Presentation Night Welcomes O-Dot

This Thursday's presentation night on April 20, we will be joined by the O-DOT project engineer for the I-75 project. This would be a good opportunity for us to inquire about such things as the fence, the possible sound barriers and anything else the membership can think of to ask. As always the meeting is open to the public and we all hope to see a good turnout for this person; especially since they are taking time out of their busy schedule to come talk to us. So bring yourself and your questions too.

Digital modes and EmCom discussions for program night

This month's coming presentation night on Thursday, 16 2017 is set to cover topics including digital modes and their use both in emergency communications as well as every day life for fellow ham operators. Other topics to be discussed will include a discussion on acquiring MARCS capable radios to help integrate us with other agencies in the event of an emergency. We would like this to be an open discussion with our membership as well as others with concerns about emergency procedures and communications. As always the meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7:30PM. Come prepared with questions, an open mind, and maybe some answers as well! We will look forward to seeing everyone there and look for a packed house.

HEARS/ARES Members Conduct Simulated Emergency Test

Reports of economic turmoil, civil unrest, unreliable electric grid, waning cell phone service, skyrocketing food and fuel prices, The End Of The World As We Know It...
 
it's not an apocalyptic thriller; it's the annual Ohio ARES S.E.T.
 
The exercise began with a week's worth of hype to set the scene for the largest scale emergency ever simulated by Amateur Radio volunteers in Ohio, all culminating in a 6 hour exercise beginning at 8am on October 1st. At a state level, ARES had the involvement of the Ohio Military Reserve in their tabletop exercise.
Local nets were activated on the grounds that amidst all the chaos, the Ohio MARCS radio system was also down and out. Amateurs all over the state and in our own county promptly jumped in to action; traveling to nearby locations that would be key to the well-being of our community in this scenario. Shelters, Fire stations, the Hancock Co EOC, and Findlay PD were all covered by our HEARS/ARES members to simulate our service being the last line of communication when all else has failed. All volunteers participated with emergency power, and many also activated APRS in their vehicle to aid in locating these key points when traditional infrastructure isn't functional. In total, 11 amateurs in Hancock County participated in the drill as it was simultaneously conducted all over the state. The local net was active for over 2 hours as we tested traffic handling and simplex propagation to/from our shelters and points of contact.
 
This exercise was a ripe opportunity for us to reflect on the level of preparedness we have achieved. As the last line of communication; are we prepared for our role? Do we have the backup power, stored food and water so that we can provide for ourselves and loved ones when "the big one" hits? This was definitely "not your grandma's SET", as stated by Ohio SEC Stan Broadway; but it was a great test of our abilities, strengths, and weaknesses as communications volunteers. 
 
To get involved with Hancock County ARES, please contact EC Evan Hartman at w8kjr[at]yahoo[dot]com.

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