Rankin County Emergency Plan

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Amateur Radio Emergency Services

Emergency Plan for Rankin County, Mississippi

1. Introduction

    1. The Rankin County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) is composed of FCC licensed Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and equipment for public service communication duty.
    2. Under Federal regulations, Amateur Radio public service communications are furnished without compensation of any kind.
    3. The Rankin County ARES functions under this Emergency Plan under the direction of the Rankin Co. Emergency Coordinator (EC) who is appointed by Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Mississippi Section Emergency Coordinator in consultation with the District Emergency Coordinator.
    4. The EC may appoint assistant EC’s as needed for the ARES to function efficiently.
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this plan is to provide a written guide containing the minimum amount of information that would be needed in an emergency. Each emergency is different and flexibility to provide an adequate response to each is a necessity.
    2. The primary responsibility of Rankin ARES is to furnish communications in the event of a natural or man-made disaster where regular communications fail or are inadequate.
    3. All drills, training, and instruction shall be carried out to ensure readiness to respond quickly in providing effective amateur emergency communications whenever an occasion may arise.
    4. The following agencies could be served during a communications emergency; the Rankin County Emergency Operations Center (see appendix 1) and River Oaks Hospital Flowood (see appendix 2) are our primary served agencies. Any other agency requesting assistance from ARES will be given consideration.
  1. Activation
    1. Any member of Rankin ARES who for any reason suspects a communication emergency should monitor the Brandon repeater 147.345 mhz with a 100 Hz tone for activation of the Rankin ARES net.
    2. If local phone service is available, the EC and AEC’s should be notified by telephone.
    3. In an emergency in which Amateur Radio might serve the community, the Amateur Radio operators may be alerted by any served agency by notifying the Emergency Coordinator.
    4. Upon activation by the EC or AEC Rankin ARES will be notified using the “OneCall Now” Automated Staff Recall System provided by River Oaks Hospital. (see appendix 3 for a roster of Rankin ARES members and contact information), and (see appendix 4 for instructions on using the “OneCall Now” system.)
    5. In the event that the “OneCall” system is not operable but regular telephone service is still functioning, each EC or AEC will call their group for notification. 
    6. Upon the awareness or notification that a communications emergency exists, members of the Rankin Co. ARES team will check into the Rankin County ARES net on the Brandon repeater 147.345 mhz with a 100 hz tone for further instructions. If the repeater is down a simplex back up of 147.345 simplex will be used. 146.540 may also be used.
    7. Mobile units may be activated and dispatched as needed.
    8. The EC will assume net control or delegate another station as net control station (NCS) Control will be from Rankin County Emergency Operations Center, River Oaks Hospital Flowood, the ARES bus provided by Rankin EOC or any other ARES “Official Emergency Station” (OES).
    9. This station is designated as a “Key Station” and will be utilized during a communications emergency. This key station has full emergency power capability with relief operators assigned to ensure continuous operations.
  2. Duties of NCS
    1. The Rankin ARES net will be called to order by the NCS.
    2. Members of Rankin ARES should be checked into the net from their home or mobile stations to await further instructions.
    3. Liaison stations with the following nets will be assigned as needed:

The Metro Jackson ARES net 146.760 mhz with a 77 Hz tone

The Jackson Amateur Radio Club Emergency net 146.940 mhz with a 100 hz tone

The Scott Co. ARES net on 145.390 mhz with a 77 hz tone

The Mississippi Section Phone Net 3.8620 5:30 PM practiced daily.

    1. Operators of stations not on emergency power should be coordinated to effectively operate the “Key Stations” as needed.
  1. Operations
    1. All written messages shall be in standard ARRL radiogram form or the ICS- 213 form.
    2. All written messages must be signed by the official originating them, with their title, taking responsibility for their contents.
    3. Messages precedence’s of EMERGENCY, Priority, Welfare, and Routine as defined by the ARRL form FSD-3 shall be used on all messages.
    4. The Rankin ARES emergency net is a directed net. All transmissions shall be directed to net control.
    5. HF communications may be utilized on 3890 night and 7275 day with the Delta division. The Mississippi Section Phone net on 7238 khz daytime and 3862 khz nighttime. Our served agency River Oaks Hospital Flowood and other healthcare agencies may use these frequencies as well as alternate frequencies of 3867 khz nighttime and 7233 khz daytime.
    6. Digital modes may be more effective to serve Healthcare agencies. The primary software package for digital communications is RMS Express using Winlink via a soundcard interface and the Winmor protocol. The Pactor III protocol and a modem may also be used.
  1. Drills, Tests and Alerts
    1. An annual test will be conducted in October in conjunction with the nationwide ARRL Simulated Emergency Test.
    2. The Rankin Co. ARES Team will regularly supply public safety communications in conjunction with local event, to test the effectiveness of their operations.
    3. The Rankin ARES net meets every Thursday at 8:30 PM on the Brandon 147.345 mhz repeater with a 100 hz tone. 147.345 simplex will be used if the repeater is off the air.
    4. At the discretion of the EC, the ARES net will be activated unannounced via the telephone at least once a year. This will be announced “As a Test”