Isaias AUXCOMM Bulletin #1
North Carolina Emergency Management has asked Auxcomm to be ready to provide backup communications should the need arise as a result of Hurricane Isaias.
Auxcomm leadership is currently engaged in adapting its Emergency Communications Plan to a unique situation which has never occurred before since a hurricane will be occurring within a nationwide Pandemic. The Pandemic will limit the amount and type of assistance that North Carolina will have available to respond to areas affected by the hurricane.
Planning assumptions for this incident:
a. No Auxcomm personnel will be deployed to forward positions in the Regional Coordinating Centers (Kinston, Butner or Conover) or to the State EOC.
b. Auxcomm personnel are being asked to participate from their home locations.
c. While North Carolina has a very robust communications network. there is a possibility that this storm may compromise or otherwise take out portions of the normal communications infrastructure that links local EOC's and the State EOC.
d. Auxcomm will use its trained personnel to provide backup communications for NC Emergency Management during this event as it has dozens of times in the past.
e. The method of assisting NCEM will differ from previous incidents. Because the combination of a hurricane and a pandemic has never happened before, your operation may involve operation from home on hf, DMR or through linked repeater networks if normal communications are disrupted.
f. The purpose of the Auxcomm operation is to gather and relay information about situations across the state and, if needed, to serve as a communications pathway from the State EOC to local county EOC's.
g. We need information about your current capabilities in order to adapt our operations to the unique situation facing the State.
1. Complete and return no later than 9 a.m. Saturday morning (August 1) the attached survey which seeks information about your communications capabilities and your willingness to participate in one or more networks that AUXCOMM will stand up for the incident.
2. Do not, I repeat, do not self deploy. Any request for personnel or equipment will be dealt with through specific tasking orders. No such tasking has been authorized or requested at this time.
3. Participation in this situation will be counted as an Incident for those personnel with open Auxcomm Position Taskbooks, provided your participation is documented in a series of ICS 213 messages and an ICS 309 message log that documents time on the air, networks accessed, locations, and records of message traffic.
4. Do the following:
a. Test all your equipment so that you know what is working properly. Determine now whether you have antenna problems. Resolve any equipment issues.
b. Check your backup power, whether that is a generator, battery or alternative power sources. Charge several spare batteries for your portable radios.
c. If you have advanced messaging capability such as Winlink, test your station by sending a message to another station and receiving an acknowledgement from the recipient.
d. Await further instructions which will be more detailed as your role. It is presently anticipated that operation will begin on Sunday and extend through Tuesday.
Do not self deploy. This is an opportunity for you to serve the state while remaining at home with your family.
Tom Brown, N4TAB, COMC
Auxcomm NC Section Emergency Coordinator
Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, COML
NC Section Manager