September-October 2016 Virginia Section Manager Report
Section Theme---“Moving forward with Amateur Radio for our Future”
Well summer is supposed to be gone and fall is arriving. If you believe this comment, you are living not living in the eastern part of the USA. The summer heat and humidity is lingering in many areas.
Hermine was a Tropical Storm storm that became a category 1 hurricane and did most of its damage after making landfall along Florida’s Northern Gulf Coast. We were fortunate that no additional significant weather problems occurred. The Hurricane Watch net (HWN) was activated to gather ground level reports for a total of 19 hours.
We are into the downhill slide of the Hurricane season to the November end date. However, please do not let down your guard as over the history of USA Hurricanes, we have had some of worst storms in the second half of the season.
Our Hamfest season is also winding down with Berryville and Virginia Beach behind us. Our Hamests attendance in 2016 in my estimation was fairly good this year. The influx of new hams being able to see new equipment in person as well as see and learn the history of equipment we have been using for the 100 years, has been an education in itself. It also gave them the opportunity to purchase equipment that still was in good operational condition, inexpensively, and was also good for our ham radio hobby.
The worldwide exposure of Ham Radio for communications in several earthquakes over the last several weeks has once again displayed the value of ham radio providing the life saving and welfare emergency communications anywhere in the world.
The ARRL Virginia Section 2016 SET is scheduled for October 1st. The complete SET plan will be distributed via email to all ARRL members in Virginia within the next few days.
Over the last several years it was very unfortunate that the ARRL SET exercise was not accomplished. In lieu of this, several private EMCOMM groups performed similar exercises in localized areas of the state.
Now in 2016, we are asking all ARES groups as well as all private EMCOMM groups in addition to local government’s Emergency Managers to participate in this SET exercise.
There is no “One Size Fits All” definition of ham radio tools for emergency communications. With this year’s exercise, we hope to identify communications capabilities of all areas of the state along with their local government capabilities. This will then allow a good accounting of who has voice, digital, internet, satellite, etc., capabilities as well their ability to communicate with the Virginia Department of Emergency Services in Richmond. This exercise will utilize the FEMA Interoperability ICS forms. In addition, we will have NWS SKYWARN members participating as part of critical weather reporting capabilities. The subject selected for “the emergency communications” will be a storm known as “HORIZON 16”.
It is of great importance and recognized by Homeland Security and FEMA that all Emergency Communications during any emergency or disaster event that a standardized protocol be developed and followed to allow interoperability between volunteer communicators and organizations and all governmental agencies.
This is why------ WE INVITE ALL EMCOMM groups to participate in this exercise.
Remember, education and training is the only way to learn what to do during an actual emergency. This is why football players, military, police, fire, EMS and many other types of professions train and practice constantly.
Again, I ask all hams to make use of our new ARES Virginia Web site. It contains links to many important ham radio web sites as well full interactive ARES reporting, ARES applications and many other features for old as well as new hams. http://www.aresva.us.
ARES/RACES of VA on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/101756496822770/ is very active and I am pleased to report quite a number of new ARES applications. We are really excited that we are getting applications not only from new hams, but also from experienced older hams.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Be sure and check the Ready Virginia web page for emergency preparedness.
This page includes what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area.
We have had storms this past month in various parts of the state. Hermine as a Tropical Storm had winds, rain and flooding in the Tidewater and Southeast part of Virginia, did significant residential and commercial damage while offering significant power outages. SKYWARN had been activated in these areas for a significant number of hours. When storms sit in an areas for many hours, the water build up and beach sand losses mount up very quickly and flooding occurs.
For those in the SKYWARN program V 8.0 portal is deployed and working. In addition, we are in Hurricane Season so be sure to check with the National Hurricane Watch Net, www.hwn.org and the VOIP Hurricane Net at http://www.voipwx.net, when you are advised of storms forming.
The NWS Wakefield SKYWARN Amateur radio Support Team announces a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Prince George County ARES and City of Hopewell ARES.
New Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) build a framework for resource sharing between SKYWARN and ARES, resulting in improved mobile and portable coverage for SKYWARN Spotters in the tri-cities area of central Virginia.
Our ROANOKE Division Facebook page can be found at:http://www.facebook.com/ARRL-Roanoke-Division-s://w1114578661885666/
Our traffic systems continue to utilize very dedicated hams. Traffic remains steady, but slow. We encourage all hams to learn about the ARRL traffic system as it is still in use during emergencies . Please support your local NTS operators.
NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR UPDATE
The ARRL/National parks year long event, is progressing very well. With just a few months to go, more than 495,000 contacts have been made from over 440 of the 485 eligible NPS units. So far 55 of the 59 National Park Service units have been visited by NPOTA Activators. Please check the NPOTA calendar for additional details. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter.
AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT
The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R.1301 bill. Please continue to support the Senate Version of this bill.
CERTCON 2016 is scheduled for September 24, at the Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus. This conference is the sixth annual conference of the Fairfax County Community Response team in the National Capitol Region. The National Capitol Region is a collection of sovereign jurisdictions, including cities, counties, states and the District of Columbia. The focus of CERTCON 2016 is all about “Back to Basics, Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. Http:/www.fairfaxcountycert.org/
Please Check the ARRL Letter for all ARRL events and meetings.
REMEMBER----Education is the key to your success, both in Ham Radio as well as in your life.
Dr. Joe Palsa
Virginia Section Manager