Global Simulated Emergency Test Scheduled for April
IARU Region 1 has invited the HQ stations of IARU Member-Societies, as well as the EOCs of Emergency Communications Groups (ECGs), to participate in the 2009 Global Simulated Emergency Test (GlobalSET), on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 1100-1500 UTC. The GlobalSET will take place on and near the emergency Center of Activity (CoA) frequencies on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 meters, +/- QRM. In the US, ARES groups that will be representing EOCs need to register through their IARU International Emergency Communications Coordinator. Registrations should be e-mailed to ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, and must include the call sign (this will be used as the name of the ECG) and the EOC that the ECG is representing, as well as a list of the names and call signs of all operators involved.
The intent of the 2009 GlobalSET is for established IARU Headquarters stations and EOCs to test their capabilities. Dura said that W1AW will be the official ARRL and ARES representative for this event. Other ARES groups that participate from EOCs (as per their established response plan) are also invited to participate. "While we appreciate individual interest in participating, the purpose of the GlobalSET is to allow IARU Member-Societies and other EOCs they support to test their infrastructures and procedures at the highest levels," Dura said. "Other events, such as ARRL Field Day and the annual ARRL SET are available for individuals to test their preparedness."
According to IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator Greg Mossop, G0DUB, the GlobalSET is not a contest, but an emergency communications exercise to develop skills needed to provide an international emergency network.
Mossop said that the GlobalSET has four objectives:
To increase the common interest in emergency communications.
To test how usable the CoA frequencies are across ITU regions.
To create practices for international emergency communications.
To practice the relaying of messages using all modes: Voice (SSB), Data or CW.
"The exercise will build on earlier GlobalSET exercises and will focus on generating and relaying messages in a common format across country borders, rather than the information gathering capabilities that we've done in the past," Mossop said. "We will pass messages in a format that we may have to use for the agencies we may serve. The message exchange will take longer than in previous exercises, and stations will have to be patient to transmit their messages across country and language boundaries."
Each participating station is to send messages to their Regional HQ station using the IARU International Emergency Operating Procedure, using IARU message forms. Stations should relay the messages they receive to their Regional HQ station; the Region 2 station is TG0AA in Guatemala. To comply with license regulations, all messages should be addressed to Greg Mossop, G0DUB, and should come from a licensed radio amateur. Messages should contain fewer than 25 words and should not include anything that would be considered as a "real emergency" message by a listener. Mossop suggests constructing messages that include weather conditions, the number of operators at the station or even an interesting fact about the station. "There is no limit on the number of messages to be sent," he said, "but each one must have a unique message number." Regional HQ stations will not be sending messages, only receiving them.
Mossop recommends that in order to create "a more realistic situation, please limit your transmitting power during the exercise to 100 W. We are especially interested in stations operating mobile/portable and/or on emergency power."
Usually held in May, the 2009 GlobalSET was moved to April to tie into World Amateur Radio Day. The theme of the 2009 World Amateur Radio Day is Amateur Radio: Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communication. "This is an ideal opportunity to showcase the work of emergency communications groups around the world," Mossop said.
For more information on the 2009 GlobalSET, including a list of CoA frequencies for Regions 1, 2 and 3, please see the GlobalSET announcement.