ARES - Emergency Operations Plan
A. Amateur Radio Service
The Amateur Radio Service is composed of radio operators who have volunteered their capabilities and equipment to provide supplementary communications in time of public need. Amateurs are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission after passing an examination on their knowledge of telecommunications and technical skills in the operation of radio equipment.
In accordance with treaties agreed under the International Telecommunication Union, frequencies throughout the radio spectrum are allocated to the Amateur Radio Service. By selection of appropriate frequency bands, amateurs are capable of communicating around the world, throughout a geographic region or may limit communications to only a local area.
All nations allocate valuable space in the radio spectrum to the Amateur Radio Service because of its ability to immediately respond in time of need and quickly establish communications where none existed or to supplement existing emergency radio services overloaded with disaster communications.
Under FCC rules, amateurs may not be compensated for providing communications and are prohibited from providing communications that further the conduct of any business.
B. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
Under FCC rules, RACES is provided specific radio frequencies on which amateurs, registered with state and local Civil Preparedness agencies, would continue operating in the event Emergency War Powers were invoked or a nationally declared disaster occurred.
C. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
ARES is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League to provide supplementary or emergency communications for public service purposes other than Civil Preparedness agencies. Agencies served include American Red Cross, Salvation Army, National Weather Service, and local police, fire and emergency management agencies.
D. National Traffic System (NTS)
NTS provides a network of local, state, area, and transcontinental radio circuits for the transmission of non-commercial message traffic in support of the public interest.
E. Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)
MARS is a radio communications service of licensed amateurs who are affiliated with the Department of Defense military services as an adjunct to military communications.
F. Loudon County ARES Organization
The Loudon County ARES Organization is an organization of licensed radio amateurs within Loudon County, Tennessee dedicated to serving the public needs of our area during communications emergencies.
Title 47 US Code 97.1 et seq., Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations, Amateur Radio Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan, Appendix 10 to ESF 2.
This plan has been reviewed and approved by the Director of the Loudon County Emergency Management Agency and the Emergency Communications Director.
The purpose of this plan is to provide quidelines for the authorization and mobilization of volunteer Amateur operators when needed in a communications emergency and to define procedures to be followed.
The Loudon County ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) is appointed by the Tennessee Section ARES Director, with the concurrence of the Director of Loudon County Emergency Management. The Loudon County ARES EC is responsible for all aspects of Loudon County ARES, to include recruiting, training, and operations. The County EC may delegate specific functions, as necessary, by appointing Assistant ECs.
The County EC reports administratively to the Section ARES Director and operationally to the Loudon County Emergency Management Director. ARES networks may be organized to accommodate any need: 1. Coordination Net: A communications circuit among various officials, agencies, or services not normally in contact with each other or whose normal means of communication have been disrupted or overloaded. 2. Relay Net: Direct communications between competent local officials and the local broadcast station(s) to relay emergency information or program material for rebroadcast. 3. Point-to-Point Communications: Direct communications between any two or more points, even in remote areas not served by other communications facilities. 4. Observation Net: Spotters may be positioned in strategic locations to report observations of local conditions (weather, traffic, etc.) back to public officials. 5. Back-up and Supplementary Communications: Where a public safety radio system may be out of service, overloaded, or not able interface with diverse units, amateurs are capable of providing necessary communications, by supplementing or replacing the primary system.
V. ACTIVATION PROCEDURE
A. Acitvation will be at the direction of the Loudon County EMA Director. Activation may be requested by any agency or organization within Loudon County by contacting the Loudon County EMA Director. Cities, municipalities, American Red Cross, Hospitals, Salvation Army, or any agency that serves the citizens of Loudon County in an emergency may request ARES assistance. In an emergency, the Loudon County EMA Director may be contacted 24-hours-a-day through the Loudon County 911 Center.
B. The requesting official, or their delegate, must define their communications needs.
C. The EMA Director will contact the ARES EC to initiate activation. Assistant ECs are also authorized to activate the ARES organization.
D. The ARES EC will design, organize, and staff the communications networks to fill the stated needs. If additional assets are needed, the EC will contact the ARES ECs in surrounding counties for assistance.
Amateurs will immediately establish communications on the 146.685 MHZ repeater when notified by the EC or other ARES member tasked with telephone alerting. If members directly observe conditions that indicate an emergency condition might exist or an alert or warning is issued on NOAA Weather Radio for Loudon County, they should monitor 146.685 MHZ for possible mobilization instructions.
The EC will assume net control or delegate another station as net control station (NCS). NCS will operate from the Loudon County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in the Justice Center. This station is designated as a "Key Station" and will be extensively utilized during a communications emergency. Key Stations will have full emergency power capability and will be staffed with relief operators assigned to ensure continuous operation.
A. The NCS will establish a directed net on 146.685 and receive check-ins from responding ARES members. Check-ins will be with FCC assigned call signs. The NCS will instruct operators to either (1) stand by, (2) report to a staging area with specified equipment, or (3) report to a public official or agency at a specified location.
B. To speed communications flow, tactical call signs will be assigned by the NCS. The call sign will be indicative of the function or location of the operator. FCC call signs will be used to close out each exchange of transmissions, e.g., "This is Weather One, WA4XYZ, Out." Operators should contact the NCS with their tactical call signs when (1) reporting on station, (2) when they have emergency traffic, or (3) when called by the NCS.
C. If necessary, operators will be directed to shift to an alternate repeater if the primary malfunctions or becomes overloaded with traffic. Simplex operations may also be used for point-to-point applications. The primary simplex frequency is 146.550 MHZ.
A. Amateur Radio operators are trained communicators. When acting in that capacity, they are not interpreters, evaluators, or field responders. Their purpose is to transmit messages given to them by responsible officials.
B. Messages should preferably be written and initialed by the responsible official. Short, verbal messages that are easily understood are acceptable in tactical situations.
C. By this plan, amateurs are prohibited from transmitting personal observations or opinions, unless specifically requested by a responsible official. This avoids misinterpretation by citizens or media who may be monitoring on scanners.
VIII. TRAINING AND EXERCISES
A. An annual exercise should be held in conjunction with the national Simulated Emergency Test.
B. At the discretion of the EC, the activation procedure should be tested unannounced, with response only to net check-ins, as he deems necessary to ensure its efficient operation.
C. The emergency response group will meet each Thursday on 146.685 MHZ at 1930 local time to exchange news and information. Limited on the air training will also be conducted.
D. At the request of the EMA Director, ARES may participate in other county level exercises such as those conducted with the Department of Energy or the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Submitted: Mike Henry, Loudon Co. ARES EC
Reviewed: Betty Aikens, Loudon Co. Emergency, Director
Approved: Bob Lewis, Loudon Co. EMA
ADDENDUM TO THE LOUDON COUNTY ARES OPERATIONS PLAN
EMERGENCIES INVOLVING DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FACILITIES IN OAK RIDGE, TN
In the event of a declared emergency at any of the DOE Oak Ridge facilities that may impact the citizens or environment of Loudon County, the following procedures will apply.
NOTIFICATION AND ACTIVATION
Upon receiving notification of an emergency at a DOE facility in Oak Ridge, the Loudon County EMA Director will determine if ARES/RACES activation is warranted. If so, the EMA Director will contact the ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) to order the activation. The ARES EC will initiate pager activation for those key members who carry pagers. Activation of other members will be done by telephone and radio contact. In the absence of the ARES EC, the EMA Director may contact any ARES member to direct telephone activation or initiate the page directly. Communications will be established in accordance with Section VI of the Operations Plan.
Communications requirements will be determined by the nature of the emergency in Oak Ridge and the potential impacts in Loudon County. There is a possibility that certain portions of the Loudon County population may have to be evacuated and shelters established to care for them. In that case, communications will be provided at each shelter to assist Loudon County officials and Red Cross workers with operation of the shelters. Communications may also provided be provided from road blocks or traffic check points, particularly if non-Loudon County assets are employed. Additionally, with the Joint Information Center being located at the National Guard Armory at Eatons Crossroads in Lenoir City, it is likely a large contingent of press personnel and other officials may require some extended logistics support. ARES could be called upon to establish a communications link with Loudon County to assist with these arrangements.
It should be noted that ARES volunteers are not Rad Worker trained or certified. Therefore, they cannot be used for field monitoring team communications or other functions that could potentially bring them in contact with radiological contamination.