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2. Objectives

2.1. Alternate operating location

Recent incidents such as the Northern Michigan and Detroit floods, as well as exercises such as Northern Exposure have demonstrated that some incidents can make large areas of the state unusable for one reason or another.
Most counties have an alternate EOC location, but all too often the alternate EOC is exposed to the same hazards as the primary EOC. Even so, we practice from these alternate locations all too infrequently.
Each year on Field Day we practice operating from primitive locations using backup power. However, in an actual incident there will probably not be as much planning time, and in all probability, there will be some sort of sructures available. However, these structures will not be those with which we are familiar. In many such cases, and even in some cases from the primary EOC, we may need to rely on VHF relay to a fixed station.

2.2. NBEMS Messaging

More and more we are being asked to transmit formal messages. Often these messages are complex forms or lists of specific things such as people's names, code numbers or names of pharmaceuticals. These can be difficult to transmit accurately on phone, and almost as difficult on CW. More often we are relying on NBEMS to maintain accuracy.
In addition, we are experiencing an unusual, and unfortunate sunspot cycle. We are just coming out of the weakest cycle in recent memory. There are still a few years until we hit the minimum, and a few more years until the flux returns to normal.
Long term solar flux
Graph of Long term solar flux
Figure 1. Long term solar flux

In spite of the low flux, this cycle has brought frequent magnetic disturbances and significant noise, making the lower frequencies difficult. The NBEMS modes help us with this situation, and as you can see from Figure 1, “Long term solar flux”, these conditions will likely be with us for some time.

2.3. ICS Forms

We frequently see various ICS forms and often are asked to transmit them. However, there are few that we need to fill out.
The Emergency Coordinator should prepare an ICS-201 and ICS-202 before briefing the team. These forms help focus on getting the important information together. However, these forms are likely to be used only by the EC and typically not shared with anyone else. The "official" incident 201 and 202 will be part of the IAP, generally assembled by the Operations Section Chief.
The ICS-205 is another matter. In any incident that is beyond trivial, the 205 helps the EC think through setting up the communications circuits. The EC should have previously prepared an ICS-217A so the exercise of the 205 can be purely focused on incident needs.
In a more complex incident, the EC may need to prepare a 205 for the COM-L so that person has amateur radio assets available when building the incident 205. In some smaller counties, the EC may need to function as the COM-L and the 205 will also need to account for public safety communications assets.

For Official Use Only