|Emergency Plan for Columbus, GA Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
This plan is provided as guidance for the members of Muscogee County ARES by the Emergency Coordinator (EC) of the Muscogee County ARES, Georgia Section in preparation for deployment to the Columbus, Georgia Emergency Operations Facilities. The plan will be in effect from the date of publication, 1 October 2005.
The purpose of this plan is to effectively and efficiently mobilize the members of Muscogee County ARES in times of communications emergency, when their services may be needed by Muscogee County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This plan will be tested at least two times per year in an exercise specifically designed for this test. The test will consist of unannounced activation of the telephone tree or repeater, appointment of a Net Control Station (NCS), and an actual check-in procedure of all available hams. During tests only, all communications shall be preceded, ended and at 10 minute intervals with the statement “This is a drill” to prevent undue alarm by non-members who may be monitoring.
3: Activating the Plan
This plan may be activated for actual emergencies by the Emergency Coordinator of Muscogee County. In the absence or inability of the EC and AEC’s, any member may activate this plan upon request of any of the following officials or acting officials of Columbus, GA and Muscogee County:
Mayor or Sheriff
Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Fire Chief, Police Chief, or Marshall
Other individual designated under other City of Columbus documents
4: ARES Mobilization Procedure
Upon activation, which can be by telephone, amateur radio or any other available means, all ARES members will be notified by the current telephone tree or by repeater frequencies published in this document in Appendix A. Members so designated in the activation will report to the Muscogee County Emergency Operations Center. Other members will await further instructions from the Net Control Station (NCS) on the appropriate radio frequency. The first duly designated member to arrive at the EOC will start a net and log as Net Control Station (NCS) on the 146.610 MHz repeater, using the published format in Appendix C, taking check-ins from those members available. The second member to arrive will take over logging duties. All members will check in and stand by for further instructions. The NCS will provide them with brief, guarded instructions and information concerning the emergency as it becomes available and appropriate.
In the event that phone lines are down and an obvious state of emergency exists, the EC will automatically contact the EOC to determine the need for activation. Members should be aware that phone lines may be down in some emergencies, and should always begin to monitor the 146.610 MHz repeater during unusual conditions such as severe weather events and other events that they might monitor on local or national news broadcasts. Schedules for volunteers will be established as needs and resources are identified. De-activation will be called by appropriate officials.
5: Duties of the Net Control Station (NCS)
The NCS shall be responsible for activating a directed net on the repeater. In the event the primary repeater is down, the NCS shall activate on 146.880 MHz repeater, taking check-ins by relay if necessary. If both repeaters are down then 146.52 MHz simplex will be the net frequency. The NCS will start a log of all check-ins and messages passed during the event, and will maintain the log until logging duties can be taken over by a second responding member. The NCS will maintain absolute control of the net during emergencies or drills, and all members are reminded of this control. After the check-in procedure is complete, the NCS will pass such messages as are provided by the EC, an AEC or the Muscogee County EOC. If hams are deployed in the field, as during severe weather events, the NCS shall do safety status checks during lulls in communications, to insure the safety of all deployed members. Members are reminded that they must request permission to leave a net, even for a short time, so that safety status checks will not show them as missing.
6: Traffic Operations (Messages)
All third party messages (for example, a message from the Fire Chief to the Mayor) will be written, using two-part carbonless phone memo pads. These pads will be provided by the EOC. The top sheet is white and the second sheet is pastel. The white form is removed for physical delivery and the pastel copy remains in the spiral bound book as a record copy. Traffic to any official should be written just as other third party traffic. Traffic among the members of the net should be logged as delivered or undelivered with time in and out, also.
7: Membership, Drills, Tests, Training, and Alerts
As outlined in Section 2, above, tests of this activation plan will occur at least two times per year. General training of the Muscogee County ARES membership will occur at each quarterly meeting, according to a schedule prepared by the EC. Members who miss more than half the training sessions during a given calendar year will be dropped from the Muscogee County ARES rolls until the circumstances that caused their excessive absence have been resolved. Weekly nets, for the purpose of net operations training, will be held on the repeater, with the NCS duties rotating among the membership. Field Day in June is an official ARES training event and should be attended by all members whose schedules permit.
Other tests and drills may be scheduled by the AEC for Training, in consultation with the EC and Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. All members are encouraged and urged to take additional FEMA training on the Internet, in the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course or courses offered by FEMA or GEMA. Additional course offerings may be available from the City of Columbus Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; consult the Emergency Coordinator for details and permission to attend. All members must be known to the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
8: Definitions of Terms
Items are included in the Appendix as appropriate for emergency activation.
AEC Assistant Emergency Coordinator
ARES Amateur Radio Emergency Service
ARRL Amateur Radio Relay League
EC Emergency Coordinator
EOC Emergency Operations Center
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
GEMA Georgia Emergency Management Agency
NCS Net Control Station
MMRS Metropolitan Medical Response System
Any member who does not follow instructions and procedures of the City of Columbus and Officials of the City, FCC rules or plain, common courtesy will be de-activated immediately and removed from the ARES membership roll.
Items are included in the Appendix as appropriate for emergency preparedness and activation. Appendix A: Roster and contact list
Appendix B: Net Control script
Appendix C: Organizational chart
Appendix D: Assets
25 April 2016