Hurricane Ophelia ARES Activation
On September 13, 2005 at 8:00 AM ARES was activated in support of Hurricane Ophelia. The EOC, Dorothy B. Johnson and Eaton Elementary schools, the Red Cross, and NHRMC requested activation. Only one volunteer activated for the event to man the EOC for one 12 hour shift. Thanks go to Tom Jacobs, KD4BFQ, for coming to the rescue. This event would have required 4 people per shift for 3 shifts for complete coverage. We had some willing to help the next day but conditions were worsening and timing was simply too short to deploy. We did have a casual net and liaison to the HWN and THEN. Thanks go to Lynwood Todd, WA4LEQ. We have a lot of work to do to better prepare ourselves for the next event.
I would also like to thank Paul Magnabosco - AD4HZ, Bill Usher - AG4PA, and Bob Fetterman - N1OTL for helping in the Eaton Antenna project. These guys got one of the new Diamond X-200 antennas installed and operational at Eaton Elementary as the hurricane was fast approaching. This is a great accomplishment and excellent craftsmanship. See photos of the installation here.
ARES Meeting at the EOC
Our 443.400 (Delco Repeater) was added to the Coastal Linking System.
Data from1996 through 2002 was lost during a hard drive failure. If we can reconstruct it later we will.
After the storm had past the National Weather Service station was secured as well as the hospitals. Our stations at both EOC's and the shelters remained on the air until mid morning Sunday the 8th when dependable phone communications were established.
Over thirty New Hanover County ARES members gave of their time and equipment to support our community. One member who manned the American Red Cross EOC lost his house and contents to the hurricane. I am certainly thankful that he was at the EOC during the storm. Many other ARES members lost antennas, trees, roofs and other damage to their homes.
Four ARES members manned a shelter for the entire event (at their request) from Thursday until Sunday without relief.
Words cannot express the admiration I have for the many amateurs that left their homes and loved ones to help the citizens of New Hanover County. These people are the heros behind the lines that make things happen. ARES members also helped with transportation of supplies and generators to the shelters before and after the storm.
Most communications during this activiation were on packet using our shelter boxes and the ARESPack Program. I recommend the ARESPack Program to any ARES orginization that is interested in using packet for Emergency Communications.
We now have four shelter boxes outfitted and ready for service. Each box contains a power supply, dual band rig, 386 computer, color monitor, printer and KPC-3 TNC. The systems are configured to boot the program and walk someone that is not familiar with the program through setting it up. With the exception of one printer failing during the "heat of battle" our systems held up very well.
I am proud to be allowed the priviledge of holding the position of EC for New Hanover County. Especially when I am given the opportunity to see how well our organization operates under extreme conditions.
On behalf of Emergency Management, The American Red Cross, New Hanover Hospital, Cape Fear Hospital, The National Weather Service Wilmington and the citizens of Southeast North Carolina THANK YOU ARES Volunteers for being there.
73 and keep up the GREAT WORK!
The success of this exhibit rests solely on the many ARES volunteers that gave up time and energy to participate. JOB WELL DONE!!
This meeting prompted the New Hanover County Commissioners to approve our request for funds to move our 146.670 repeater to the county's new communications tower and to occupy it free of charge. Our services to the community have been noticed and are appreciated.
Rick Tharrington KD4JRX and Glen Cox KE4BMY both received letters of appreciation from the National Weather Service for their help with SKYWARN during hurricane Betha and throughout the year. Nice certificates were also presented to them both. Rick's certificate and letter were presented to him at the North Carolina State Ports Authority where he works. An article and photograph will be in the North Carolina Ports Magazine in the near future. Thank you Rick and Glen for your work and dedication to SKYWARN.
We utilized packet and voice communications on 2 meters and had a liasion with the National Hurricane Center on 20 meter hf. HF communications were also established with the State of North Carolina Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh and the Area C Office in Burgaw.
Many volunteer hours were expended for this storm and I would like to thank each and every ARES member for leaving their homes and families to provided a much needed communications system for local agencies.
New Hanover ARES had over 25 members activated during this emergency.
We will be having additional training on the packet program we utilize and will be better prepared for future emergencies.
Local agencies have given us high marks on our abilities and manpower.
THANKS TO ALL THAT PARTICIPATED AND GOOD WORK!!!!
Bill AD4DN EC
Thanks to all those who helped with this drill.
A cookout to thank these fine amateurs is scheduled for this weekend at which time certificates of appreciation and other goodies will be presented.
Once again I cannot express my appreciation for the many hours these volunteers donate to help their community.
Bill Murrell AD4DN - EC.
Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club in conjunction with New Hanover County
ARES had a great warmup for Field Day this year by winning the North
Carolina QSO Party. We set up at Hugh McRae Park like Field Day and
operated around the clock. Everyone that participated had a great time
and learned vital operating techniques for use with HF. Azalea Coast's
Club Call KE4ZYW was used.
CONGRATULATIONS - Bill AD4DN EC New Hanover County
When ARES Volunteers arrive at the shelter all is required is to plug the radio into the previously installed antenna and be on the air with ARES pack within minutes.
We hope to have mini exercises during the spring and summer.
In late December we placed our 53.43 mhz. repeater on the air at approximately 100 feet antenna height. Hopefully during the month of March it will be moved to around 200 feet antenna height.
Our primary 2-meter ARES repeater (146.670) should be moved in March to a height of 400 plus feet. An autopatch will also be added. Our primary 70cm machine will take the old location of the 146.670 and should be greatly inhanced by the additional height.
Check into this page and watch New Hanover County ARES Grow!!!
I would like to applaud the efforts of all members of New Hanover County ARES. Their dedication and determination will insure that when we are called upon for emergency communications we will be there and have systems and plans in place to provide what is needed.