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ARES E-Letter Issues

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The ARES E-Letter
August 20, 2014
Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE
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In This Issue:

 

A Brief History of ARES

As we celebrate one hundred years of the ARRL, we've reached a seminal moment in time when we are sparked to reflect on the past while looking to the future with a sense of inquiry and wonder. That has certainly been the theme of the ARRL's centennial celebration this year. QST has featured fascinating look-backs at pivotal points in the League's and Amateur Radio's history this year, with more to come. Continuing this theme, let's take a brief look at the role of Amateur Radio in public service, disaster, and emergency communications over the past hundred years.

In the early days, Amateur Radio and hams were considered irritations and nuisances to the "real" communicators - the commercial sector and the military. We were almost outlawed, and ultimately relegated to the "useless" frequencies of "200 meters and down." That was until it was demonstrated that we could actually be of use as a service. In 1913, college students/hams in Michigan and Ohio passed disaster messages when other means of communications were down in the aftermath of severe storms and flooding in that part of the country. A Department of Commerce bulletin followed, proposing a dedicated communications network of radio amateurs to serve during disasters. Five special licenses were reportedly issued. A magazine article noted that amateurs - who were once considered nuisances - were now considered to be essential auxiliary assets of the national public welfare.

The ARRL was formed in 1914, and disaster response communications as provided by radio amateurs became organized and useful. In 1920, Amateur Radio was used to help recover a stolen car, of all things! Soon, the use of Amateur Radio for natural disasters that we traditionally think of now emerged with hams active in deadly flooding in New Mexico and an ice storm in Minnesota.

More organization followed, with an "MoU" emerging with the American railroad system for Amateur Radio support when the railroad's wire lines were down: There was an ARRL Railroad Emergency Service Committee. There was even a Q-signal designated: QRR, a kind of land SOS.

More reports of disaster response communications provided by amateurs appeared in QST, much as they do here in this newsletter today. A major New England flood had amateurs supplying the only efficient means of communications from the devastated areas to the outside world, prompting the chairman of the Federal Radio Commission to say the future of radio depends on the amateurs.

Hams worked with the Burgess Battery Company for emergency radio power. Many of us old-timers including myself have used those batteries when we were kids for our crystal radio kits; they looked like tall, thick candle columns!

More organization followed, and traffic handling was recommended as the best way to gain discipline and proficiency to prepare for the efficiency and effectiveness needed in response communications situations.

ARRL Field Day was started to prepare amateurs for portable operation, as was necessary in disaster situations when commercial power and means of communications were down.

In 1935, the ARRL Emergency Corps was formed with the goal of having an Amateur Radio Emergency Station in every community -- a goal that remains just as urgent today as it did then! To wit, just look at today's emphasis on the neighborhood and community as "first responder" and on self-reliance in the post-disaster survival chain.

More "served agencies" emerged as potential partners, including the Red Cross. In 1936, major flooding across a 14-state region served as the ARRL Emergency Corps' first major testing, serving well, and solidifying Amateur Radio's status as a critical disaster response communications asset and public service. Communications operating protocols and the appointment of Emergency Coordinators followed.

Technical advances supported this evolution. Spark gap transmitters gave way to the vacuum tube, making portable operations more viable. Articles on portable transmitters and receivers appeared in QST. Exploration and experimentation in the VHF region also spurred more development of portable equipment. The development of the variable frequency oscillator or VFO, something that modern generations of hams take for granted, was at the time a liberating breakthrough offering more versatility and flexibility, and more efficiency of course in meeting the demands of a disaster response communications situation.

World War II meant a shut-down of Amateur Radio, but many hams joined the War Emergency Radio Service, which did provide some communications during the war period for natural disasters. After the war, the ARRL reconstituted its disaster response communications programs and networks, and the first Simulated Emergency Test was run in 1946.

The Cold War followed, and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) was formed by the government for civil defense (CD) purposes, the forerunner of the modern emergency management model that we know so well today.

Throughout the sixties and later up to today, the role, procedures, protocols, equipment and techniques of Amateur Radio in public service, disaster and emergency communications continue to evolve, ebb and flow. This evolution is fueled by advances in Amateur Radio technology and its application, lessons learned from each and every incident that involves amateur communications support. - K1CE, based on an excellent article by Gil McElroy, VE3PKD, that appeared in September 2007 QST -- QRR: The Beginnings of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

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Notable Events on the Timeline of Amateur Radio Disaster Communications

Far from an exhaustive list, here are a few events involving Amateur Radio communications support over the past hundred years that may help define our role over time and its evolution.

1906 - Radio amateur Barney Osborne, later W6US, provides emergency traffic handling during the San Francisco Earthquake and fire, according to family lore.

1913 - Hams provided emergency communications during Midwest storms and floods with spark gap transmitters and crystal receiver sets, as vacuum tubes wouldn't emerge until after World War I and 1919.

1916 - A national traffic relay system was organized to provide relay of messages cross-country, and 9XE in Illinois originated a message that was received in California in 55 minutes and on the East Coast an hour after that.

1926 -- The cover of the May issue of QST featured a drawing of a railroad engineer holding an ARRL radiogram with the caption reading "Amateurs Give Emergency Service for Railroads When Wires Are Down"

1920s - A motor provided emergency power to the plates of newly-invented vacuum tubes in a station of an "RM" - a "Radio Man" - during a Mississippi flood.

1925 - Amateur Radio provided the only communications (5 watts CW) during the failed rescue attempt of caver Floyd Collins.

1933 - Radio amateurs at W6BYF provided disaster communications for the Long Beach, California earthquake. Although his house was demolished, famous ham Don Wallace, W6AM, operated a portable station through his surviving extensive antenna farm with the help of the Navy in supporting the relief effort.

1935 - Predecessors to ARES established. ARRL had a vision of them in 1917.

1936 - The catastrophic floods of the northeast (from Maine through to the Ohio River valley) wrecked the ARRL HQ station in Hartford (along the Connecticut River), with Amateur Radio again providing support. Famous VHF pioneer and ARRL HQ staffer Ed Tilton, W1HDQ and his wife provided communications.

1937 - Dr. Joseph Vancheri, W8BWH, was a key relief communications asset, arranging for aid to refugees from the Johnstown floods.

Late 1930s - Commercial emergency Amateur Radio gear appeared and was advertised: an example was the battery-powered 50-S transmitter from Harvey Radio Laboratories of Brookline, Massachusetts.

1948 - Flooding of Vanport, Washington, after the rupture of a Columbia River dike prompted an Amateur Radio Emergency Corps response under EC W7DIS, with amateurs using hand-held radios (walkie-talkies).

1957 - RACES was involved in providing communications support during the Malibu-Topanga Canyon (California) fires. Deputy Chief Radio Officer W6QJW operated under RACES tactical call sign CPT19 and controlled a net on 3995 kHz. The Gonset Communicator was an iconic Cold War/Civil Defense portable transceiver.

1964 - The Great Alaskan Earthquake hit Anchorage, drawing a massive amateur response in handling emergency and health-and-welfare traffic. It was the most powerful earthquake in North American history, and the second most powerful in recorded history of the world. There was sweeping destruction in the city and the region. George Hart, W1NJM, wrote about the amateur response in the July 1964 issue of QST: 314 Alaskan amateurs supported the disaster relief effort, with 1200 more from around the rest of the country actively supporting them. "KL7DVY reports he operated 20 hours on two meters, relaying messages from the Alaska Native Hospital to c.d. headquarters in Anchorage." See the August 2014 issue of QST, Public Service column, "Alaska Shield 2014."

1979 - Hurricanes Frederic and David wrought destruction on the Gulf Coast and East Coast, respectively. Amateur Radio support of relief efforts was in evidence in both cases.

That brings us up to the modern era and the emergence of the contemporary emergency management model. A few of the major events beginning in the eighties that come to mind are Hurricanes Gilbert (1988) and Hugo (1989), and the spate of four hurricanes in 2004 that affected us here in Florida extensively. Hurricane Andrew (1992) also wreaked incredible devastation in Florida. Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012) were game-changers for emergency management thinking and policy for this country. Amateur Radio was extensively involved in all cases. And, of course, Amateur Radio was involved in the colossal relief effort in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

[Much of the above was culled from an excellent presentation given at the ARRL Pacificon convention in San Ramon, California, 2010, by Bart Lee, K6VK, ARRL State Government Liaison, ARRL Volunteer Counsel, Historian and Archivist, California Historical Radio Society, and lecturer, Antique Wireless Society. A tip of the ARRL fedora to him. - K1CE]

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At Press Time: Initial Storm Iselle Reports from Hawaii

Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday, August 8, 2014. Iselle formed in the Eastern Pacific as Tropical Depression 09E on Thursday, July 31. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center assumed forecasting responsibility when the storm crossed 140 degrees longitude as a Category 2 hurricane near latitude 16.4N, heading west/northwest on Tuesday, August 5 around 5:00 AM. Iselle had peaked as a category 4 hurricane the day before.

The area of the Kau Coast from Cape Kumakahi through South Point received material damage. Many trees fell in the Paradise Park and neighboring area, obstructing roads and power lines. Storm surge pushed bowling ball sized rocks and black sand into beach side homes. Aluminum siding was stripped off of homes. Rainfall caused flooding, mud and debris, requiring clean-up. Hawaiian Electric Company reported 21,900 customers were affected by loss of power. Hundreds lined up for ice, water, tarps and supplies.

With the anticipated arrival of Iselle, cooperative arrangements with served agencies and Amateur Radio groups were set in motion and activated. Power was lost to Kulani and Mauna Loa repeaters and backup power failed, so the majority of operations took place on the Mauna Kea repeater. Simplex was used extensively on the Big Island.

The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) RACES and Red Cross (ARC) team set up equipment at the ARC HQ on Thursday afternoon and monitored VHF and UHF frequencies. Operations commenced and ran from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM Thursday, until 4:00 PM Friday when the shelters were closed. HF assets would not be deployed until after the storm had passed, as communications with the three primary shelters were effected through the State RACES VHF/UHF repeater network. Head counts and requests for supplies from shelters were communicated.

Planning for the event for the amateur community started seven days before landfall. Recognizing that initially it would be a weather event with possible escalation to damage to the counties, the radio communications plan was drafted to use the State RACES VHF repeaters and link them to others in the to-be-affected areas to provide a common channel for the primary purpose of weather reporting. Frequency coordination information was promulgated and a web page was created and updated with frequency plans and expected start times for operations prior to the storm's landfall.

Two complete VHF/UHF radio systems with Fldigi capability and printer were deployed using commercial power. Battery backup and generator were available in case of power outages. Two person shifts were conducted, with a primary communicator monitoring and the second on shift resting until needed. 12 PM and 12 AM shelter counts and requests from the shelters for additional supplies were taken and relayed to the ARC representative at the DEM's EOC.

The southeast side of the Big Island sustained a fair amount of damage. Post storm damage assessments were conducted and relayed on the VOAD repeater on Mauna Kea. Starting at 10:05 PM Thursday night, a SKYWARN net announced information and obtained observations on flooding, storm surges, road blockages and similar reports.

Honolulu County/DEM RACES operations were conducted from 6 PM on Thursday to 3 PM on Friday: Repeaters of the linked State Civil Defense (SCD) RACES/DEM RACES repeater system were monitored. Peter Yuen, KH6JBS, reported to the Kaiser High School shelter on Friday after completing his assignment at State Civil Defense.

For Kauai, the statewide SKYWARN net was accessible on the Peacock Flats 146.760 MHz repeater for amateur stations located on the eastern portion of the island. Radio activity on Kauai was light because there was no significant weather there from Iselle.

Maui ARES activated at the Maui County EOC for SKYWARN operations at 6:00 PM Thursday, August 7, with termination at 3:00 PM the next day after the NWS took down the hurricane warning for Maui and Honolulu counties. The EOC was set up to operate on 40 meters and on the State RACES repeater. Reports received included power outages in the Upcountry Maui area and some reports of damage in the Ulupalakua area. Most stations reported little or no damage and only brief heavy rainfall.

Tad Miura, NH7YS, on Kauai, noted the effectiveness of the SKYWARN net was largely due to the work of the statewide coordinator, Clement Jung, KH7HO, in building the SKYWARN Amateur Radio structure for Hawaii over the years. Ron Hashiro, AH6RH, the Hawaii state RACES coordinator was also credited for his leadership in coordinating and promoting Amateur Radio public service communications in Hawaii. More on storm operations and lessons learned in the next issue. - from initial reports of Paul Agamata, WH6FM (Big Island); Kevin Bogan, AH6QO (SCD); Mel Fukunaga, KH6H (Maui); Ron Hashiro, AH6RH (SCD/HI EMA); Clem Jung, KH7HO (NWS SKYWARN); Stephen Levy, NH7ZP (ARC); Tad Miura, NH7YS (Kauai); Harvey Motomura, AH6JA (Big Island); Chuck Oh, N6NCT (DEM); and ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J (Big Island)

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First Annual Joint Tribal Emergency Management Conference

ARES/RACES was a featured part of the largest gathering of tribal disaster preparedness, recovery, hazard mitigation, and homeland security professionals in the country, which took place August 13-15 at the Northern Quest Resort in Airway Heights, Washington. The conference was organized by the National Tribal Emergency Management Council in conjunction with the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council, and was hosted at a facility owned by the Kalispel Tribe.

There are 566 recognized tribes in the United States. The Pacific Northwest is home to 272 of those, and Washington State is home to 29 tribes. Conference guests Jeh Johnson (Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), Senators Mark Begich and Jon Tester, T.J. Kennedy (Acting General Manager, FirstNet, U.S. Department of Commerce), and others spoke to approximately 400 registered attendees.

As part of the pre-conference activities on Monday and Tuesday, Jack Tiley, AD7FO, and Bob Peterson, KE7RAP, taught a Technician license class and 8 of 14 students taking the Technician examination passed on Tuesday afternoon.

In response to a National Weather Service severe thunderstorm warning on Tuesday evening, Robert Wiese, W7UWC, Spokane County EC, coordinated a weather spotter net on the 147.30 MHz (W7GBU) repeater. While the NTEMC conference attendees experienced the thunderstorm activity, they did not hear this net. However, the description of the net provided very current and relevant additional content for the "Disaster Communications via Amateur Radio" presentation on Wednesday morning. A live "over-the-air" VHF demonstration was held during that class with amateurs located elsewhere in Spokane County. A FEMA Corps volunteer talked briefly with Lori Aberle, KG7IEO, and a description of the coverage area of the repeater by Scott Christiansen, WA7SRC, garnered very positive comments from those in the conference room.

Idaho Section Manager Ed Stuckey, AI7H, brought in an HF rig on Thursday and his 40-meter dipole antenna was strung between speaker stands down the hallway outside the conference rooms. The Faraday cage building at the Northern Quest Resort inhibited nearly all attempts at indoor HF reception, but the display generated a lot of interest from conference attendees for over four hours after the end of the "Building Your Amateur Radio Station" presentation.

On Friday, attendees were able to view a live Ad Hoc Mesh Network during the "Amateur Radio Digital Data Communications" presentation.

The tribal emergency management leaders who attended this conference are quite interested in building an Amateur Radio component into their emergency/disaster preparedness plans. It is up to all ARES/RACES groups to extend a welcoming hand to the tribal communities in their respective areas. If you have a tribe near you, make sure interoperability with their tribal EOC is in your operations plan, invite them to take part in your local drills and exercises, and think about giving the tribe a list of local Elmers they can contact as needed. -- Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, ARRL Official Emergency Station (OES), ARRL Western Washington Section

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FEMA and ARRL Sign Agreement; FEMA Administrator Calls Ham Radio "Resilient"

The ARRL and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will enhance cooperation between the League and FEMA in the area of disaster communication. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, and ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, signed the agreement July 18 during the ARRL National Centennial Convention at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. "Radio is one of the most resilient communications technologies we have," Fugate said. "When the power is out and telecommunications are down, the Amateur Radio community can serve as a vital resource in support of emergency responders and survivors during a disaster. This MOA will strengthen FEMA's partnership with ARRL and build upon our work to expand emergency communications capabilities and the use of Amateur Radio in emergency management." Complete report here.

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International News: Thailand's Famed HS0AC Station Refurbished

Following Thailand's worst flooding in 2011 that killed 800 people, affected nearly 14 million and disrupted the economy, the famed HS0AC Amateur Radio station is restored and now complete with a meeting facility at the Asian Institute of Technology. The devastating flooding in 65 of 77 provinces also destroyed the Amateur Radio facility in central Thailand, which received many donations and offers of help to re-establish it.

During the flood Thai radio amateurs stepped in to help with disaster response communications and hand out supplies. Working with the Ministry of Public Health they saved almost 1,000 lives.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) used HS0AB for the Government's Flood Relief Operations Command. The NBTC praised the role that radio amateurs played to help people cope with the disaster by providing communications support, especially helpful in flooded areas where several mobile phone cell sites had failed. Government agencies used the Amateur Radio communications infrastructure when their own networks failed. Using their skills and experience radio amateurs kept communicating with one another under adverse conditions.

Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) President Jack Hantongkom, HS1FVL, who recently led a restoration team, held an HS0AC open house event on August 3, inviting Thai radio club representatives to attend. Several RAST members donated equipment. Yaesu donated FT-2000 transceivers and IARU Region 3 donated new antennas, mostly monobanders, to be stacked on three towers. - Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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ARRL Partners: APCO 2014 Conference and Exhibit A Wrap

The final session on the last day of the APCO 2014 conference held earlier this month featured a FirstNet Town Hall forum, with the room at capacity; there was lively dialogue between FirstNet officials and more than 100 representatives from the 911, first responder, and vendor communities. FirstNet is establishing a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network dedicated for first responders, and is working with the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program and standards organizations on network requirements and on defining how standards can support building future networks as public safety-grade.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Acting General Manager, cited organizations and associations like APCO and how FirstNet is fortunate to have an active forum - the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) - for engaging public safety and state and local government officials on a regular basis. The PSAC has helped FirstNet enhance its understanding of a number of policy, operational, and technical issues affecting emergency communications, including public safety's use of land mobile radio (LMR) and broadband technologies. For this year's conference, FirstNet participated in discussions about the deployment of Next Generation 911 (NG911) and the future integration with the public safety broadband network. [editor's note: APCO International is a longtime ARRL partner. Read the APCO/ARRL MoU here.]

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Public Service: Northern New York Amateurs Support IRONMAN 2014

Thirty-two Amateur Radio operators from across Northern New York supported the IRONMAN Lake Placid 2014 endurance competition on July 31. Operators established communication stations and worked them for coverage of a three county course area. Vital communications links were established among Emergency Management, EMS personnel in numerous ambulances, Aid Stations along the course route, and for Health and Welfare traffic. "Our communications are coordinated with IRONMAN, EMS, and State, County and Municipal authorities," reported Thomas Dick, KF2GC, ARRL Northern New York Section Manager. Dick said "over the past 15 years of experience with supporting this event, we have helped many of our amateurs refine their communication skills in emergency ICS protocols and technical performance. Many amateurs work long 8-18 hour shifts covering a host of different tasks."

"We often help ambulance drivers by relaying routing information for various medical facilities, while keeping those en route safe and respecting the traffic routing restrictions imposed by event managers," Dick said. The net controllers keep the supporting amateur up to date with the latest information and relay all Health and Welfare Traffic to authorities. They also keep EMS aware of athletes who are having medical issues and if they need transport to the Med Tent or hospitals. Station operators in the field often track down reports of athletes who are experiencing health related issues such as injuries, cramps, heat exhaustion and dehydration. Each year is different from the next, owing to weather, road conditions and the numbers of athletes competing in the IRONMAN.

Dick concluded "One thing is for sure from the starting gun at the Lake Placid Beach until the last runner comes across the finish line many hours later is that Amateur Radio volunteers will be there helping the athletes in many ways by providing communications of their health and welfare status and keeping all safe."

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National Community/Neighborhood Exercise Series

The series of Formidable Footprint exercises for neighborhood, community and faith based organizations continues: On September 27, a hurricane is the scenario. October 25 will feature a solar storm, and January 31 will be a flood scenario. Exercises have also been scheduled for the following scenarios: Earthquake, Influenza Pandemic, Tornado, and Wildfire.

The Formidable Footprint exercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols. The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community/Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the next disaster their community may face.

There is no charge for participation in any of the Formidable Footprint exercises. For additional information or to register for upcoming exercises please access the following web site today: www.FormidableFootprint.org

Formidable Footprint Twitter and LinkedIn Groups

Stay informed regarding future Formidable Footprint exercises by joining the Formidable Footprint Twitter and LinkedIn Groups. - Chris Floyd, Disaster Resistant Communities Group, LLC, Tallahassee, Florida, www.drc-group.com

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Letters: Hospital Communications for Hurricane Katrina

I would like to add some comments to your recent series of articles on hospital communications. I served LSU medical centers, known as Charity and University hospitals in New Orleans, as a radio communicator during Katrina in 2005, along with my spouse. Before Katrina we participated frequently in hospital drills and other programs to educate ourselves about the hospital and its needs. We were well prepared with backup battery power and spares, both antennas and radios, to get on the air during a hurricane or other disaster. We deployed to the University hospital campus 36 hours before Katrina hit New Orleans, so we were able to make sure everything was operating correctly.

Some have expressed concerns regarding HIPPA privacy laws: We provided health and welfare messages outbound for patients and staff that week, but at no time conveyed protected information in those communications. All such communications were at patients' request.

My spouse and I both are trained traffic handlers and net control stations. We manned a simplex net for intercommunication among hospital personnel, both on VHF and an FRS channel, as well as HF for communication with other served agencies, which was our only reliable method of communicating outside New Orleans. HF radio enabled us to effect some evacuation of patients we could no longer serve adequately, as well as to arrange for the delivery of supplies and equipment needed by boat as well as the patient evacuations, sometimes by helicopter.

Without HF communications capability that week we spent on "hospital island" we would have been severely handicapped in our efforts to provide for the needs of hospital staff and patients. Although we had VHF and UHF FM capabilities we found ourselves using HF assets more because VHF/UHF frequencies did not give us reliable, timely communications with those we needed to reach. However, some UHF repeaters stood up to the challenge and were used by search and rescue, as well as others, but we were not effectively served by VHF and UHF circuits. HF SSB was our primary lifeline to the outside world. Thanks for your recent discussion of these issues in the ARES E-Letter. -- Richard Webb, NF5B, West Burlington, Iowa

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From ARRL News: Links to Current Events

MARS: "Pacific Endeavor-14" Exercise Stresses International Cooperation

Radio Amateur Named to FEMA National Advisory Council

California Hams Activate to Support Shelter Communications Following Wildfire

SKYWARN Volunteers Muster as Severe Weather, Tornado Hit Southern New England

Army MARS Demonstrates ALE, Courts Young Volunteers at ARRL National Centennial Convention

Maritime Mobile Service Network Aids in Separate Land-Based Emergencies

Ham Radio Aids in Rescue of Injured Colorado Hiker

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September is 2014 National Preparedness Month

This is the first National Preparedness Month that will also include the America's PrepareAthon Fall Day of Action on September 30. We hope you will join us once again in this major annual campaign.You may find that you are already planning on doing something that qualifies as an AP event. We hope you will find our resources helpful and look forward to hearing about your activities during National Preparedness Month. We are hoping to promote private sector activities both internally and externally - including in our September newsletter. For more tips and information about NPM visit: www.ready.gov/september -- FEMA

K1CE For a Final

The ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut last month was a huge success, and I enjoyed seeing old and new friends alike, along with many readers of the ARES E-Letter. I also appreciated the time that ARRL's Mike Corey, KI1U, and Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, spent with me going over ARRL programs and consequently, our publications. They were both busy with convention duties, yet graciously managed to spend an hour with me at ARRL HQ. Thanks to both of them. - Rick Palm, K1CE, Editor, Daytona Beach, Florida

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