Simulated emergency communication tests around the world

07:56 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

A trend among groups of radio amateurs involved in emergency  communications is the use of disaster scenarios to test equipment and  learn lessons from what went right during an exercise, and what could be improved.

Recently a number of such tests have occurred in the Philippines, North  America, Europe and elsewhere. Every year emergency communication groups engage in GlobalSET, or a simulated emergency test, with each IARU region having been involved since 2006.

The GlobalSETs have tested the capabilities through message handling,  and in 2015 a preparedness or call-out exercise was held to measure the  immediate, short and medium term availability by radio amateurs should  an emergency occur.

When authorities and responding agencies test disaster preparedness,  many groups involved benefit greatly from the training provided and by  working together.

The latest is around October 8, will be a North America-wide exercise,  with emergency communications administered by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and Radio Amateurs Canada (RAC).

The aims are to find the strengths and weaknesses of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the National Traffic System (NTS)) and other  groups providing emergency communications.

Participating radio amateurs will gain experience using standard  procedures and a variety of transmission modes under simulated-emergency conditions.

It will also provide a public demonstration to served agencies such as  Red Cross, and, through the news media of the value to the public that  Amateur Radio brings, particularly in time of need.

Adding some external perspective is the involvement some stations in  Europe who join in through the National Traffic System.

A number of agencies are working to develop emergency scenarios. Plans  may be for a simulated flood, serious fire, severe ice storm, a missing person, a major transportation accident, broken gas line, or any other imaginable disaster.

The International Amateur Radio Union will read the outcome of this and  other SETs, as it continues to advocate for the amateur service, and the  role served by having available volunteers, equipment, spectrum and  training.

Jim Linton VK3PC
IARU Region 3 Chairman,
Disaster Communications Committee

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