E-Mail #5:  Sent 5/23/06

Hi Everyone…

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the North Shore Radio Association for their assistance over the past nine days with various ARES and SKYWARN activations.  Thankfully at this point, things have quieted down and we can all get some much needed rest, and we have officially secured operations as of Sunday, May 21, at 22:00.  At this time, there are various housekeeping items that are in need of attention.  Please take the time to read the following notes:

1.  Special thanks are in order for the following hams:  W1FBI, K1DAC, KB1FLH, K3GRN, N1QEH, W1CAC, W1LN, K1YTS, W1KPI, N1ZJ, K1DYO, N1VUX, KB1MRH, KX1KTY, K1BTH, and N1FY.  All of these gentlemen donated their time on very short notice to participate in the three-day activation of ARES in support of the Red Cross.  Special thanks are also in order for the twelve or so additional hams that stepped forward and offered their time as well.  Without this kind of support, the ARES program would not have been able to complete its mission this past week.  A summary can be found at the EMA ARES Website;

http://ares.ema.arrl.org

2.  We are currently working on updating the ARES database.  All members that participated in the ARES activation are strongly urged to sign up in this database so that we have your information on file.  This database is located at the following web address:

https://secure.ema.arrl.org:8443/ares/ARES_about

If you did not participate in the activation, but are interested in ARES, please register here as well.  If you would like more information about the ARES program in our area, please contact either myself or Eric – KA1NCF, North Shore DEC.

3.  This is perhaps one of the most important items of all.  I have been listening to now countless conversations of "I wish I had done this" or "Maybe next time we should do that".  These are extremely important bits of information that help us evaluate the past activation and plan for the future.  

As you are all aware, we have spent the past year rebuilding the local ARES team to what it became last week.  Therefore, we strongly urge each station that participated in the activation, for both SKYWARN and ARES, to send us an After Action Report.  Other stations that were monitoring but did not participate in the activation are urged to help us out with comments as well, as it helps to have stations on the outside looking in.  Each report will be carefully reviewed and added into a compilation that will be presented at a meeting consisting of EMA ARES Staff.  Every operator's input is valued, and no comments are bad comments. 

We need to learn from our mistakes and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses, as I can guarantee that we will be called upon once again in the future for ARES and SKYWARN Support, possibly of a greater magnitude.  Hurricane season is almost here, and the best time to learn is now immediately following our first activation of ARES in my recent memory.  It does not have to be long, simply email us at ares@nsradio.org with your comments, bullet-point lists are fine.  I will send out an additional reminder and notice on this item sometime next weekend, but please start sending comments over as soon as possible.  If you can all send these to us in the next two to three weeks, that will be best so that a compilation can be created before the meeting. 

4.  Finally, here are some statistics from the past SKYWARN Activation for the flooding.  As many of you are aware, the National Weather Service publishes what is known as a Local Storm Report, a summary of damage reports from a particular storm or event.  After reviewing the LSR from the Flooding, I found 140 reports posted.  136 of those reports were from Amateur Radio, a whopping 97.14% of all reports.  82 of those reports were from Amateurs in Essex County alone, which accounted for 58.57% of all reports.  Everyone should give themselves a great pat on the back for these numbers!  Pictures and a copy of the LSR will be posted to the website by the end of the month.

In Summary, special thanks to all operators who assisted the ARES activation on such short notice.  Please take the time to visit the ARES database and register yourself there so we have your information in times of need.  And you are strongly urged to send us an after-action report to ares@nsradio.org, briefly listing lessons learned and what YOU think we did right, and what could use improvement.

Thank you all once again for your assistance during the Floods of 2006.

Jim Palmer - KB1KQW
North
Shore Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator
North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-Mail #4:  Sent 5/19/06

Good Morning to all…

This is an update in regards to the ARES operation currently underway
on the 145.470 repeater.  Yesterday, 5 operators assisted the Mass
Bay Red Cross with Damage assessment, and the operation continues
today with another 5 operators.  However, we are potentially far from
over.  After consultation with a Red Cross official this morning,
Mass Bay operations could potentially continue through tomorrow. 

In addition, after talking with a Newburyport Red Cross official,
their Damage Assessment operations may be commencing tomorrow.  This
would require another 5-7 amateur volunteers to take part in this
operation.  More information on this deployment will be forthcoming
in another e-mail.

Therefore, I am now looking for a total of twelve (12) volunteers
assist with weekend damage assessment operations both on Saturday and
Sunday.  If you are able to assist, you are urged to contact either
myself or Eric – KA1NCF as soon as possible.  Even if you are only
available three or four hours, you can still help us out!   However,
you are reminded NOT to self-deploy!  Please get instructions from
ARES leadership before proceeding to any assignment.

I would also like to refer you to the ARRL website, www.arrl.org,
where at least three articles on our operations have been posted. 
They can be found as you scroll down the page in various places. 
Another update may be posted there in a day or two.

Hopefully, these operations will conclude this weekend and we can all
get some much needed rest.  Thanks again, and the ARES leadership
cannot thank you enough for your assistance with this disaster. 


Jim Palmer - KB1KQW
North Shore Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator
North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator
 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

E-Mail #3:  Sent 5/17/06

Hello to all....

We just received a call from Mass Bay Red Cross requesting support
tomorrow for Damage Assessment.  They are in need of 5 Amateur Radio
Operators with Mobile Gear beginning at 9:00AM from the Peabody Red
Cross office.  If you are able to assist with this activation of
ARES, you are urged to contact me by e-mail or cell as soon as
possible, or Eric - KA1NCF, North Shore ARES DEC by the same means. 
This activation has the potential to spread out over multiple days
and into the weekend.  The 145.470 Danvers Repeater will be utilized
for this activation, and it should be noted that all ARES/Red Cross
traffic will have priority.  The Salem - 88 repeater, as well as the
Danvers 440 and 220 repeaters will remain open for general amateur
use.  I thank everyone for their support of this long-term
activation, now about to enter its sixth day.  As always, should
anyone have questions or concerns, please contact myself or Eric as
soon as possible.  We can both be reached through the
ares at nsradio dot org e-mail address.

Thanks again, and keep up the fantastic job everyone!

Jim Palmer - KB1KQW
North Shore Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator
North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator
 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

E-Mail #2:  Sent 5/16/06

Hello to all...

This is an update in regards to the ongoing ARES/SKYWARN Operations
in Essex County on the Danvers Repeater.  As of Tuesday Morning, NWS
Taunton Operations at WX1BOX have not been requested, therefore we
are returning to a more informal state.  Our plans at this time are
to remain activated through tomorrow to keep tabs on the water levels
of our rivers and streams.  Peabody square remains flooded at this
time and closed to traffic, although some business are open on Main
Street.  Some of the newer information coming in states that Route 1
in Saugus may remain closed through this evenings commute,
compounding traffic issues throughout the region.

We will attempt to monitor the repeater throughout the day to pass
traffic.  I hope to have a net control on through both commutes in
order to pass updated flood information to NWS Taunton (if you want
to volunteer to help out...please let me know).  Activation time
frames will try to cover 8am-10am...and 4pm-6pm.  In the event you
are not able to reach a net control station on the repeater, please
email skywarn at nsradio dot org.  Pictures should be sent to
pics at nsradio dot org

ARES remains on a stand-by activation at this time, but it is
anticipated that ARES will be able to stand down beginning tomorrow.
We will keep everyone posted.

Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for their hard work throughout
this activation, which has now entered its 4th day for our area.
Please continue to report flooding, water depth, and storm damage to
us.  As waters recede, infrastructure damage will become more evident
and it will become necessary to report that as well.  Anyone with
questions can either email or call me or our ARES DEC Eric Horwitz,
KA1NCF.

Thanks again.

Jim Palmer - KB1KQW
North Shore Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator
North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-Mail #1:  Sent 5/14/06

Good Morning/Afternoon to all....

I have just received a phone call from Newburyport Red Cross.  Due to
several apartment buildings evacuated, this has prompted a stand-by
activation for ARES at this time. 

We are looking for 3-4 operators to assist with coverage of shelters
and local Red Cross offices.  PLEASE DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY AT THIS
TIME!!!  Potential coverage areas will include the Beverly Red Cross
office, the Newburyport Red Cross office, and one or two local
shelters in Newburyport.  We currently anticipate the time frame to
be in two shifts, both a morning or evening shift, but it should be
noted this is subject to change.  This shelter may be operated for 72
hours or more, so help may be necessary over multiple days.

As we continue to monitor the major flooding of 2006, I remind
everyone that the 145.470 Danvers repeater currently has an active
net and I strongly urge everyone to monitor this repeater for any
updates with regard to the storm.  In the event that our local ARES
group is fully activated, I will send a second message out over this
e-mail list and coordinate our efforts on the 145.470 Danvers
repeater.

Should anyone have any questions, please contact either myself by
cell, or Eric, KA1NCF, North Shore District Emergency
Coordinator

I appreciate everyone's efforts and look forward to continuing to
work with you all.

Jim Palmer - KB1KQW
North Shore Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator
North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator