Thursday, May 21, 2015

Potential Flooding

As with any disaster, preparation can save lives and reduce losses. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for floods by:
  • Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and petsat a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
  • Downloading the FREE Red Cross Flood App: The free mobile app, available for Android and iPhone platforms, will walk you through what to do before, during and after floods. You can set it to provide alerts when there is a NOAA Flood Watch or Warning in your area.
  • Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Have supplies in case you have to shelter-in-place or evacuate. Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.
  • Heeding Flood Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information. A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A food WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  •  Relocating During Flood Warnings: Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, stop, turn around and go another way. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  For more information on flood preparedness, visit
We urge you to share these Red Cross flood preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do you have what it takes to be an Official Relay Station

Official Relay Station

This is a traffic-handling appointment that is open to all classes of license. This appointment applies equally to all modes and all parts of the spectrum. It is for traffic-handlers, regardless of mode employed or part of the spectrum used.
The potential value of the skilled operator with traffic know-how to his country and community is enhanced by his ability and the readiness of his station to function in the community interest in case of emergency. Traffic awareness and experience are often the signs by which mature amateurs may be distinguished.
Traditionally, there have been considerable differences between procedures for traffic handling by cw, phone, RTTY, ASCII, packet and other modes. Appointment requirements for ORS do not deal with these, but with factors equally applicable to all modes. The appointed ORS may confine activities to one mode or one part of the spectrum if he wishes. There is no versatility requirement, although versatility does indeed make it possible for anyone to perform a more complete public service. There is, however, the expectation that the ORS will set the example in traffic handling however it is done. To the extent that he is deficient in performing traffic functions by any mode, to that extent he does not meet the qualifications for the appointment.
The requirements and qualifications for the position include:
  • Full ARRL membership and Novice Class license or higher
  • Code and/or voice transmission capability
  • Transmissions, by whatever mode, must be of the highest quality, both technically and operationally. For example, cw signals must be pure, chirpless, clickless, code sending must be well spaced and properly formed. Voice transmission must be of proper modulation percentage or deviation, precisely enunciated with minimum distortion
  • Must follow standard ARRL operating practices (message form, ending signals, abbreviations or prowords, etc.)
  • Regular participation in traffic activities, either independent or ARRL-sponsored.
  • Being able to handle all record communications speedily and reliably and set the example in efficient operating procedures
  • Reporting monthly to the STM, including a breakdown of traffic handled during the past calendar month
  • Recruitment of new hams and ARRL members is an integral part of the job of every ARRL appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.

Official Relay Station

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do you have what it takes to be an Official Emergency Station

Official Emergency Station (OES)

Amateur operators may be appointed as an Official Emergency Station (OES) by their Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) or Section Manager (SM) at the recommendation of the EC, or DEC (if no EC) holding jurisdiction. The OES appointee must be an ARRL member and set high standards of emergency preparedness and operating. The OES appointee makes a deeper commitment to the ARES program in terms of functionality than does the rank-and-file ARES registrant.
The OES appointee is appointed to carry out specific functions and assignments designated by the appropriate EC or DEC. The OES appointee and the presiding EC or DEC, at the time of the OES appointment, will mutually develop a detailed, operational function/assignment and commitment for the new appointee. Together, they will develop a responsibility plan for the individual OES appointee that makes the best use of the individual's skills and abilities. During drills and actual emergency situations, the OES appointee will be expected to implement his/her function with professionalism and minimal supervision.
Requirements: Full ARRL membership; Experience as an ARES registrant; Regular participation in the local ARES organization including drills and test; Participation in emergency nets and actual emergency situations; Regular reporting of activities; Encouraged to earn certification in Level 1of the ARRL Emergency Communications Course.
  • OPERATIONS--Responsible for specific, pre-determined operational assignments during drills or actual emergency situations. Examples include: Net Control Station or Net Liaison for a specific ARES net; Manage operation of a specified ARES VHF or HF digital BBS or MBO, or point-to-point link; Operate station at a specified emergency management office, Red Cross shelter or other served agency operations point.
  • ADMINISTRATION--Responsible for specific, pre-determined administrative tasks as assigned in the initial appointment commitment by the presiding ARES official. Examples include: Recruitment of ARES members; liaison with Public Information Officer to coordinate public information for the media; ARES registration data base management; victim/refugee data base management; equipment inventory; training; reporting; and post-event analysis.
  • LIAISON--Responsible for specific, pre-determined liaison responsibilities as assigned by the presiding EC or DEC. Examples include: Maintaining contact with assigned served agencies; Maintaining liaison with specified NTS nets; Maintaining liaison with ARES officials in adjacent jurisdictions; Liaison with mutual assistance or "jump" teams.
  • LOGISTICS--Responsible for specific, pre-determined logistical functions as assigned. Examples include: Transportation; Supplies management and procurement (food, fuel, water, etc.); Equipment maintenance and procurement--radios, computers, generators, batteries, antennas.
  • MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT --Responsible for serving as an assistant manager to the EC, DEC or SEC based on specific functional assignments or geographic areas of jurisdiction.
  • CONSULTING--Responsible for consulting to ARES officials in specific area of expertise.
  • OES appointees may be assigned to pre-disaster, post-disaster, and recovery functions. These functions must be specified in the OES's appointment commitment plan.
  • The OES appointee is expected to participate in planning meetings, and post-event evaluations. Following each drill or actual event, the EC/DEC and the OES appointee should review and update the OES assignment as required. The OES appointee must keep a detailed log of events during drills and actual events in his/her sphere of responsibility to facilitate this review.
  • Continuation of the appointment is at the discretion of the appointing official, based upon the OES appointee's fulfillment of the tasks he/she has agreed to perform.
Recruitment of new hams and ARRL members is an integral part of the job of every ARRL appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.

Official Emergency Station

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