The 2018 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is just ahead. The primary ARRL-sponsored national emergency exercise is designed to assess the skills and preparedness of Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers, as well as those affiliated with other organizations involved with emergency and disaster response. Although the main SET weekend this year is October 6 – 7, local and Section-wide exercises may take place throughout the fall. Those who already take part in public service and emergency activities are getting ready for the annual SET, a dress rehearsal, next month. But, the 2018 ARRL SET is an open casting call for all radio amateurs interested in expanding their emergency preparedness knowledge and skill.
The annual SET encourages maximum participation by all Amateur Radio operators, partner organizations, and national, state, and local officials who typically engage in emergency or disaster response.
In addition to ARES volunteers, radio amateurs active in the National Traffic System, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), SKYWARN™, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), and a variety of other allied groups and public service-oriented radio amateurs are needed to fulfill important roles in this nationwide exercise.
The SET allows volunteers to test equipment, modes, and skills under simulated emergency conditions and scenarios. Individuals can use the time to update a “go-kit” for use during deployments and to ensure their home station’s operational capability in an emergency or disaster.
At the national level, ARRL has established formal working relationships with partner organizations and agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American National Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the National Weather Service, the National Communications System, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials- International (APCO-International), Citizen Corps, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), REACT International, Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), United States Power Squadron, and Boy Scouts of America. Details on these organizations and how they work with ARRL and Amateur Radio operators are on the ARRL website.
To get involved, contact your local ARRL Emergency Coordinator or Net Manager. Check on upcoming planned activities through local, state, or Section-wide nets. If you don’t know already, find out who the Emergency Coordinator is and where the nearest ARES group meets. Your ARRL Section Manager should be able to assist.
Additional background on the annual SET is presented in the article, “2017 Simulated Emergency Test Results,” in the July 2018 issue of QST. Guidelines and specific SET reporting forms for ARRL Section and Field Organization leaders are posted on the ARRL website for use by Emergency Coordinators and Net Managers, or by Section leaders in charge of reporting this year’s SET activity. — Thanks to Steve Ewald, WV1X