UPDATED: Massachusetts Statewide Hurricane Drill Monday June 5th, 2006 7-9 PM

Hello to all….

The Massachusetts Statewide Hurricane Drill will take place Monday June 5th, 2006 from 7-9 PM. The statewide drill coincides with the yearly MEMA Region II Hurricane Drill and will be run in a similar format to last year’s hurricane drill except that for areas outside of Region II RACES, we will guide the scenario with NTS Traffic Messages versus envelopes. In Region II, the exercise will utilize the envelope format as in past years.

The 2006 Hurricane Season is expected to be a very active one. As many people are aware of, some weather entities are stating that New England is due for a major hurricane. While much of that is conjecture on the part of these weather entities, preparedness is the key in any disaster. The Massachusetts Statewide Hurricane Drill will help in getting the Amateur community prepared for a hurricane.

The leadership team has put together a “Controller’s Document” for leaders in Massachusetts RACES, ARES, SKYWARN and MARS to control and guide the drill. That document includes 6 NTS messages that will guide the drill and are leaveraged off of the Region II Hurricane Drill documentation. This is being distributed only to the leadership, net controls and liaison for the exercise. If you are in this group and have not receive the document, please email me and I will get you the document.

We have posted the Exercise participants document via the Yahoogroups email lists. I have also put the information out there via this announcement as well. Below is that text: Date and Timeframe of Exercise

Monday June 5th, 2006
Start Time 7 PM
End Time: 9 PM
Duration: 2 Hours
-Please allow time for setup/take down of any equipment during this exercise.

Purpose and Scenario

Eastern Massachusetts ARES will participate in the Hurricane Hope RACES Exercise for Monday June 5th from 7-9 PM. The purpose of this drill will be the following:

• Local ARES team coordination and deployment as well as local NTS and tactical message handling.
• Intra district and interdistrict tactical and formal message handling.
• Utilization of HF, VHF, UHF, Packet, WinLink IRLP and Echolink modes of communication.
• Utilization of EOC or Simulated EOC’s at various points across the section and interfacing with other EOC’s, Simulated EOC’s and SKYWARN liaisons in other sections where appropriate.
• Local SKYWARN Net activations for passing of data to NWS Taunton.
• Utilization of the integrated conference server, which is the Echolink *NEW-ENG* conference node and IRLP Reflector 9123 as a command net for communications with WX1BOX-NWS Taunton and WX4NHC-National Hurricane Center.

For this exercise, it is expected that all EC’s, SKYWARN Liaisons or their designee to support this drill and what is to be exercised. As always, at the local level, message handling and formation is critical and keeping Hams at the local level busy must occur. Be creative and at the same time be realistic. The drill scenario will follow the envelopes that RACES will be following in Region II. For those that are not directly involved with a city/town in Region II RACES, the drill scenario will follow NTS guided messages that have been used in past drills and have been made to follow the Region II RACES envelopes. Net Controls involved in the Region II RACES Nets are asked to read off enough of the envelopes to inform ARES/SKYWARN Amateurs and general Amateurs of the scenario. Net Controls involved in any net that is not the Region II RACES Nets are asked to read the NTS messages that are to guide the scenario over their net frequency.

Amateurs are asked to then build tactical messages, particularly SKYWARN messages as well as NTS traffic messages for the exercise. For this drill, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES SEC will be located at the National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts (WX1BOX) and he will be on the air running the command net to be held on VoIP and as needed he will assist with drill direction for teams within the section and for inter-section communications as needed and “oversee” the exercise as much as possible.

Exercise Objectives

The objectives of this exercise are as follows:

• Have all teams have one liaison that monitors their local RACES Repeater in addition to their local operations.
• ARES teams willing to deploy away teams are asked to do so where possible provided benign weather conditions on the drill date.
• Establish district wide communication utilizing the following
o IRLP and/or Echolink nodes.
o Utilizing the integrated Echolink *NEW-ENG* Conference Node (Node #9123) and IRLP reflector 9123 as a command net for contact with NWS Taunton (WX1BOX) and the National Hurricane Center (WX4NHC).
o HF
o Utilizing Various 2 Meter Repeaters that the ARES teams will be utilizing in the area when necessary.
o Utilizing SKYWARN frequencies to give mock tactical reports that meet SKYWARN criteria.
o Monitoring RACES Nets active during the exercise and communicate with RACES stations when/if needed. In Region II, discretion is requested given the different format that will be utilized in that area versus the rest of the state.
o Establish a digital means of contact via Packet or WinLink between areas for those that have WinLink and/or Packet capability.
• Establish contact with other ARES districts and EOC’s via HF
(3943 and/or 7245 KHz).
• Test and evaluate the range of Home stations for relay operations.
• Having mobile “roving” Amateurs wherever possible.
• Practice sending many test NTS messages for requests for assistance and status reports to ARES leadership and for RACES stations to send requests for assistance and status reports to their Region I, II or III Managers.
• Practice sending many test tactical messages to ARES/RACES leadership.
• Practice sending many test tactical SKYWARN messages to NWS Taunton.
• Practice sending out of bulletins and statements from NWS Taunton to the various ARES teams.
• Practice sending traffic between ARES members within an ARES team.
• Practice sending traffic between EOC’s within an ARRL Setion.
• Practice sending traffic to the Western Massachusetts section ARES/RACES/SKYWARN personnel where appropriate.
• Assure MARS Liaisons have a way to gather SKYWARN and ARES reports to formulate into EEI’s (Essential Elements of Information).

Operational Ground Rules

The following are some operational ground rules for this

• All communications options should be utilized. DEC’s and EC’s may throw in “failures” to test out “failover” of communications wherever possible as long as they are properly communicated up and down the ARES leadership.
• Many messages of both a tactical and NTS formal nature should be sent within the teams participating, between teams and between districts wherever possible.
• Frequent usage of the phrase “This is a Drill” should be incorporated with any messages, traffic or announcements relating to the drill.

Operational Players

The following is a list of agencies and a general list of EOC’s that will be playing in the exercise.

National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts (WX1BOX)

The National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts will be active on the Echolink *NEW-ENG* (Node #: 9123) and IRLP Reflector 9123 systems as well as roving local repeaters to pick up crticial mock reports of weather and damage reports. We will also attempt to monitor HF and 6 Meters given the current limitations with the radio system setup at NWS Taunton.

National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida (WX4NHC)

The National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida will be monitoring the Echolink *NEW-ENG* conference server from their Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center.
The purpose will be to test our reporting information with their needs and to test out having the National Hurricane Center plugged into the regional command net using the new integrated conference system.

Numerous EOC’s in MEMA Region II and Other MEMA Regions Across Massachusetts

There will be numerous EOC’s concentrated in Region II but also scattered about in other MEMA regions that will be active during the exercise. They will be active on their RACES frequencies and will be encouraged to be active on their SKYWARN Repeaters, HF and VoIP using the EchoLink *NEW-ENG* conference node #9123 and IRLP Reflector 9123 utilizing links on Echolink and IRLP and using individual PC’s that can utilize the Echolink program.

SEMARA: Southeast Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association (W1AEC)

We will attempt to get the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association Club House active for this drill. Once the details have been worked out, further information will be posted in this exercise documentation.

Home Stations

We encourage home stations across the Eastern Massachusetts section to monitor and check into nets across Eastern Massachusetts district for ARES and SKYWARN assistance. Some home stations can act as “simulated EOC’s” or net controls where appropriate. We encourage stations to generate tactical message traffic for SKYWARN and formal message traffic for ARES where possible.

Mobile Stations

Mobile stations are encouraged to participate utilizing all modes at their disposal and can be utilized as roving stations and can report conditions that they might see if a real hurricane is occurring from their mobile station. We encourage stations to generate tactical message traffic for SKYWARN and formal message traffic for ARES where possible.

Amateur Radio Frequency Plan

The frequency plan will utilize existing SKYWARN and RACES repeaters that are well documented via the web. The following links detail these frequencies:

SKYWARN Frequencies:

RACES/Simplex Frequencies:

Please note that SKYWARN Frequencies are more up to date on the first link.

It is noted that IRLP and Echolink nodes maybe connected either to the *NEW-ENG* Conference node or IRLP Reflector 9123. This will again serve as a command net for the National Hurricane Center, WX4NHC, and the National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts, WX1BOX, to facilitate contact with ARES-SKYWARN liaisons, MARS Liaisons, and city/town EOC’s who have the capability to liaison via this system. Individual Hams and Spotters are welcome to listen and if they have no other means to pass their information, they can pass it over this system but are otherwise asked to use their local SKYWARN, RACES and ARES repeaters to pass their traffic and allow the liaisons to pass the information to the National Hurricane Center and NWS Taunton, Massachusetts. In addition, NWS Taunton will be roving the various local repeaters to pick up information per the normal SKYWARN Activation process along with monitoring the command net. We will also attempt to have a station monitor both 6 Meters and HF simultaneously.

It is also noted that some SKYWARN, RACES and ARES frequencies overlap with one another. Past exercises have proven that there have been no issues with such overlap. This exercise will test that theory once again and will require net controls and ARES/RACES/SKYWARN management to manage their repeater and frequency resources:

The following additional frequencies will be utilized during the drill in the Southeast Massachusetts district:

SEMARA ARES Response Team Frequency:
147.000-Dartmouth Repeater

Fall River (BCRA) ARES/RACES Team Frequency:
145.15-Fall River Repeater PL: 123.0 Hz.

The MMRA Repeater System will be linked up for the two-hour period of the drill and we will attempt to have a Net Control monitoring the system full-time and facilitate traffic at a section level for Eastern Massachusetts. Below is the link for the frequencies that can be linked up utilizing the MMRA System:


The following are important regional frequencies via HF for this

Regional ARES/RACES Net Primary for this drill:
3943 KHz LSB

Regional ARES/RACES Net Secondary for this drill:
7245 KHz LSB

The following are important Packet Frequencies on VHF/UHF and HF for this drill:

WinLink Frequencies:
145.75: Main WinLink Frequency for Mass. State EOC and MEMA Region I
3.626 USB: Main HF WinLink Frequency for Mass. State EOC and MEMA Region I. Region I setup currently down due to interference issues.

Packet Frequencies:
145.01: Packet Frequency supporting MEMA Regions and State EOC
145.09: BBS infrastructure supporting MEMA and NWS main Packet Freq.

There are additional local frequencies that maybe utilized in this drill at your local town/city level or at a regional level. Please contact your ARES DEC or EC for further information on additional frequencies that maybe utilized in your specific area during the drill.

Appendix A: Table of Hurricane Hope Coordinates as Specified in Region II Exercise Packet

The following is a table of Hurricane Hope Coordinates as specifed in the MEMA Region II exercise packet. Emergency Managers, ARES/RACES/SKYWARN/MARS leadership and/or participants may want to map the hurricane track and discuss their course of action based on its position. Discussions can include planning, checklist and resources and when appropriate damage reports can be received. A couple of points in the table are mentioned in the exercise scenario and will be distributed.
Those points mentioned will be the ones closest to the Southern New England coast.

32.4 70.2 0300/4 June HURRICANE WATCH
33.5 71.0 0800/4 June
34.8 71.7 1300/4 June
36.0 72.4 1900/4 June
37.4 72.2 2400/4 June HURRICANE WATCH IN
38.4 72.1 0400/5 June
39.3 72.0 1000/5 June HURRICANE WARNING –
40.4 71.5 1400/5 June
41.0 70.5 1900/5 June

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM) Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM) Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM) Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo

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