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NC ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

2010 NC SET Scenario
Nov 12, 2010

The 2010 SET Scenario is now available here.

Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

2010 NC SET Information Release #6
Nov 11, 2010

An email will be sent on Friday, November 12, 2010 to all NC ARES ECs, DECs and ASECs (and certain other participants and observers) with a scripted outline of the Saturday SET details and an initial chronology. Please note that some parts of that information will change during the SET and the changes will be disseminated via the Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN), normally on 3923 KHz or 3927 KHz, depending on frequency availability. Also note that, should the net begin on 3927, it will probably move to 3923 when that frequency is available. It will be important to maintain a watch on the THEN for the duration of the SET.

Record Traffic. Any record (written) traffic originated by County ARES groups will be specified as to content and recipient in the email to be sent on Friday. No ad hoc traffic is solicited or desired. All traffic will be in ICS-213 format. Please note the following:

  • Groups without Winlink capability (Pactor III or Winmor/RMS Express). Traffic will be sent to a prescribed destination via the THEN. No traffic will be sent directly from a County to the end destination. The originating station will call into the THEN and list the traffic and a designated traffic-handling station will take that traffic and send it to the recipient. The traffic handling-stations may be NC ARES stations, NTS stations, MARS stations or out-of-state stations.
  • The traffic-handling stations will forward messages to the final recipients via Winlink.
  • Groups with Winlink capability may send their traffic directly to the recipient without going through an intermediate traffic-handling station.

Tactical Traffic. Any needed tactical traffic will be sent in plain language without any "Q" signals or any other esoteric content.

This is an opportunity to practice existing skills and to become more familiar with NIMS/ICS procedures, to which we are bound.

Thanks, everyone for plugging-in to this effort.

Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

2010 NC SET Information Release #5
Nov 9, 2010

Several folks have asked about preparing the ICS-217 and ICS-205 forms. Typically, these are prepared by comms staff at an Incident, or as a forward-looking resource for those likely to be called to serve in an Incident Response.

The ICS-217 form may be thought-of as the "Yellow Pages" of radio resources for consideration/planning by Incident comms staff. As such it will typically show all of the local radio resources. The ARES/RACES folks would prepare an ICS-217 for their known resources, repeaters, simplex frequencies, HF, Winlink, Winmor, etc. and provide that to the comms staff for inclusion in their Incident ICS-217. In the event that there is no formal comms staff, don't be surprised if the ARES/RACES operators are asked to fill that role.

The ICS-205 form is the Incident "Radio Road Map" and is prepared from candidate resources contained in the ICS-217.

So, the ICS-217 should contain all resources that you can identify and the ICS-205 will be your work plan.

An example of a filled-out ICS-217 form may be found here: .

Additional content will be added through 1800 HRS Friday, November 12, 2010. After that, updates, changes and/or additions will be disseminated via the THEN, during the SET (0900 - 1100 HRS, November 13, 2010).


Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

NC ARES SET 2010 Information Release #4
Nov 5, 2010

Some, all or none of the following conditions and circumstances may be included in the 2010 NC SET. We, ARES, advertise that we are ready, prepared and willing to support our communities "When All Else Fails". This is serious business - think carefully about it.

If everything is dark, i.e. no phones, no cell phones, most mains power interrupted and your local EM urgently needs your support, how would they contact you?

Do they have a list of names, addresses and street directions? Pager?

RACES requires that local EM be provided a list of names and contact information. Is that up-to-date?

If the EC is away from home, did someone let EM know who to contact and how?

What about a backup plan in case the EC can't be contacted? Who's in charge? It there a hierarchy tree in place?

How does the organization activate under these circumstances?

Is there a specified call-up plan using Amateur radio-only? Has that been tested recently? What happens if the main repeater is down?

Do you have comprehensive written information about your organization? Full contact information? Are you relying on a computer, Internet or Smart phone? Will that work? For how long? What happens if it doesn't work?

What about frequency lists? How recently did you participate in the THEN? Can you recall the frequencies from memory?

Do you have Emergency backup power? For how long?

Can you prepare your family and then begin ARES activities, including deploying away from your residence? Have you planned this, discussed this? Is your family safe and secure and self-reliant under these circumstances? Can you be away for 8 hours or more? Have you arranged for cooperation from neighbors for mutual support?

Do you have fuel, money, credit cards? What if ATMs are down, gas stations can't process credit cards?

Do you have a basic FOG (Field Operations Guide) with frequencies and operations information in the hands of your team members? Can they download it? Have they done so? How do you know that they have it available?

If all else fails, do you have an established radio contact plan and a rendezvous point(s) pre- planned?

Additional content will be added..


Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

Information Release #3
Nov 2, 2010

The NC ARES 2010 SET will focus on the rapid establishment of local communications between specified locations, according to the Exercise plan. One or more circuits to Regional and/or State level control points will be required.

Some may recall a serious Chemical Fire Incident in Wake County, NC on October 5 and 6, 2006. No lives were lost and many lessons were learned. Among those is that NIMS works very well and pre-planning enhances the outcome. Please see: , particularly pages 9, 10 and 11.

For this SET, ECs should become familiar with the ICS-204, ICS-217 and ICS-205 forms. See: .

It is not required that these be utilized in this Exercise, but the benefit will be obvious. Subsequent SETs and other events and Incidents will require this level of pre-planning. If you do utilize these documents, please mention that in your SET report. See: .

Operators that are working on COML course requirements may utilize this Exercise to complete parts of their Workbook, notably the Incident planning documents.

The Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN) will operate during this Exercise and will serve as a primary source of information and events. It will be necessary for participating NC ARES groups to maintain at least one station on the THEN frequency to receive updates and changes in the Exercise script. This will be a dynamic Exercise and all portions of the plan will not be disseminated in advance - some will be disseminated via the THEN, during the exercise. See:

More to follow.
Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

2010 SET Information Release #2
Oct 19, 2010

The NC ARES SET will be conducted in a realistic fashion and in that regard, ARES Leadership and members should be cognizant of the geographic organization of NC as it applies to the Domestic Preparedness Regions (DPRs) (common pronunciation is "Dipper" or "Dippers"). There are 9 DPRs in NC and they substantially influence resource allocations, resource deployments and funding. Similarly, Incident response, coordination and mitigation take place within DPRs.

The image below depicts the 9 DPRs in NC and the counties, within. Click the image for a larger version.

NC Map Highlighting NC Domestic Preparedness Regions

The NC ARES 2010 SET will include activities according to these DPRs. Please be aware of your DPR (now and for the future) so that references to DPRs during the exercise won't elicit any undue "DPR" surprises.

Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator

Information Release #1, October 17, 2010
Oct 17, 2010

The NC ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2010. This event will begin at 0900 HRS EST with a duration of 2+ hours.

This exercise will be very different from many SETs in that it will directly relate to recent historical events and will provide an opportunity to participate in a dramatic real-world scenario. This will not be an “arm-chair” exercise and will require that some participants deploy to certain local facilities and provide comms within their local areas. There is an opportunity for many operators to participate, operating within ICS guidelines and under the span-of-control of the local EC and upward through the ICS hierarchy.

Following are some initial, cogent points related to this SET:

  • NCEM WebEOC will have an Incident created specifically for this event
  • The SET will be conducted according to the ICS model
  • The THEN will provide a "backbone" for Incident management and pacing
  • The SET will operate similar to a formal Exercise (like the annual NCEM exercises)
  • Exercise time will not be coincident with local time – every "real time" hour will encompass 2 (two) Exercise hours. This will be a fast-paced, time-compressed exercise
  • Winlink (Pactor and Winmor - RMS Express) will be used where available
  • Some adjacent-state stations (SSB and Winlink) will participate

Additional information will be added periodically, during the run-up to the SET.

All stations Stand-By....

Tom Brown N4TAB
NC Section Emergency Coordinator