Notes from North Carolina Section ARES Meeting

May 3, 2008

State EOC, Raleigh

By Bob DeWitt, K4RLD

Folks…  The state ARES meeting was held Saturday at the State EOC in Raleigh.  What follows are notes that I took during the meeting:

Simulated Emergency Test…  Changes are coming.  Emphasis to be more on regional rather than section exercise.

National NTS exercise is being planned and should be held later this year

Broadband Over Power Lines issue has lost steam.  Too expensive for power companies to implement.  ARRL was lawsuit against the FCC.  If "broadband" isn’t dead, it’s certainly in intensive care.

Special license plate fees…  Many of you will remember that Joe W1FAI mentioned at the January AREA 13 meeting that organizations that have special license plates receive $10.00 each time that those plates are renewed.  There are nearly 3,400 amateur radio plates issued each year so we are talking about $34,000 each year that could be used for the public service aspects of Amateur Radio.  According to Tim (N4IB) the Section Manager, we will have to form some type of corporation or foundation before we can proceed.  I’m not sure that there has been any progress on this subject.

State ARES Objectives For 2008:

                Increase membership

                Fill vacant positions

                All ARES members trained in ICS courses (IS-800 is now being required in many areas)

                Implement statewide digital communications

                Implement Training Officer position

                Increase activity on the Tarheel Emergency Net

                Obtain a list of relief operators that are self contained

The Western Branch was singled out for both their training efforts and the monthly EC  reports.

State Digital Plan was discussed…  Orders have been placed for a PTC II for the Eastern Branch Office, the State EOC, and the Western Branch Office.  No one seemed satisfied with the progress on this issue.  And, there were a number of questions as to just who is on the committee and what is being done.

ICS-213 message form…  This is a message form that has been developed.  It is a form that has space at the top for the outgoing message, and a place at the bottom for the response coming back to the sender as well as other information.  It was observed that there was no message number or a  "check" count.  The question was, if a large volume of traffic has been sent out, when a reply is received, how can it be determined to which message the reply should be attached.  This will be reviewed and an improved version placed on the NC ARES webpage (www.ncarrl.org/ares).

There was discussion about "incoming" health and welfare traffic during an emergency.  It seemed to be the consensus that the local EC should be the one to decide when the resources are available to handle "incoming" traffic of that sort.

Bernie asked that the ECs and DECs do more to promote SKYWARN around the state.  And, if the local SKYWARN effort is under the control of ARES, that each activation should be listed under

Emergency Operations on the monthly EC report.

Paul KD4OZI the Western Branch ASEC asked about having these meetings in the Western Branch from time to time.  Bernie said that he understands that it is a hardship on Western Branch counties to attend because of the distances involved and is considering have a second meeting later in the year that would be held in the Western Branch.

 

Bernie made a point of lauding Cleveland County for the aggressive manner in which they have initiated Cleveland County ARES and SKYWARN.  June W4LPL, Ben KM4C, and Cleveland County EC Susan K4ZXN attended the meeting.  They were the only county represented from AREA 13 and the Western Branch.