Get Ready for the 2010 Simulated Emergency Test
The 2010 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is just around the corner and ARRL Field Organization leaders are planning an event that will actively involve members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS) and many other related groups that prepare for and respond to emergencies. Public service and emergency response agencies and organizations in your community, ARRL Section Leaders and/or local and state officials will also be invited to participate. You, too, are invited to be a part of this annual tune-up for emergency response.
Make the Best of the Opportunity
To help make the best of this training opportunity, contact your local ARRL Emergency Coordinator or Net Manager to find out the details. Although October 2-3 is the focal point weekend, some ARRL Sect ions and ARES® teams and nets may conduct their exercises anytime -- especially during the months of September through December. If you don’t know who to contact, please touch base with your ARRL Section Manager and/or Section Emergency Coordinator or Section Traffic Manager for assistance. See page 16 of QST for contact information for your Section Manager or consult the ARRL Web site for the referrals to your Section Leadership officials. From there, you’ll find links to ARRL section home pages with appropriate contact information. Listen in on nets, too, or attend your local club meeting. The net leaders and club leaders will often have announcements and be able to provide general information on the local plans or arrangements for the SET.
Be Prepared to Respond
The SET is a training opportunity to try out something new under simulated emergency conditions. You can try or practice skills in a variety of areas, such as testing a communication mode that you may have not been too involved with yet and have an interest in. This experience could prove worthy so that you would be ready to operate if a real activation were to take place. You can also spruce up your traffic handling and net operation skills or use this time to help a newcomer in these facets of Amateur Radio.
ARRL Field Organization officials in your area and Section are planning the simulated emergency scenarios that will be used during the SET event. These scenarios are designed to involve public service or public safety agencies and organizations. They, too, will learn firsthand through this SET how Amateur Radio can assist in emergencies.
Of course, some agencies have long-standing working relationships with ARRL, ARES® and other associated Amateur Radio groups. The Simulated Emergency Test is one of the best opportunities to exercise the relationships. Check here for more information about who the ARRL maintains a National Memoranda of Understanding with.
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is an annual nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools. Once again this year, ARRL is a coalition member. National Preparedness Month 2010 is sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS). The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action. Throughout September and the months surrounding it, DHS will work together with a wide variety of organizations, including local, state and federal government agencies, as well as the private sector, to highlight the importance of family and business emergency preparedness. They will also be promoting individual involvement through events and activities across the nation. You can find more information here.
You are encouraged to consider this year’s ARRL Simulated Emergency Test and all preparations, as well as post-exercise evaluations, as a demonstration of your readiness -- and Amateur Radio’s readiness. Be an active participant in SET and join others nationwide in National Preparedness Month.
Additional background on the annual SET is presented in the article in the July 2010 issue of QST [“2009 Simulated Emergency Test Results,” pages 69-71]. You can also find guidelines and specific SET reporting forms for the ARRL Section and Field Leaders on the ARRL Web site here.