180
103.5
Plus
06/01/2011
D10
Victoria
other
W5DSC
145.190
103.5
Minus
06/01/2011
D12
Atascosa
eoc
Atascosa County EOC
battery backup and emergency gen.
145.430
100.0
Minus
08/24/2011
D15
Cameron
other
Brownsville - repeater 2
146.700
Minus
06/01/2011
D15
Cameron
eoc
Brownsville EOC
147.040
Plus
06/01/2011
9
APPENDIX 2: WINLINK FACILITIES
Winlink VHF server nodes:
KD4HNX-11 144.91MHz 1200 baud Round Rock Medical Center KD4HNX-5 digi
N5EXY-10 144.91MHz 1200 baud Scott and White Hospital Taylor N5EXY-5 digi
NA5BD-10 144.91MHz 1200 baud Seton Medical Center Williamson NA5BD-5 digi
N5TW-13 144.91MHz 1200 baud RMS Relay node N5TW-5 digipeater
N5TW-12 145.03MHz 1200 baud RMS Relay node N5TW-5 digipeater
KE5AMB-10 145.03MHz 1200baud Bastrop DEM use BASRLY-2
W5RLY-8 145.03MHz 1200 baud Burnet County Sheriff's Office
W5RLY-10 145.03MHz 1200 baud Burnet County use K5HLA-1 or N5TW-5 digi
W9BF-10 145.03MHz 1200 baud Liberty Hill W9BF-5 digipeater
W5TQ-12 145.07MHz 1200 baud CTECC RMS Relay node (Austin)
KB5TWO-10 145.61MHz 1200 baud Round Rock Fire Station #6 (Backup EOC)
KD4HNX-10 145.61MHz 1200 baud St. David’s Georgetown Hospital
N5TW-10 145.61MHz 1200 baud RMS Relay node N5TW-5 digipeater
NA5BD-11 145.61MHz 1200 baud Scott & White University Med Center NA5BD-5 digi
W2MN-10 145.61MHz 1200 baud Cedar Park Regional Medical Center W2MN-5 digi
W2MN-11 145.61MHz 1200 baud Cedar Park Police Department (EOC) W2MN-6 digi
K5KTF-10 145.61MHz 1200 baud Cedar Park K5KTF-5 digi
KE5RS-10 145.73MHz 1200 baud Leander (KA Node “LEAKA”) use AUSRLY-1 digi
W5TQ-10 145.73MHz 1200 baud CTECC RMS Relay node Austin use AUSRLY-1
NQ5L-11 various 1200 baud Portable node. Frequency assigned if deployed
N5TW-11 various 1200 baud Portable node. Frequency assigned if deployed
HF RMS (Remote Message Server) nodes for EMCOMM use are not publicly listed. There are a number of such sites with N5TW hosting one for Williamson County and the surrounding area. Frequency information is available from the EC or the Digital AEC or the document vault for the www.arrlstx.org website.
In the event of an Internet failure, not all VHF server nodes will necessarily be using the same Internet providers and so not all nodes may be affected. In the event of a widespread Internet outage taking out service over the area, the RMS Relay capability at N5TW may be used to provide local “hubbing” of email distribution and route outside the local area to a distant Internet connection using HF forwarding if a control operator is present CTECC also runs RMS Relay but without HF forwarding.
Default RMS EOC usage: Stations are deployed on multiple frequencies to maximize bandwidth. Stations continuing to have an Internet connection should use Telnet to preserve bandwidth for stations having to rely on much slower packet connections. Since the St. David’s Georgetown Hospital (SDGH), the Round Rock Medical Center (RRMC), Scott and White Hospital Taylor (SWHT), Scott and White University Medical Campus (SWUMC), the Seton Medical Center Williamson (SMCW), the Cedar Park EOC and Round Rock Fire station #6 (RR FS#6) are RMS Packet nodes as well as Paclink stations, their frequencies would normally not be changed. These stations should use an RMS Packet station on their frequency for sending/receiving mail. All other things being equal use the strongest station continuing to have an Internet connection. So here are the defaults for an area wide emergency:
RMS Packet nodes Users
RRMC, SWHT, SMCW, N5TW-13 RRMC, SWHT, SMCW, Williamson County EOC,
Georgetown EOC, portable users
SDGH, RR FS#6, CP EOC, SWUMC, N5TW-10 SDGH, RR FS#6, CP EOC, SWUMC
N5TW-12, W9BF-10 Reserve for Bastrop/ Burnet Counties and other distant users
KE5RS-10 Reserve – save for wide area users
See http://n5tw.ecpi.com/RMSStatus for current RMS Packet status and other area stations.
10
APPENDIX 3: WC-ARES PAGING FACILITIES
Purpose:
This section gives a general outline of how to use the Page Alert System in the event a WC-ARES Net or activation is needed. Our primary alert system is the Page Alert System Contacting members via the roster is a backup system.
How the Page Alert System works:
The Page Alert System uses pagers and cell phones that can receive SMS (Short Message Service) text messages to alert WC-ARES members when a Net is activated. Even when cell phone circuits are overloaded with calls, SMS messages generally get through. By using SMS messages we have the redundancy of the Internet and various pager/cell phone providers to get the activation notice.
Who should activate a Net and when?
Before the lights go out and the telephone lines go dead the person receiving the request should activate the Net. If they have any reservations they should at least alert the EC/AECs and or NCSs. There is a sub-set of the Page Alert System to activate the EC, AECs and NCSs.
What should the Page Alert Message say?
Say the most with the least words without wasting time figuring out what to say. Keep the messages shorter than 120 charters including spaces. If the message is to long it will get broken into smaller messages which cause delays. Examples:
WC-ARES Net 146.640 Now! Your Call Sign.
WC-ARES Net 146.640 5 alarm fire GTWN. Your Call Sign.
WC-ARES Net 146.640 Tornado reported West of Hutto. Your Call Sign.
WC-ARES Net 146.640 HAZMAT spill I-35 N of Round Rock. Your Call Sign.
Why waste time stating the Net is for WC-ARES?
Our Page Alert System also activates the Duty Officers for Travis County ARES.
Can I test the Page Alert System?
Yes, if you want to send out the Alert(s) for our weekly ARES Nets contact Dallas, KD4HNX, at 255-1047 for the details. You can test your ability to receive pages by sending an email to pageme at arrlstx dot org . (Use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. format.)
Do I have to use a PC to activate the Net?
No, you can use a cell phone or two way pager that has SMS capabilities to send a short message to the paging address.
Options for paging exist using the ARRLSTX.org site. See the documentation for the “Information Depot” available from the ARRLSTX document vault for more information on paging.
Paging addresses: (use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. format)
Page at arrlstx dot org to page the entire group
Add Your SMS Device to the Page Alert System:
All members are encouraged to add your device (cell phone or pager) to the Pager Alert System. To do so, make sure your cell and cell carrier information in the ARRLSTX database is accurate.
11
APPENDIX 4: FORMAL TRAFFIC GUIDELINES
Definition: Formal messages are those which request material or services which may require payment or replacement.
Message Forms: Some formal messages must be written in standard ARRL format. The served agency representative can create his printed message on the Message Forms provided by the radio operator for that purpose. Some formal messages must be written in ICS format. Again, the radio operator can provide the appropriate forms.
Message Precedence: The Operator must assign the message an ARRL PRECEDENCE, defined on ARRL CD Form 3. This PRECEDENCE will be used on all messages.
Signature: All FORMAL MESSAGES require the SIGNATURE and TITLE of the Originator. MESSAGES RECEIVED REQUESTING MATERIALS OR SERVICES WHICH MAY LATER REQUIRE PAYMENT WILL NOT BE TRANSMITTED UNTIL SIGNED AND TITLE SHOWN.
Save Messages: All Operators must save his copy of all such messages.
Winlink systems can be used to send and receive NTS formatted messages when it makes sense to do so by using appropriate templates.
APPENDIX 5: HF NET FREQUENCIES
HF frequencies used by the Texas Traffic Net:
Daytime: 7290 KHz
Nighttime: 3873 KHz
(NOTE: If neither band works and close-in operation is desired, it is possible that 60M will be usable. An NVIS antenna may be necessary.)
Packet operation should be used whenever possible to expedite message handling.
HF frequencies used by the Texas Emergency Net:
Daytime: 7285 KHz
Nighttime: 3873 KHz