ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB010 (2002)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB010
ARLB010 Ham operators to provide Super Bowl support

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ARRL Bulletin 10  ARLB010
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 1, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB010
ARLB010 Ham operators to provide Super Bowl support

As thousands pack the Louisiana Superdome February 3 for the Super
Bowl, a group of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers
in the New Orleans area will be putting their equipment and
expertise to the test this weekend in support of the American Red
Cross.

This year's rescheduled Super Bowl falls in the middle of New
Orleans' Mardi Gras celebration. With thousands of carnival revelers
and football fans alike taking to the streets of ''The Big Easy,'' Red
Cross officials called upon local ARES members to join their corps
of volunteers. While ARES officials say they expect no problems,
they are prepared to handle a variety of communications tasks and
emergencies.

Approximately 20 ARES members will take part in the exercise, which
will run from 4 PM to midnight Friday and Saturday, February 1-2,
and from noon to midnight on Super Bowl Sunday. Louisiana Section
Emergency Coordinator Tom Miller, AC5TM, will lead the ham volunteer
team, and Keith Barnes, W5KB, will serve as the staff communications
lead for the local Red Cross. As needed, the hams plan to give Red
Cross officials instant information on, and contact with, emergency
and disaster relief resources in the field.

Amateurs will offer support communication at key Red Cross locations
around the New Orleans metro area. They will stand by with Emergency
Response Teams (ERTs) and ride along with Emergency Response
Vehicles (ERVs). In many cases, the locations of ERVs will be
tracked by the Automatic Position Reporting System--APRS.

Amateurs will also staff a Red Cross communications trailer
stationed near City Hall--just blocks from the Louisiana
Superdome--as well as the Red Cross operations center. Because of
extremely tight security around the dome--the FBI, Secret Service
and local police have been sweeping the area for days. Amateurs
stationed near the stadium will have to work at least six-hour
shifts. Operators at other posts likely will rotate through
four-hour shifts--available volunteers permitting.

Red Cross personnel rely heavily on cellular telephones, and hams
have been requested to serve as a backup if the cellular system
somehow becomes overloaded with calls. While problems are not
necessarily expected, federal authorities have assigned the Red
Cross to handle specific emergency preparedness tasks.

Amateur Radio operations will take place primarily on a local UHF
repeater, with secondary coverage on VHF. The Red Cross center has
been outfitted with a full complement of gear, including VHF, UHF,
APRS, and HF. The New Orleans Amateur Radio Emergency Service K5OEP
call sign will be used for net operations.

Volunteers will include members of the Jefferson Amateur Radio Club,
the Delta DX Association, the New Orleans VHF Club, the Westside
Amateur Radio Club and the Greater New Orleans Amateur Radio Club.
Several non-club amateurs also are expected to volunteer.
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