As we continue our shelter-in-place for the pandemic, it is a good time to keep in contact with our friends by not only the internet but by joining the normal weekly and special nets being held on the repeaters. Many groups have started daily and weekly nets to keeps tabs on each other.
Yesterday, I received an email from the Rhode Island ARES SEC informing all ARES SECs that there is going to be an upcoming national exercise on May 30th with the American Red Cross. The exercise will be formally announced in the upcoming ARES e-Letter. The plan is to be a communications exercise to pass messages from simulated sites for the ARC. I will send more information to the DECs when I have more definitive information. Those county ARES groups that work with the ARC on a regular basis should try to participate.
In the meantime, stay safe. Practice social-distancing and keep in touch on the radio.
District A: Mike Bellinger, K0UAA
Benton Co. – BC ARES members participated in the following nets: MTN, ARES, Region A Healthcare, KCHEART, and various club nets.
KE0LMY ran the Region A Healthcare Net on the 18th. There were 23 check-ins, with 8 of those coming from healthcare facilities in Region A.
Pertaining to COVID-19 operations in Benton County: The Benton County, MO Emergency Management Agency (BC MO EM) has advised its volunteers to stay home following the Stay-at-Home order from the governor and the county officials. ARES continues to follow their Standard Operating Guidelines of monitoring the Warsaw repeater, stay in contact and put out information via our website, Facebook page, and read official mandates twice a day over the repeater on the day they are released. The BC MO EM has stated they are working to protect everyone (including volunteers) during the outbreak and subsequent recovery efforts. For further information pertaining to Benton County, feel free to visit bcmoem.com and/or bentoncountyares.org regularly.
Jackson Co. – The virus has affected ARES here somewhat. Kansas City has banned the public from government buildings. Essential employees may access those same buildings. If ARES is needed to support the city, alternate means of operation would need to be employed. Those means would need to include adequate physical separation between personnel. That might include providing long haul communications using home base stations, mobile station operation, operation using the city’s EOC trailer and communications using digital linking.
The usual ARES meetings for March were canceled.
In March ARES usually has one or two severe weather training opportunities. This year the NWS canceled both trainings in the county that may have otherwise been conducted. ARES generally conduct PR activities at these trainings.
This year the Ararat Shrine Hambash hamfest was canceled. ARES usually has a table and display for PR purposes at the hamfest. The Metropolitan Emergency Communications Committee was planning to have its bimonthly meeting at the hamfest where ARES is represented. That meeting was canceled.
Northland (Clay & Platte) – The Liberty Hospital Half Marathon held on March 7 saw a record number of participants in 2020. The event communications was handled using a UHF portable repeater strategically located in the area. Twenty-one operators covered the expanded course using hand held radios. Some low signal areas were handled using portable antennas and base station radios. Operators shadowed event leadership, monitored rest stops and water stations along the routes. The exceptional weather helped make the event a great experience.
March 2020 “”MODES”” The acronym stands for “”Missouri Digital Emergency Service””.
MODES 3.985 MHz Thursday 10:00 am CDT. Four sessions QNI 59 QTC 5 32 hours. Net ops include a SEMA supported conference number (573) 693-7466 Access #2663 members share current Sit Rep’s with the net participants. Net requirements, FLdigi-FSQ for net interaction. New members are welcome. NCS KA0OTL Jeff, Net mgr.”
District B: Dale Bagley, K0KY
Don Vary, KD0HHN, is serving as the COVID-19 Coordinator for District B. District B has a low number of Covid-19 infection at this time.
Disrict F: J.D. Simmons, WA0BER
DEC, members and EC in District F worked on 2004 Digital Addendum Rewrite.
The following is the hours of service provided by the ARES membership during the month of March: