Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

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Shiloh
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Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by Shiloh » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:05 pm

I just got ahold of a local guy on our repeater who's at least partly in charge of our local ARES/RACES chapter. I had a little exposure to it with CERT when I was still in washington, but was hoping to get involved here. Any advice for someone who might be getting involved with disaster comms on a wide-scale?
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KYZHunters
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by KYZHunters » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:18 am

For two years I sincerely tried to motived our local ARES coordinator into moving forward from the monthly 3 guys sitting around a table bitching.
-How about integrating the local CB operators into our 'plans' and then running licensing classes for those with more than 7 teeth in their head? "We tried that in the 70s and it didn't work."
-Look, I bought a CB base station so we can give it a try. "Tune it to channel 38 that's where they talk about kiddie porn."
-Licensing classes for our volunteer firefighters, CERT, rescue teams and the Medical Reserve Corps? "Waste of time."
-Putting the EM station on the air for Field Day to practice our skills and exercise the generator? "We have a generator?"
-How about we sit around and bitch about the FCC dropping the morse code requirement?
"Sounds good!"

Exit me, pursued by a bear.

I hope your mileage varies.
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by pir8p3t3 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:06 am

I'm a member of ARES here as well as CERT. I tried very hard to be active with ARES, but in my opinion the communication within ARES is poor, that could be partly my fault. The CERT coordinator here is very good at keeping us posted on things that may be relevant, while most of the time the ARES communications are about scheduling meeting to figure out how to make communications within the group better. Kind of ironic that an Emegency Communications Group, has problems communicating internally.

Don't get me wrong, the group has improved over the past year, and the gentleman in charge now is obviously trying to improve things, but when it comes down to it, I have a limited amount of time to volunteer, I find my time is both better spent and more appreciated from the CERT team.

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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by Shiloh » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:39 pm

I was worried about a lack of participation as well, but I was talking to one of the folks involved with it here and they told me the local ARES group was pretty active despite the small population. There's only about ten guys involved, but I'd heard they're good people. A few of them volunteer every year during wildfire season in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, etc to help with comms there. I'll talk to a few more and see what they're about.
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by KYZHunters » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:10 am

Shiloh,

I know my reply was a downer; I'm glad you found a group that's active. Every time there's a tech leap someone says there's no need for ham radio, then a tornado, flood, earthquake or wildfire comes by and there is ham radio. While licensing is at an all time high, activity on bands other than HF has diminished. Too many folks study, get their ticket and a radio then hit the 'now what?' point. I think if everyone had an active ARES group there would be far fewer HTs gathering dust.
Truly, best of luck.
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by gary in ohio » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:46 pm

Some areas of the US ARES is VERY active, Some ares RACES is very active. Some areas neither are active. We have a pretty active ARES in Ohio.

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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by Hollis » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:55 pm

gary in ohio wrote:Some areas of the US ARES is VERY active, Some ares RACES is very active. Some areas neither are active. We have a pretty active ARES in Ohio.
That seems to be a common trend. We have a local ARES and Social Radio club. Some are members of both, some don't like the other to much. Now if can just get humans to behave.

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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by Shiloh » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:30 pm

Got my application forms, now I'm just waiting on the copies of my CERt/NIMS certifications to come in. I also spent some time talking to some local guys on our net who are involved, seems it's actually a relatively active group. A few of them went up to Colorado last year when they were dealing with major flooding and helped out quite a bit, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by Hollis » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:40 pm

^^^ that is cool.

I have been thinking of joining ARES.......... Depends on the time available thing. It is good that you are doing something.
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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by TheQuietSurvivalist » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:11 am

This is just my opinion about ES communications groups

I think every operator should get involved for the following reasons

1) Good practice using your radio as well as the deployment packages the group has.
2) It is fairly common knowledge the voice communication in some instances will be a deception and digital will be where the real info is transmitted. This removes the intel from common scanners. Learning the use and modes of digital communication will allow you later to be a source of real intel for your group instead of just scanning freqs and wondering like the rest of the world.
3) Everyone in the military has found out this little tidbit of info. When you wanted to know what was going on you asked 2 people. The CO's driver and the commo guy at the back of the tent. They knew all, saw all, heard all. And for the right price you can know all too. The price you pay is time spent getting inside the loop, being one of "the boys" on the air so when the shtf you are a recognized commodity instead of being just another nobody on the air. Never underestimate your own ability to gather intel for your own crew inside another group. Because the ARES guys know where and what everything is.

YMMV

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Re: Anyone involved in ARES/RACES?

Post by CoffeeGuy » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:35 pm

Went the CERT route initially.. great free training! Everything from light field first aid to triage to helping evacuate damaged structures and even how to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher... yeah I know it should be a no-brainer but you get to actually put out a few fires. I am going to go back for refresher training.

During some CERT volunteering I learned about ARES/RACES, took the free classes, got my tickets, and jumped ships. Out here it is what you put into it. Pretty much twice to three times per month there is an opportunity to get out and test your skills from radio exercises to radio support for events like Hood To Coast and the Air Show.

Last months ARES/RACEs meeting went over go bags - what to pack and what not to pack. We are encouraged to have 7-day supply bags. Best way to help your community is to not be in need of help so you can provide radio support without impacting efforts.

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