By: Rick Covert
On the evening of Monday October 22nd, the Franklin County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) team, participated in a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) exercise along with fellow team members from Logan County.
The scenario for this years SET, was a simulated Skywarn storm spotter net. This is something that both teams a very familiar with, but it was the goal of both to encourage new amateur radio operators to become more familiar with reporting criteria and procedures throughout the exercise.
Typically during one of our Franklin & Logan County Skywarn nets, we have several spotters that also have a dual role of ARES volunteers participating. During the past few months, several new hams, along with operators new to the area, have expressed an interest in learning about how participate, and what to report, and in an accurate manner that would be of benefit to our served counties.
Using information adapted from actual National Weather Service warnings, along with archived Doppler radar images from a recent severe storm event that produced wind damage in the region, the exercise was conducted in real time. This gave those newly interested a good sense of what goes on during a large scale severe weather event, but also the importance of relaying as close as possible accurate information for locations of damage such as downed utility lines, and hazards such as roads blocked by debris.
Very often during a severe weather event, emergency managers from both counties are either part of the Skywarn storm spotter base, or are working close by in our respective Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). This gives them the ability to quickly share with 911 centers, where law enforcement, fire departments, or emergency medical services may need to be sent, along with alerting road departments and other utilities.
Participating in the SET exercise for Logan County were, Dennis Bedene N5XMZ, Paul Mathieson WA8OXU, Jim Kiefer KD5NDJ, and Randy Zimmer KG5HQI. For Franklin County, Fredrick Hunt KK5AA, and Rick Covert KD5GSP.