Simulated Emergency Test
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Simulated Emergency Test
October 19, 2013
The Simulated Emergency Test is a North America-wide exercise in emergency communications, administered by the ARRL and the RAC Emergency Coordinators and Net Managers. Both the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS) are involved. The SET weekend gives communicators the opportunity to focus on the emergency-communications capability within your community, while interacting with NTS nets.
RAC administers our Canadian SETs. Among other objectives we aim to strengthen the relationship between ARES and served municipalities and relief agencies. It is vitally important that this be done at the local EC level.
The deadline for receipt of all reports is January 31, 2014.
here. NO OTHER FORM OR FORMAT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR REPORTING SET ACTIVITIES.
After their chosen SET weekend, participating ECs, Net Managers or others must send their completed forms to:
Please send a copy to your Section Manager (SM) and to your Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) or Section Traffic Manager (STM) as applicable. Be sure to keep a copy for your own records.
Purpose of SET
The scoring format reflects broad objectives and encourages use of digital modes for handling high-volume traffic and point-to-point welfare reports out of the affected simulated-disaster area. Participants will find SET an opportunity to strengthen the VHF-HF link at the local level, thereby ensuring that ARES and NTS are working in concert. The SET will give all levels of NTS the chance to handle exercise-related traffic.
Test messages should carry the word "TEST" before the precedence; that is, "Test Priority" on phone and "TEST P" on CW. The text of such messages should also begin with the words "TEST MESSAGE."
Preparing for SET
During the SET
After the SET
An important post-SET activity is a critique session to discuss the test results. All ARES members should be invited to the meeting to review good points and weaknesses apparent in the drill. Emphasize ways to improve procedures, techniques and coordination with all groups involved. Report your group's effort to RAC and TCA and include any photos, clippings and other items of interest.
National Traffic System
The main function of NTS in an emergency situation is to tie together all of the various local activities and to provide a means by which all traffic destined outside of a local area, section or region can be systematically relayed to the addressee.
NTS routing should be followed. A valid exception is the handling of emergency traffic which should be routed as rapidly and efficiently as possible, bypassing various levels of nets when delivery can be expedited. Another exception is when one station is loaded down with traffic for one region or section. At the discretion of the Net Control Station (NCS), the station may be directed to bypass a normal channel and go directly to a lower (or higher) echelon net.
The interface between NTS and ARES lies in the liaison function between local nets and other NTS nets, particularly at the section level. Responsibility for representation of the local network on the section net lies with the local net manager who may or may not be the EC. Although we usually think of ARES members being the representatives in section nets, it is equally valid to expect NTS personnel to act as liaison to local nets.
At least one net session or substantial segment of a session should be conducted on emergency power. Plan a surprise session or two. Advise the NCS just before net time. If the NCS is unable to operate on emergency power, then someone else must be net control. Only stations operating on emergency power may report in during this time.
One of the first steps on the way to a successful SET is to try to get as many people involved as possible, especially new hams. In a real emergency, we find Amateurs with all sorts of varied interests coming out of the woodwork. Let's get them involved in SET so they will know more about how emergency communications should be handled. Promote SET on nets and repeaters. Sign up new, enthusiastic Amateurs. Many of those offering to help will be inexperienced in public-service activities. It's up to you to explain to them what's going on and provide them with useful roles. They may like it so much that they will become a permanent fixture in your ARES or NTS group.
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