Are you involved in ARES or RACES? Does your local group do a simulated emergency test (SET)? If they do, the national SET is coming up in October on the 7th and 8th. This is the perfect time for your local group to set up an emergency drill.
Why should you drill?
Anytime you have a large group of people in multiple agencies it is a good idea to get together at least once a year so that you know and they know what each other can do.
In my local county we do a large scale drill at least once a year. We bring together law enforcemnt, fire departments, EMS personnel, emergency management personnel, local businesses, and many others so that everybody knows what everybody else can do.
In the county that I work at we have a nuclear power plant and we are required by the federal government to have a large scale drill at least once a year. We had ours a couple weeks ago and it went really well. The plant borders two counties, so not only were we involved in my local county but also the neighboring county.
Drills are also a good way to learn what to do and what not to do and to learn from mistakes that are made so that they are not made during an actual emergency.
Below is the official announcement from the ARRL on when the National SET will be:
The main weekend for the 2017 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is only a little more than a month away — Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8. This primary League-sponsored national emergency exercise is designed to assess the skills and preparedness of ARES and other organizations involved with emergency and disaster response.
“Every local ARES team and/or ARRL Section will come up with their own scenarios and work with served agencies and partner organizations during the SET,” said ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor Steve Ewald, WV1X, who pointed out that not all SETs will take place on the first full weekend of October.
“SETs can be scheduled at the local and Section levels and conducted throughout the fall season to help maximize participation,” Ewald said, “and ARRL Field Organization leaders have the option of conducting their SETs on another weekend if October 7 and 8 are not convenient.”
ARRL Field Organization Leaders — Section Managers, Section Emergency Coordinators, Section Traffic Managers, District Emergency Coordinators, Emergency Coordinators, and all of their Assistants and Net Managers — are among those tasked with developing plans and scenarios for this year’s SET, Ewald explained.
“The SET invites all radio amateurs to become aware of emergency preparedness and available training,” Ewald said. “ARES, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), National Traffic Systemâ¢, SKYWARN, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), and other allied groups and public service-oriented radio amateurs are encouraged to participate.”
The object of the annual nationwide exercise is to test training and skills and to try out new methods. “It’s a time to work with partner organizations and served agencies to get to know them better and to determine their needs before an emergency or disaster strikes,” Ewald said. “Knowing who to contact within partner groups with the planned procedures will help everyone accomplish their goals and succeed in their missions.”
To get involved, contact your local ARRL Emergency Coordinator or Net Manager. See the ARRL Sections pages or get in touch with your ARRL Section Manager (see page 16 of QST for contact information). Read more.
Again this would be the perfect time for your local area ARES team to hold its annual drill so that you’ll know what you need to work on.