SEATTLE TO USE HAM RADIO AS PART OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PREPAREDNESS TEST, SATURDAY OCTOBER 4TH
Who: Ham radio to assist City of Seattle in simulated emergency communications test.
What: Simulated National Emergency Preparedness Communications Test and Drill by Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service and Western Washington Medical Service Team.
When: Saturday 4th of October, 9-11AM
Where: South Seattle Community College, Olympic Hall, Room 101.
Why: To test Ham Radio’s use in emergency preparedness to serve Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management in times of Disaster and Community needs.
NOTE: Photo and Audio opportunities for Media at South Seattle Community College site.
Contact information: Dave Mann (206) 365-9700 ACS, PIO.
Saturday October 4th
SEATTLE: Emergency preparedness by two trained Ham Radio Communications teams that serve the City of Seattle will participate in a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) as part of a national drill sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League to test the capabilities of Amateur Radio Operators that assist communities with the use of Ham Radio in times of Disaster and Community needs, when normal channels of radio communications fail.
The scenario: A simulated major catastrophic winter wind storm that causes major property damage and severe damage to phone and power lines disrupting electrical power to a majority of Seattle’s neighborhoods and disrupting telephone, cell phone service and normal emergency radio communications for city agencies and hospitals.
Members of the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) that serve the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and the Seattle Sub-Group of the Western Washington Medical Service Team (MST) that serves the City’s hospitals and medical infrastructure will be tested on their passion for communication skills to provide emergency back up Ham Radio communications.
Using emergency powered radios ACS and MST trained communications professionals will establish radio networks in the field communicating with the Seattle Emergency Operation Center Ham Radio Station W7ACS and the City’s medical facilities to pass simulated emergency messages for lifesaving services and communications assisting agencies inside the city using both voice and digital transmissions.
Seattle ACS will set up a Ham Radio emergency operations field center at South Seattle Community College, Olympic Hall and handle simulated emergency messages for the Seattle Transportation and Public Utilities Department to assist in simulated communications necessary to support disaster response and recovery efforts during the drill.
ACS Director, Mark Sheppard, said “The SET provides a great opportunity for our unpaid professional communications volunteers to gain experience and practice skills learned in ongoing training sessions to support the city with amateur radio in times of crisis and community needs.”
MST members will staff hospitals and use Ham Radio as emergency back-up communications to Children’s Group Health Central, Kindred, Northwest, Veterans Affairs, University and West Seattle Psychiatric Hospital. Additional support is provided for Harborview Medical Center, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Vashon Island Health Clinic and Swedish medical facilities at Ballard, First Hill and Providence Hospital.
MST King County Emergency Coordinator, Brian Daly, said “Our members will staff a radio command network using the Seattle EOC radio station W7ACS Facilities for Seattle’s simulated emergency medical back-up communications and will also relay and receive information from the regional Western Washington MST teams and interface information with Seattle’s EOC.”
ACS members will also help staff NOAA Weather Service, Ham Radio Station WX7SEA, gathering weather and simulated damage assessment from regional amateur radio operators and relaying information to regional Emergency Management agencies.
Because of the complexity of today’s normal communications systems, even if they remain functional they are often overwhelmed in a in a disaster. Ham Radio played a critical role in Hurricanes Ike and Katrina when normal communications failed and provided emergency communications assistance between many government and volunteer agencies.
Following the exercise, a post-SET activity a critique session will be held to discuss the test results to review good points and weakness apparent in the drill to emphasize ways to improve procedures, techniques, and coordination with all groups involved.
ACS Members are a team of over 100 unpaid communications professionals, affiliated with the Radio Amateur Radio Civil Emergency Service (RACES) sponsored by FEMA to serve Emergency Management Departments
MST members are affiliated with ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) an amateur radio public service organization sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national membership association for amateur radio operators in the Unites States. Membership for ARES is open to all licensed Amateur radio operators.
For more information about Seattle ACS or how to join the team please visit the Seattle ACS website: http://seattleacs.com . For more information about Western Washington Medical Service Team, visit: http://www.ww7mst.org .
Location of South Seattle Community College:
--- David Russell Mann Jr