The quarterly County communications drill will be a “stay at home” exercise of the Resource Net from Level 1 through Level 3. (Something we don’t do very often – but we all will depend on the process when the next major earthquake arrives.) Any County MAC or ham is invited to participate. The operational period is 14:00 to 16:00. The drill event will be a simulation of a self-alerting major earthquake, two simulated aftershocks, simulated (or real) activation of participating City EOC radio rooms, and hopefully several mutual aid requests which need to be fulfilled from available MACs/MITs and other available ham radio operators, and finally a simulation of assigning/dispatching and travel tracking.

The drill planning documents as well as some materials needed for field communicators are posted at the county website:

If you would like to participate, this email is the “short form” of the instructions. You are welcome to read the entire detailed ICS 202 document that is posted on the website.

If your city wants you to do contact the city first for preliminary safety assessments, city Mike-Mike information reports, etc., please follow your city’s in-place instructions. If in doubt, contact your EC. Otherwise, please join us on the Resource Net when able. If you are from outside the county, then please pick one of our cities for Mike-Mike reports.

There is one change for this drill for resource net repeaters: the W6ASH 2m machine is not available for linking at this time. We will be linking W6ASH 440 MHz with AA6BT and N6NAC. Please see the voice frequency list on the county website for the frequencies. The County EOC Radio Room will provide Net Control for this drill and will open the Resource Net.

The first hour of the drill is divided into 3 (three) 20-minute phases: first, the initial drill earthquake followed by two simulated aftershocks. These will be announced by Net Control. For each phase, we would like you to read an observation then select a suitable Mike-Mike level for that observation. The table of observations is downloadable from the above drill web page. Select your letter as follows:

First phase: first letter of your FCC callsign suffix.
Second phase: last letter of your first name.
Third phase: first letter of your last name.

Then follow the observation for that letter. Reminder that the Mike-Mike scale used by SCCo ARES/RACES is documented at: . Due to priorities (triage) and message load, Net Control may not be able to “service” your M-M report. If a new phase is announced, please reset and select your next letter, next observation, and next M-M level for the new phase. Said differently: due to prioritization of responses, lower level M-M information reports may be skipped.

During the third phase of the drill, some cities may announce their activation and the Resource Net transitions to Level 2. We will follow Level 2 procedures by asking impacted hams to move their city net. Come on back to the Resource Net when released by your city. Again, follow Net Control instructions.

The fourth phase of the drill is from 15:00 to 16:00. Mike-Mike report collection stops. Net Control will be prioritizing three activities: 1) asking for communicators that are available for an assignment (this may be before we announce any simulated assignments), 2) assigning operators and dispatching operators for simulated Mutual Aid response to a location within the county, 3) tracking simulated travel and allowing for periodic health and welfare checks for those simulating travel. Again, follow Net Control’s instructions.

For indicating availability: for MACs also include your Types and Qualification levels. If you are not a MAC, then indicate “field communicator” and/or “net control” ability. If you are assigned and dispatched, please simulate traveling to the assigned location and try to give accurate health&welfare responses for location and odometer updates as if you were actually traveling to the destination. If you get to simulate arriving at the destination (time permitting) , please inform Net Control. Please do the homework assignment (see below). NOTE: for Mutual Aid Request resource assignments, the County will be prioritizing available MACs over other available communicators. This last hour will likely be quite busy. Please be patient and understanding that Net Control may be dealing with a heavy message load and due to prioritizing (triage) may not get to everyone.

The drill ends at 16:00 and the Resource Net will be closed. All participants are expected to have a received an awesome practice opportunity and learning experience.

Thank you for your consideration of participating in this drill as a field communicator.

Homework assignment:

Please have your Thomas Guide or other map resource available so that you can get an accurate route from your location to the street address, if you are assigned and dispatched. The street address will be real and may be anywhere in Santa Clara County.

If you are using a “smart phone” for your map resource (e.g. Google Maps), please prepare for this drill by updating your offline areas prior to the event. During the event, please put your phone in airplane mode and turn off WiFi. Practice for a real event dispatch as phones and Internet services may be out.