Eastern Massachusetts ARES Standby for the 2017 Boston Marathon & SKYWARN Dual Statement – Monday April 17th, 2017

Hello to all…

While this may be a bit off topic for some SKYWARN Spotters, Amateur Radio Operators and Red Cross volunteers, many of which are SKYWARN Spotters, will be involved in the Boston Marathon on Monday April 17th. To reach out to the highest level of Amateur Radio Operators involved in the event, this coordination message is being sent out to the SKYWARN email list and posted to the various Amateur Radio lists. We appreciate everyone’s patience with this message. This is a joint message between the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)-SKYWARN program at NWS Taunton and Eastern Massachusetts ARES. This is likely to be the only coordination message on the Marathon unless a significant change in the weather forecast occurs. See information below:

Eastern Massachusetts ARES members not participating in the Boston Marathon are requested to be on standby for marathon activities on Monday April 17th from 6 AM-7 PM for any significant issues outside of the Boston Marathon that may require Amateur Radio Emergency Communications support and for any unexpected issues on the Boston Marathon route. With over 280 Amateur Radio Operators staffing the Boston Marathon route, the start line and the finish line, if an issue arises needing Amateur Radio support outside of the Marathon route or an unexpected issue arises in marathon operations, it is important that any ARES members not involved in the marathon can help with any response that is required. The Amateur Radio Station at the National Weather Service in Taunton, WX1BOX, will be active on Monday April 17th for the Boston Marathon to provide weather support to the Amateur Radio community participating in the marathon and to gather any weather reports of significance during the marathon. This station will also be used to coordinate any ARES response to any significant incidents regarding Amateur Radio support outside of the marathon zone including any incidents that need to be provided to the State EOC for situational awareness information.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) at the SEOC (State Emergency Operations Center) will be active for the Boston Marathon. Amateur Radio Operators will be at the SEOC to support Amateur Radio communications and will be on the air under call sign, WC1MA, while many agencies will be there performing primary operations for the marathon.

The weather outlook for the Boston Marathon is one that should be favorable for volunteers but potentially too warm for the runners which could result in increased ambulance requests along the course for this year’s marathon and a higher than average year of medical related issues given the conditions. The Weather Forecast across the Boston Marathon is for mostly sunny conditions throughout the day. Temperatures are expected to be around 55-60 degrees in the pre-dawn and daybreak hours rising to the upper 60s to low 70s by afternoon. Dewpoint values will be low making conditions dry but warm. Winds will gust out of the west at 25-30 MPH. Volunteers should dress accordingly for these conditions and drink plenty of liquids and should be prepared for this potential of increased number of ambulance requests and higher than average year of medical related issues. Also, the low dewpoints and winds could result in increased brush fire risk across the region again for Monday. Below is the NWS Taunton Special Weather Statement and Fire Weather Forecast regarding that potential:

NWS Taunton Special Weather Statement:

NWS Taunton Fire Weather Forecast:

From a SKYWARN perspective, the 146.64-Waltham Repeater and 145.23-Boston Repeater are being utilized for Marathon operations. From an ARES perspective, the Minutemen Repeater Association Repeater Network is being utilized for marathon operations. Please review the SKYWARN Frequency listing for your closest alternate repeater from a SKYWARN or ARES perspective.

For Amateur Radio, Red Cross and all other volunteers along the route, it is recommended that you dress in layers for this event so that you can put on or take off clothes as needed for comfort. Be sure to drink liquids and eat properly during the event and that you are self-sufficient so that you can be of full help to the function and not distract everyone from the main purpose of supporting the runners by having a health issue on your end that can be avoided. No rain is expected at this time so there should be no need for rain gear.

For those people that are planning to go to the Boston Marathon as spectators, the following link details guidelines for spectators for the 2017 Boston Marathon:

Barring a significant change in the weather forecast, this will be the only coordination message on the Boston Marathon. We appreciate everyone’s support in this event and hope those that volunteer enjoy themselves and feel the self-satisfaction of supporting this historic event and those that are monitoring the Marathon or events outside of the Marathon realize that the monitoring is an important function as well and is a testament to being able to scale other incidents beyond the marathon if required. Thanks to all for their support!

Respectfully Submitted,

Marek Kozubal
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Email Address: kb1ncg@gmail.com

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
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