NSRA Names New AECs: KX1KTY, KB1MRH

North Shore RA logoThe North Shore Radio Association has announced that it has named two Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AECs) to help in administering its ARES team.

Gordon Gravelese, KX1KTY has been named the Operations AEC. He will participate as a key team leader during NSRA ARES activations.

Matt Dempsey, KB1MRH has been named the Administrative AEC working with the Emergency Coordinator (EC) and the North Shore District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) on “behind-the-scenes” details.

The NSRA reminds its members that the Eastern MA Simulated Emergency Test will take place on Saturday, November 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. NSRA looks forward to having all of its members participate in this exercise. On-air activity will occur on the 145.470 Danvers repeater. Planners will be looking for volunteers to assist with liaison work, to be announced once the exercise begins.

For more information, please contact Jim Palmer, KB1KQW, NSRA EC, or Eric Horwitz, KA1NCF, the North Shore DEC. Both can be reached via email at ares@nsradio.org.

–Thanks, NSRA News, Fall 2006

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PART “Branding” For The 21st Century

PART of Westford logoPART of Westford, Massachusetts is a group of amateur radio operators that assists their community with emergency and public service auxillary communication needs. The club was founded in the mid-1970’s and has been continuously operating for over 30 years in this role. The logo (seen to the right) has represented the club since its very early days. And, while it had served well to identify the club and its members, some thought it might be time to refresh the club’s artwork.

“A small group was formed to accomplish the goal of bringing the club’s logo into the 21st century. Many, many proposals were made and professional graphics artists specializing in brand identity and logos were utilized in the search. In the end, one design stood out and was approved unanimously, first by the PART Board of Directors, and then by the general membership at the club meeting held in October of 2006.”

–From PART Logo Project

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W1BOS to Operate From Blue Hill Observatory for SKYWARN Recognition Day

Boston ARC logoOn Saturday, 2 December 2006, SKYWARN Recognition Day will be held for the eighth straight year. SKYWARN Recognition Day is an event where National Weather Service Forecast Offices get on the air and make contacts with other NWS Offices as well as all Amateurs and any Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters. The purpose is to thank the thousands of Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters whose timely severe weather reports into NWS Forecast Offices across the country protect life and property.

The [Boston Amateur Radio Club] will participate for the fourth year in a row from the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton. Operating hours will be from 0900 to 1500. Details will be in the November newsletter but mark your calendars now for a fun event.

Blue Hill ObservatoryFun – you want some fun? How’s about an antenna held 200 feet aloft by a kite in 2004? Then there was the gale-force snowstorm in 2003. [See CQ Snow.] There are antennas to be installed and HF/VHF/UHF stations to be operated and visitors to be greeted at the station with the oldest continuous weather records in the country.

On a good day the visibility is over 100 miles from the Blue Hill Observatory. We invite you and any other hams to help and participate. Contact Mark, KB1EKN at emgmgt@comcast.net.

–Thanks, Boston ARC’s The SPARC, October, 2006

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Pilgrim ARC “Winterization”

Pilgrim ARC logoMembers of the Pilgrim Amateur Radio Club in Provincetown are battening down the hatches and preparing for winter. At its September meeting, the club’s members discussed the need to “winterize the repeater and shed.” WA1KZT, K1ATT, N1BX, KA1VCQ, KA1WSW, K1ISS, and N1FI all volunteered to help out with the project on October 28.

The Pilgrim ARC meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 PM at the Council on Aging (COA) building at 26 Alden Street in Provincetown.

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IEEE Presentation: Distributed Load Monopole

Smith Chart sliceThe IEEE Providence Section is sponsoring a talk on Distributed Load Monopole (DLM) Antenna Technology by Robert Vincent, K1DFT.

The talk, along with an optional dinner, will be held on Thursday, November 9, at the Seekonk Ramada Inn. Social at 6:00, dinner at 6:30, presentation at 8:00. Prices for dinner and presentation: IEEE Member and guest, $7.50 each; Non-IEEE Members, $10 each; IEEE Student Members and guest and students: $5.00 each. There is no charge to attend just the presentation. For more information, directions, dinner choices and to register, please visit: http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/providence/dlm.htm.

Rob Vincent, KD1FT, a University of Rhode Island Physics Department employee, developed the revolutionary antenna design that dramatically reduces the size of an antenna while improving its efficiency and maintaining a broad bandwidth.

[See also: Revolutionary Antenna Design by KD1FT]

–Thanks, SEMARA Discussion List

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US Coast Guard “Special Event Radio Day” Oct. 28

USCG shipWhitey Doherty, K1VV writes on discussion@semara.org:

US Coast Guard Auxiliary announces “Special Event Radio Day” (Oct 20, 2006) — The US Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA) will hold a “Special Event Radio Day” Saturday, October 28, to support the International Search and Rescue Competition (ISAR 2006) and the 67th Anniversary of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

More than two dozen USCG Auxiliary Amateur Radio stations will be active on the HF bands from the Atlantic to Hawaii and from Maine to the US Virgin Islands. Many will operate from US Coast Guard Bases.

A special QSL card (see photo) will be available by making contact with any station and sending an SASE. The USCGA invites the Amateur Radio community to join in the celebration.

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Whitman Hams Assist At CERT Openhouse

Whitman ARC at CERT OpenhouseWhitman Amateur Radio Club members assisted with recruiting efforts for CERT at the Whitman Fire Rescue open house on October 9, 2006.

Bill Hayden, N1FRE and Mat O’Malley, KB1MTZ were among the many volunteers who helped the Town’s Emergency Management Agency Director, Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY for the event. They explained the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer program and the importance of Amateur Radio communication to some 300 visitors.

–Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, October, 2006. Photo courtesy N1FRE

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Taunton Area Hams Demo Amateur Radio At Wildlife Refuge

Taunton EMA ham demo at Gertrude M Boyden Wildlife RefugeTaunton-area hams staged an impressive demonstration of Amateur Radio’s capabilities at a fund-raising event for the Gertrude M. Boyden Wildlife Refuge on October 7, 2006. The effort was coordinated by Peter Ferreira, KB1LXG. The Taunton Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) as well as several other local non-profits participated in the event.

The team set up an Icom 706 Mark II HF transceiver and a portable Outbacker antenna “mounted on an aluminum stand hidden in a grape arbor.” The TEMA portable 2-Meter Diamond antenna was also set up for local contacts. Fifteen HF contacts were made on 17-meters with stations as far away as Russia and Hungary.

Those participating included: WP4US, KB1LXG, W1DFS, KB1NLX, KB1LZX, KB1KZW, KB1KVD, K1BAR, and KB1LXL.

Shown in photo, L-R: Carlos, WP4US; Neal, KB1LXL; David, W1DFS; Bob, K1BAR; Bruce, NI1X

Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, October, 2006

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New Eastern MA ARRL Section Manager Announced

ARRL flagAs reported on today’s ARRL Web (“New ARRL Section Managers to Take Office”) Arthur S. Greenberg, K1GBX, of Georgetown, will succeed current SM Mike Neilsen, W1MPN, who decided against running for another term. Greenberg will take office on January 1, 2007.

A ham since 1957, Greenberg has a background in electronics and worked in the computer industry for many years before retiring in 1993.

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Nashoba Valley ARC “Coax Connector College” A Hit

Nashoba Valley ARC 'Connector College', photo courtesy KD1SMMembers of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club participated in a unique “Coax Connector College” at the club’s September meeting. The event was supervised by Bob Reif, W1XP as a follow up to a presentation he gave at a meeting earlier in the year.

Club members brought various cable and connectors they wanted to work with, such as PL-259, Type N, and adapters for various cable diameters. W1XP demonstrated several connector installations after which everyone worked on their own particular cables with help as needed.

Attending the College for “extra credit” were: KD1LE, KD1SM, KB1MBR, K1LK, KK1X, N1SV, K1CMF and, of course, W1XP.

–Thanks, Nashoba Valley ARC Signal, October, 2006. KD1SM photo

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Bristol Co RA JOTA Operation in Rehoboth

Bristol Co RA logoRon Silvia, WB1HGA writes on bcra-club@yahoogroups.com:

This weekend is the annual Scouting/Amateur radio event known as Jamboree on the Air (JOTA). This is an international event. Scouts (boys and girls) will be trying radio for the first time. All modes are available for use but phone is the most popular.

Here is a list of suggested HF frequencies: SSB 3740, 3940 7270, 14290, 18140, 21360, 24960, 28390 CW 3590, 7030, 14070, 18080, 21140, 24910, 28190. Saturday, October 21, and wraps up Sunday, October 22.

At our location in Rehoboth, SSB and maybe FM and CW will be used. We will be on during the day Saturday only.

We will represent [the Bristol County Repeater Association] and use the W1ACT call.

If you hear us or other stations, please talk with the kids. One of them may become a ham someday.

-Ron WB1HGA and Wheat N1YCQ

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Disaster Coming To Eastern MA – – And Soon!

Eastern MA ARES logoHoly cow! A 6.5 scale earthquake impacts the Cape Ann Massachusetts fault, causing major damage across Northeast Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. A moderate tsunami is feared for parts of East Coastal Massachusetts. Aftershocks in the 4.5 to 5.5 are possible over the next 24-48 hours.

Sound like the script from a B-grade disaster flick? Nope. It’s a well-planned and carefully crafted scenerio for the upcoming Eastern MA Simulated Emergency Test to be conducted on Saturday, November 4, 2006 beginning at 10:00 a.m. [Full story]

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Eastern Massachusetts ARES SET Drill Participants Information

Hello to all….

The following is the Eastern Massachusetts ARES SET Drill participants information. This has been posted as an announcement and as a document to the Main Menu of the web site and will be gradually circulated across the email lists. Net Controls and leadership will also receive a document that guides folks through the scenario.

There will be a strong potential for failovers from infrastructure such as repeaters, EchoLink and IRLP nodes to Simplex and HF for this exercise. Amateurs participating in the exercise should prepare for those contingencies. This documentation may be updated again over the next couple of weeks.

Below is the participants information:

Date and Timeframe of Exercise

Saturday November 4th, 2006
Start Time 10 AM
End Time: 1230 PM
Duration: 2.5 Hours
-Please allow time for setup/take down of any equipment during this exercise.

Scenario Background

Seismic activity in New England had increased noticeably in the Fall of 2006. Several small earthquakes occurred in the Bangor, Maine area and one of the earthquakes, which measured 3.9 on the Richter scale was felt through much of Southern Maine and New Hampshire and caused power outages and a rockslide closed a road in Arcadia National Park. The increase in seismic activity caused concerns for possible additional and larger seismic activity on other faults along the New England coast that have been inactive for several decades.

A 6.5 on the Richter Scale Earthquake impacts the Cape Ann Massachusetts fault. This quake causes major damage across Northeast Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area with moderate to major damage across Southeast and Central Massachusetts with moderate damage across Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands. Concerns for a moderate tsunami are raised for parts of East Coastal Massachusetts. Aftershocks in the 4.5 to 5.5 on the Richter scale range are also possible for the next 24-48 hours. The earthquake causes Eastern Massachusetts ARES to fully activate and to await direction on deployment orders from NGO’s and for backup support to RACES groups where required.

Failovers of infrastructure are likely given the severity of the event and all participants should be prepared for those contingencies ahead of time, much like what would be expected during a major real incident.

Purpose

Eastern Massachusetts ARES will participate in the Cape Ann Earthquake Simulated Emergency Test. 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 with failovers to other communication systems.
• 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.
• ARES teams are expected to provide damage assessment from the earthquake similar to what would be done for a weather related incident.

• Utilization of the integrated conference server, which is the Echolink *NEW-ENG* conference node and IRLP Reflector 9123 as a command net for ARES/RACES/SKYWARN/MARS operations.

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 NTS guided messages that have been used in past drills.

Amateurs are asked to then build tactical messages as well as NTS traffic messages for the exercise. For this drill, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES SEC will be located either at the Acushnet Emergency Management Agency or at the SEMARA, Southeast Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association Radio Club or be mobile between those 2 locations. A command net will be run via VoIP and HF.

Given that an earthquake of this magnitude will cause significant damage, we are expecting Amateur Radio Operators to be creative and give realistic and reasonable damage reports that a major earthquake would cause across the area. If you’re having trouble coming up with this information, one way to generate data can be to have each color house in your neighborhood be associated with a certain amount of damage. This type of ideology is done in Damage Assessment exercises. Here is an example that should be utilized as required:

White Houses: Totally destroyed
Blue Houses: Side walls caved in and home structurally unsafe
Red houses: Home damage to siding, awnings with windows smashed
Brown houses: No damage

The same could be done for tree damage:

Trees near white houses: Trees knocked down, landslide in the area
Trees near blue houses: Large trees knocked down only a few untouched.
Trees near red houses: Several trees down but larger tress undamaged.
Trees near Brown houses: 1-3 large trees down in the area.

With these damage examples, you can also create reports of trees down on to houses causing damage, water and/or gas mains that have broken underground. If you have different color houses then the examples used above, you can set up the color coding of homes for damage anyway you see fit to generate reports of damage for your area.

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 modes:
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.
o HF
o Utilizing Various 2 Meter Repeaters that the ARES teams will be utilizing in the area when necessary.
o Utilize failovers to simplex using the output frequency of your repeater with HF utilized for long-haul communications.
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.
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 out of bulletins and statements from the United States Geological Survey 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 ARES reports to formulate into EEI’s (Essential Elements of Information).

Operational Ground Rules

The following are some operational ground rules for this exercise:

• 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.

Acushnet Emergency Management Agency (WA1EMA)

The Acushnet Emergency Management Agency building will be utilized for this exercise to coordinate activities within Acushnet and the surrounding Southeastern Massachusetts area.

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 earthquake damage reports 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:
http://users.rcn.com/freq.htm

RACES/Simplex Frequencies:
http://ares.ema.arrl.org/mod.php?mod=userpage&menu=1804&page_id=9
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 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 command nets operating on VoIP and HF.

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:

http://www.mmra.org

The following are important regional frequencies via HF for this drill:

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 1
3.626 USB: Main HF WinLink Frequency for Mass. State EOC and MEMA Region 1.

Region 1 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.

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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K1USN To Operate In JOTA Oct. 21

Watson Library, photo courtesy K1USN RC web siteMembers of the K1USN Radio Club plan to operate W1BSA during the upcoming Jamboree On The Air on Oct. 21, according to Harold “Pi” Pugh, K1RV.

“This should be a good opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities as well as introducing people to the Thomas Watson Library and Research Center,” writes Pi. “We have made a lot of progress getting K1USN back on the air and want everyone to see how it looks.”

[See also: USS Salem RC Has A New Home At Watson Library]

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ARRL, Citizen Corp To Set Up NOAA Radios In Schools

ARRL flagNOAA logoARRL and Citizen Corp are teaming up to assist local school districts (if they need the help) to set up and register their NOAA Weather All Hazard Public Alert Radio.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Education, and the Department of Homeland Security are partnering to launch a significant nation-wide project to distribute 80,000 NOAA Public Alert Radios to U.S. public schools throughout the nation. The radios are designed to signal different types of alerts ranging from weather emergencies to child abductions, and from chemical accidents to acts of terrorism. The radio acts as a sentry, standing guard 24/7, to sound an alarm when danger threatens.

If you, as an Amateur Radio operator, or an Amateur Radio club member, or ARRL Field Organization appointee would like to assist Citizen Corps in this project, please contact your local Citizen Corps Council to offer assistance. Where there isn’t a Council, please contact local Emergency Management.

Contacts should not be made directly to local schools but, instead, should be made by Citizen Corps and Emergency Management to local school district superintendent’s offices to ensure a coordinated plan. Assistance to schools will be provided at the request of, and in coordination with, the school district.

Citizen Corps

* To locate your State Citizen Corps Council log onto http://www.citizencorps.gov/citizenCorps/statepoc.do

* To locate your local Citizen Corps Council log onto: http://www.citizencorps.gov/councils/find_council.shtm or http://www.citizencorps.gov/citizenCorps/mycouncils.do

Emergency Management

* To locate state offices and agencies for emergency management, you can log onto: http://www.fema.gov/about/contact/statedr.shtm
* To get contact information for local emergency management offices, you can email or call IAEM, The International Association of Emergency Managers, at info@iaem or 703-538-1795×2 to ask for your local contact or you can click on the link for the state web sites at http://www.fema.gov/about/contact/statedr.shtm

The NOAA Web site (http://public-alert-radio.nws.noaa.gov/) is the primary location for information and updates for Citizen Corps and associated volunteers for this project.

The following links contain background information about the program including a document on frequently asked questions and answers about the program, Citizen Corps volunteer material for the NOAA Public Alert Radio Program, a copy of the letter that went to the schools along with a descriptive and informational brochure about the radio distribution program.

If you or your club or ARES group take part in this project with Citizen Corps or your local Emergency Management office, please report this activity to Steve Ewald, WV1X, (sewald@arrl.org) at ARRL Headquarters and to your ARRL Section Manager. Thank you very much.

NOAA Frequently Asked Questions

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/NOAA-FAQ-update-1-9-29.pdf

Citizen Corps Volunteer Information

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/Citizen_Corps_Volunteer_Info_20062.pdf

Public Alert Letter for Schools

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/Public-Alert-letter-2006.pdf

Public Alert Radio Brochure

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/PublicAlertRadioBrochure.pdf

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