ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB006 (2007)

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ARLB006 ARRL Board accepts National Emergency Response Planning 
Committee report

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ARRL Bulletin 6  ARLB006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 26, 2007
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB006
ARLB006 ARRL Board accepts National Emergency Response Planning
Committee report  

The ARRL Board of Directors accepted the Report of the National
Emergency Response Planning Committee (NERPC) when it met January 19
and 20 in Windsor, Connecticut. Upon dissolving the committee with
its thanks, the Board set in motion a process to identify and
implement action items in the report as soon as possible. ARRL First
Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, chaired the 13-member NERPC,
charged with developing comprehensive recommendations to improve the
League's response to regional, national and international disasters.
Among other things, panel members evaluated the responses and
actions of ARRL and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
during Hurricane Katrina as well as lessons learned.

"If 'lessons learned' are not followed by 'behaviors changed,' then
the lessons have not been learned at all," the report concludes. The
report describes disaster preparedness as "a moving target, moving
faster all the time." No recommendations, plans or systems should be
considered "the permanent answers for all circumstances and
hazards," the report asserts.

The unprecedented scope of the Katrina response placed ARRL
Headquarters into a leadership coordination role through
national-level requests for help from served agencies such as the
American Red Cross. While the level of expertise in emergency
communications and emergency management among US radio amateurs is
growing, the report noted, so is the expectation that the ARRL
provide first-rate leadership and guidance.

Among the report's wide-ranging recommendations and suggestions:

* enhance ARRL and ARES training in basic message handling.

* develop a continuing education course covering installation,
configuration, and use of Winlink 2000 for e-mail.

* formally establish a national ARES volunteer database for use
during major disasters and establish training criteria.

* institute a Major Disaster Emergency Coordinator (MDEC) function
to coordinate responses to large-scale national or regional
disasters or emergencies.

* become better acquainted with the emergency response needs of
distant ARRL sections, such as Pacific, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
and Alaska.

* improve working relationships with national-level served agencies.

* ensure ARRL staff training in the Incident Command System (ICS)
and National Incident Management System (NIMS) and, as necessary,
adapt ARRL's emergency response structure to the Unified Command
model.

In addition, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, has appointed an ad
hoc committee to study issues relating to background investigations
as they apply to ARRL Amateur Radio volunteers and to recommend a
background investigation policy.
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