Eastern Massachusetts ARES Exercise – Operation Unify Coincident with National Red Cross Exercise – Saturday May 8th, 2021 – 10 AM-12 PM

The Eastern MA Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) will conduct an exercise in conjunction with the National Red Cross exercise. Operation “Unify” on May 8th, 2021 from 10 AM to 12 Noon (setup to start at 830-9 AM where needed) to test its capability in establishing communications with stations inside and outside of the section. Operation “Unity” will attempt to build upon the lessons learned from past operational exercises.

The exercise scenario involves a power grid failure caused by an X range solar flare. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts are left without power due to this solar flare.

“This exercise guideline is deliberately broad and generic in nature similar to our previous exercises. ARES groups are free to adapt this scenario and conduct their exercise as needed for their group,” writes District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

“This is another great opportunity, similar to the Fall and Winter exercises, for new Amateur Radio Operators, whether they are involved in ARES or not, to check into nets, provide simulated information and exercise traffic, or just check in and learn how nets work and what ARES can do during an actual event. This includes the National Weather Service SKYWARN component of ARES despite a non-weather scenario” writes Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in MA, it will be unlikely that groups will be able to operate at EOCs and other municipal locations. Therefore any activation of shelters will be simulated by role play. It is likely that most of the operations involved in this exercise will utilize home stations along with field sites on Cape Cod and at other local ARES groups and those local groups’ discretion.

Some exercise objectives include:
• Simulate the activation of shelters in your area;
• Simulate the activation of EOC stations in your area;
• Establish and conduct a tactical net on simplex 2m FM/ repeater for your group;
• Simulate contact with any Town EOC RACES stations (Home stations is OK if COVID restricted) ;
• Establish contact with other ARES districts where possible;
• Establish an HF 75 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas);
• Establish an HF 60 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas);
• Pass an NTS type message on 2 meters VHF and/or 440 MHz;
• Pass a SKYWARN and/or tactical message on voice 2 meters and on the HF net;
• Optional components of the exercise to pass information digitally via Winlink and NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System) on VHF and HF between stations locally and to Red Cross

For full details, see the “Eastern MA Exercise Scenario and Guidelines” document at Eastern Massachusetts ARES Operation Unify Exercise – Saturday May 8th, 2021

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday May 3rd at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater Network

Hello to all…

The May Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday May 3rd, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:
http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For this month’s ARES Net, we will have comments regarding upcoming ARES Workshop training, virtual SKYWARN training (final class is Thursday 5/13/21 at 630 PM) and the Eastern Massachusetts ARES exercise coincident with a National Red Cross exercise on Saturday May 8th, 2021. Also, we’ll have some updates on COVID-19 and the recent announcements on restrictions being removed and how public service events such as road races and parades will be permitted later in May and beyond.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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Eastern Massachusetts ARES Workshops Via Zoom During the Month of May – Check Here for Frequent Updates!

Hello to all…

Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be hosting an ARES Workshop over the course of May 2021 covering a variety of topics that support public service and emergency communications. These workshops will also be recorded and posted online after the series of workshop topics are completed.

The following is the topic schedule complete with the current list of presenters and the timeframe for each workshop/Zoom call presentation:
Thursday Evening 5/6/21 – 730-900 PM – Introduction to Eastern Massachusetts ARES, RACES, SKYWARN and Exercise Details – Presenter: KD1CY-Rob Macedo
Monday Evening 5/10 – 800-900 PM – ARES Database – How To? – Presenter: N1XTB-Phil McNamara
Thursday Evening 5/13 – 800-900 PM – Antennas -NVIS/60 and Portable antennas – Presenter: WQ1O-Frank O’Laughlin
Saturday Morning 5/15 – 1000 AM-1200 PM – Net Control Ops & Public Safety/Social Media Monitoring Presenter: KD1CY-Rob Macedo
Monday Evening 5/17 – 800 PM-900 PM – Go Kits Presenter: WQ1O-Frank O’Laughlin
Thursday Evening 5/20 – 800 PM-900 PM – NTS – Presenter: KW1U-Marcia Forde and one or two other members of the NTS team
Saturday Morning 5/22 – 1000 AM-1130 AM – Winlink and Vara Presenter: WQ1O-Frank O’Laughlin with members of his Cape Cod ARES team
Monday Evening 5/24 – 800 PM-900 PM – NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System) Presenters: WQ1O-Frank O’Laughlin and AB1PH-Don Rolph

Below are the Zoom Details for the Thursday Evening 5/6/21 Workshop Topic and please note that this web post will be updated with Zoom details for all other presentations as well as additional presenter information later this weekend or on Monday:

Rob Macedo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: ARES Workshop Topic: Introduction to Eastern Massachusetts ARES, SKYWARN & RACES and ARES Exercise Details
Time: May 6, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89877037133?pwd=bEFWdVV2MUpKS05HazJHMUpuNlZzUT09

Meeting ID: 898 7703 7133
Passcode: 787805
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,89877037133#,,,,*787805# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,89877037133#,,,,*787805# US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 898 7703 7133
Passcode: 787805
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kxm7aRg5w

Please look for updates and we hope many can attend this series of ARES workshops and if they are unable to do so, they will be able to view the recordings that will be posted online after the entire workshop series is completed. Many thanks for everyone’s support of Eastern Massachusetts ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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Falmouth CERT Team Assists at Local Vaccination Clinics, April 26, 2021

CERT logoHenry Brown K1WCC, Falmouth CERT Communications Officer, writes:

Falmouth (MA) CERT Team has so far assisted Barnstable County with operations at six vaccination clinics set up at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

The clinics usually run from 1000 to 1600 local time, with over 500 people being vaccinated in most cases.

Falmouth CERT Team has been given the use of a retired Town of Falmouth ambulance as a Responder vehicle. The Responder is equipped with Falmouth Fire/Police communications gear as well as a 2 meter amateur transceiver and handheld radios. CERT members supervise incoming and outgoing vaccine patient vehicles, since the clinic is “drive through”, patients getting their shots in their cars.

Having the Responder on-site is a great advantage, as it gives the Team a place to take a quick break as well as holding the necessary comms and safety gear.

In addition to unlicensed CERT members, Falmouth CERT consists of nine licensed hams, including Henry, K1WCC; Mel, KC1ELB; Dan, KC1MUA,;Andy, K7ADA; Bob, K1MJJ; Lauren,W1LKF; Gene, KX1C; George, K1GRH and Jean, KC1JLO. During shelter activations on Cape Cod, Falmouth CERT is responsible for operating the shelter as well as setting up shelter communications with Falmouth ARES.

 

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday April 5th, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater Network

Hello to all…

The April Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday April 5th, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:
http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For this month’s ARES Net, we will have comments regarding upcoming ARES training, virtual SKYWARN training and an exercise coincident with a National Red Cross exercise on Saturday May 8th, 2021.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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MARS / Amateur Interoperability Nets Starting The Week of April 7, 2021

To: All New England Amateur Radio Operators

Starting this week, on April 7 and for the first week of every month going forward, US Army Auxiliary Radio System members will conduct nets on 60 meters channel 1 (5.3305 MHz) with the goal of exercising the mission of MARS to Amateur interoperation.

These Nets will start at 8pm local time on April 7, for one hour and will repeat on Friday April 9 and be run by MARS Stations in Region One. On April 8 and 10 at 8pm ET the nets will be run by MARS stations in Region 2 and 4, but also encourage Amateur Radio check ins.

In addition, on Thursday April 8, Friday April 9 and Saturday April 10, nets will be conducted at noon ET, with NCS in New England.

All amateur stations with 60 meter capability and the time are asked to check in and participate in these nets. The goal of these nets is to train MARS stations with Amateur Radio stations on 60 meter channels. Initially, these nets will just involve check ins, but over time, we will practice ICS-213 messages on these nets in both voice and digital methods. The nets will last 1 hour.

 

Net Time Wednesday April 7 Thursday April 8 Friday April 9 Saturday April 10
Noon local No Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net MARS /Amateur Interop Net
8pm Local MARS /Amateur Interop Net NCS Region 2 MARS /Amateur Interop Net NCS Region 2

 

These Nets will repeat in the first week of each month.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Tom Kinahan

U.S. Army Military Auxiliary Radio System
Region One Director
tom.kinahan@verizon.net
 

via nediv.arrl.org

Request for Assistance: Two Meter Interference, Hudson MA

Bob Glorioso, W1IS, writes on NE Mass Fox Hunters list on Mar 11, 2021 at 6:06 AM:

W. Middlesex ARES uses 147.435 MHz with 110.9 Hz tone simplex for our net and emergency calling frequency.   When the local Fire Dept. moved to a new building and left the tower in the center of town for Fire and Police repeaters, we were stuck with a 2M antenna at 90 ft but no place for a rig.  We worked with Fire Chief Landry and shared the expense of putting a new antenna and remote base in the equipment shack at the base of the tower that has automatic power back-up.  Its input is on 70 cm..

Interference from a strong intermittent broadband signal started on 147.439 MHz late last year. It is dead full quieting into our remote base on 147.435 and wipes out direct calls on 147.435 around town. The base only comes on when someone with the right tone triggers it but, if the noise comes on, many of the handheld stations around town are wiped out.  I found it was strong near the Intel plant in Hudson by driving around when it was on.  Early in January it went off and, unfortunately, came back on yesterday right after our monthly net.  I heard it today coming back from getting our Covid shots at Gillett when we got to Hopkinton on 495.

Any assistance locating and silencing this noise will be appreciated.

Thanks & 73,
Bob W1IS
EC Stow

2021 National Weather Service Boston Virtual SKYWARN Training Sessions Announced

SKYWARN logoDue to COVID-19 concerns, SKYWARN Training classes will again be held virtually in 2021. SKYWARN Training sessions will occur on three weeknights and two weekends in April and May. The weeknight sessions will be taught by NWS forecasters and the weekend sessions taught by Amateur Radio operators.

[Full story]

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday March 1st, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater Network

Hello to all…

The March Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday March 1st, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:
http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For this month’s ARES Net, we have a high wind event expected for the area Monday Night into Tuesday Morning so any reports of wind damage or wind gusts of 40 MPH or greater would be helpful to the National Weather Service. We will have comments regarding upcoming ARES training and an exercise coincident with a National Red Cross exercise on Saturday May 8th, 2021.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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Eastern MA Hospital Nets

Hello,

Covid-19 restrictions are still in place for EOCs, and Amateur Radio Volunteers at Healthcare facilities are still locked out. Although some home stations have been participating in the Nets most home stations are unable to reach multiple repeaters unlike the Hospital Stations. Because of the diminished numbers and results, I am suspending the Eastern MA Hospital Nets until further notice.

We are nearing the point in time where a large majority of Hospital HAM Volunteers will be eligible to be vaccinated. Hopefully, once this is completed we will once again be able to man our hospital stations and resume the NETS.

Stay safe, 73s
John O’
K1JRO

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net for February – Monday February 1st, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater System

Hello to all…

The February Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday February 1st, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:
http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For this month’s ARES Net, given the major winter storm affecting the region, we’d like to ask all stations to provide a measured snowfall total, whether precipitation is occurring and their current temperature if they have thermometer. We will also have comments on the Eastern Mass ARES Section Exercise for Saturday February 6th, 2021 from 1000 AM-1200 PM.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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Eastern Massachusetts ARES Exercise – “Operation Frozen Days” – Saturday 2/6/21 – 1000 AM-1200 PM EDT

The Eastern MA Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) will conduct an exercise in conjunction with the Cape Cod ARES exercise Operation “Frozen Days” on February 6, 2021 from 10 AM to 12 Noon (setup to start at 830-9 AM where needed) to test its capability in establishing communications with stations inside and outside of the section. Operation “Frozen Days” will attempt to build upon the lessons learned from past operational exercises.

The exercise scenario involves a series of coastal storms battering Cape Cod and the Islands with winds over 90 MPH over several storms. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts are left without power due to this series of coastal storms.

“This exercise guideline is deliberately broad and generic in nature like the fall exercise. ARES groups are free to adapt this scenario and conduct their exercise as needed for their group,” writes District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

“This is another great opportunity, similar to the Fall exercise, for new Amateur Radio Operators, whether they are involved in ARES or not, to check into nets, provide simulated information and exercise traffic, or just check in and learn how nets work and what ARES can do during an actual event. This includes the National Weather Service SKYWARN component of ARES” writes Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in MA, it will be unlikely that groups will be able to operate at EOCs and other municipal locations. Therefore any activation of shelters will be simulated by role play. It is likely that most of the operations involved in this exercise will utilize home stations along with field sites on Cape Cod and at other local ARES groups and those local groups’ discretion.

Some exercise objectives include:
• Simulate the activation of shelters in your area;
• Simulate the activation of EOC stations in your area;
• Establish and conduct a tactical net on simplex 2m FM/ repeater for your group;
• Simulate contact with any Town EOC RACES stations;
• Establish contact with other ARES districts where possible;
• Establish an HF 75 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas);
• Pass an NTS type message on 2 meters VHF and/or 440 MHz;
• Pass a SKYWARN and/or tactical message on voice 2 meters and on the HF net;
• Optional components of the exercise to pass information digitally via Winlink and NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System)

For full details, see the “Eastern MA Exercise Scenario and Guidelines” document at Eastern Massachusetts ARES Winter Exericse – Saturday February 6th, 2021

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net for January – Monday January 4th, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater System

Hello to all…

Happy New Year to all! The January Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday January 4th, 2021 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:

http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For this month’s ARES Net, we will review events of the past month and talk a bit on ARES plans for 2021.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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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Eastern Massachusetts Hospital Net – Saturday 1/2/2021 at 1000 AM EST

Good afternoon Everyone,

On behalf of the entire South Shore Health Radio Group we wish you all a Happy New Year.

We would like to thank all those that participated in the monthly nets last year. It put us all to the test and I’m sure 2020 will not soon be forgotten.

We also wish to thank our repeater owners and trustees. Without your continued support none of this would be possible.

With the vaccine being distributed to our front line workers and I’m sure to the rest of the population shortly, 2021 will be brighter. I can’t wait to get back into our radio shack at SSH and some normalcy.

Once again the group at Mansfield EMA has stepped up to the plate and will be running the January Net. I ask that if at all possible you join us tomorrow morning at 10am to show your support and appreciation.

The following repeaters will be used in the order listed.
1. Bridgewater 147.180 tone 67.0
2. Norwood 147.210 tone 100
3. Falmouth 147.375 tone 110.9
Return to the Bridgewater for any final comments and Net closing.

Regards,
John O’Neill
K1JRO

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday December 7th, 2020 – 830 PM EDT

Hello to all…

The December Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday December 7th, 2020 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:

http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For tonight’s ARES Net, we will review events of the past month and talk a bit on ARES plans for 2021.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES 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
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
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Eastern Massachusetts ARES Does Virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD Via Zoom – Tuesday 11/3/20

On Tuesday Morning, 11/3/20, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, KD1CY-Rob Macedo, did a virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD to explain ARES role and how ARES can support Non-Governmental Organizations. The 30 minute meeting was well received by the VOAD leadership that participated. ARES has been a member within the VOAD organization since 2012.

VOAD stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. The ARRL has a national level Memorandum of Understanding with VOAD and encourages section ARES programs to work with state VOADs. Examples of organizations that are part of VOAD include ARES traditional partners such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army as well as Team Rubicon, various church groups that support disaster relief for individuals and families and many other organizations.

“We got to explain ARES role and what we can provide to Non-Government Organizations in both auxiliary communications, additional resources supporting communications and situational awareness information when normal communications means are up as well as what we can provide to them when other forms of communication fails. We also encouraged VOAD to look at ways we can help their organization based on their communications and technical needs after giving them some understanding of what we traditionally provide and explained to them all the MOUs ARES through the ARRL has with various organizations within VOAD and National VOAD” Macedo said.

Macedo reported that the members on the call understood how Amateur Radio plays a role and is often in the background performing important tasks that help their teams and other agencies. They were impressed with the presentation and look forward to future engagement both with Eastern Massachusetts ARES and Western Massachusetts ARES. “They asked for the Western Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator contact info which we provided to them along with a short presentation that we reviewed on the call and we look forward to a continued and stronger relationship with Massachusetts VOAD and the member agencies within VOAD going forward” Macedo said.

SEMARA ARES Activates Net Sunday Morning 11/8/20 for Situational Awareness After Earthquake 3.6 on Richter Scale Occurs Southeast of the New Bedford Area

SEMARA ARES activated an ARES Net at 950 AM Sunday for a little over 2 hours on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater, approximately 40 minutes after an earthquake, originally registered 4.2 on the Richter scale and revised down to 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred several miles offshore of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The earthquake was felt as far north as Southern New Hampshire and through much of Rhode Island through parts of Western and Central Massachusetts and Connecticut and the Long Island New York area.

Rob Macedo-KD1CY felt the earthquake at his home in New Bedford while checked into the New England Phone Net on HF on 3945 KHz. “I was checked in and monitoring the New England Phone Net where I heard 2 loud bangs as if someone was in my garage and had opened the garage doors and then had rattling and shaking that was fairly violent from what I’m used to in quakes I’ve felt in the past. After about 15-20 seconds total, it was over and after checking with an Amateur Radio SKYWARN Coordinator and friend from Rhode Island, N1EGS-John Buco, it was clear that we had an earthquake with information posted on the USGS web site. I immediately informed the New England Phone Net of what I experienced and ask for reports on who felt the quake.”

Very quickly things ramped up for a time from a public safety response perspective. Fire departments in New Bedford, Westport, Dartmouth and Fairhaven responded to possible gas leak issues at numerous homes in these communities. Information on posting what you felt during the earthquake was posted on the WX1BOX Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“We informed the National Weather Service within about 5 minutes of the incident that an earthquake had occurred and we were checking on damage reports and sent a report to the USGS via their form for the quake in question” Macedo said. Numerous reports on feeling the quake were fielded from the WX1BOX social media feeds. The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association has a USGS seismograph and it measured this quake as well – see Cape Ann ARA Seismograph Detected Sunday’s Earthquake

At the suggestion of Mike “Sparky’ Leger-N1YLQ ARES DEC and Region 2 RACES Radio Officer, it was agreed to put up a formal ARES Net on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater for situational awareness and in case any needs arrived from partner agencies. From Sparky’s logs, 11 stations checked into the net which ran for a little over 2 hours. The net report is listed below:

N1YLQ-Sparky-Acushnet, MA (NCO)
KA1RSY-Ed-New Bedford, MA
KD1CY-Rob-New Bedford, MA
KC0AEO-South Dartmouth, MA
KC1FOZ-Al-South Westport, MA
KC1ISZ-New Bedford, MA
KC1CBR-Berkley, MA
N1IXC-Joe-South Dartmouth, MA
W1AEC-SEMARA Clubhouse
W1EAV-Chris-Marion, MA
KB1UAM-Anthony-New Bedford, MA

Three confirmed damage reports were received on Crapo Street in the city of New Bedford as relayed by Acushnet Emergency Management Deputy Director, KA1RSY-Ed Caron and KD1CY-Rob Macedo. Three homes sustained damage to the chimney smokestack area near gas mains inside of the residences and were evacuated with 20 people being temporarily displaced. Red Cross was involved in caring for these residents. This information was relayed to the National Weather Service and the minor damage reports were include in the NWS Boston/Norton Earthquake Report. Joe Krisnosky-N1IXC, who is part of New Bedford EMA, forwarded pictures of the damage from New Bedford EMA Director, Brian Nobrega.

“This is an example of ARES in action to provide rapid and precise situational awareness for use by other agencies. In this case, it was the USGS and the National Weather Service” Macedo said.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) – Saturday 11/14/20 1000 AM-1200 PM

The Eastern MA Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) will conduct a Simulated Emergency Test on November 14, 2020 from 10 AM to 12 Noon (setup to start at 9 AM where needed) to test its capability in establishing communications with stations inside and outside of the section. Operation “Fall Fury” will attempt to build upon the lessons learned from past operational exercises. This SET is being done in coordination with a Red Cross national exercise also being held on Saturday 11/14/20.

The exercise scenario involves a fictional Category 1 hurricane which strikes MA/CT/RI as a hybrid coastal storm, battering Cape Cod and the Islands with winds ranging from 90-100 MPH. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts are left without power as the rain rapidly changes to heavy, wet snow.

“This exercise guideline is deliberately broad and generic in nature. ARES groups are free to adapt this scenario and conduct their exercise as needed for their group,” writes District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

“This is also a great opportunity for new Amateur Radio Operators, whether they are involved in ARES or not, to check into nets, provide simulated information and exercise traffic, or just check in and learn how nets work and what ARES can do during an actual event. This includes the National Weather Service SKYWARN component of ARES” writes Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in MA, it will be unlikely that groups will be able to operate at EOCs and other municipal locations. Therefore any activation of shelters will be simulated by role play. It is likely that most of the operations involved in this exercise will utilize home stations.

Some exercise objectives include:
• Simulate the activation of shelters in your area;
• Simulate the activation of EOC stations in your area;
• Establish and conduct a tactical net on simplex 2m FM/ repeater for your group;
• Simulate contact with any Town EOC RACES stations;
• Establish contact with other ARES districts where possible;
• Establish an HF 75 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas);
• Pass an NTS type message on 2 meters VHF and/or 440 MHz;
• Pass a SKYWARN and/or tactical message on voice 2 meters and on the HF net;
• Optional components of the exercise to pass information digitally via Winlink and NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System)

For full details, see the “Eastern MA Simulated Emergency Test 2020 Scenario and Guidelines” document at https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/EasternMA-ARES-SET-11-14-20.pdf.

Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing

Scene from Boston Marathon bombingSteve, Schwarm, W3EVE, Wrentham will present “Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing,” one of series of presentations sponsored by the ARRL Learning Network on December 8, 2020 at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET. 

“Amateur radio has played a significant role in public service communications for the Boston Marathon for several decades. That role was put to the test in 2013 when two bombs were exploded near the finish line. This presentation will describe the role that ham radio played at the Marathon and how that role changed due to the bombing.”

[Register]