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2. Preparation

While some success was had during SE17, there were some weaknesses. Most had to do with the lack of traffic handling practice among ARES® members. Prior to SET 2017, members are asked to review, perhaps several times. Members might practice in a meeting or over the air.
Since HF conditions have been variable over the past few months, counties distant from the SEOC might consider developing VHF relay circuits to the SEOC. These could be useful to all counties along the route.
Since the purpose of this drill is merely to practice voice messaging skills, digital circuits are also available. The SEOC will be operating D-STAR REF024A and Mi5 STATEWIDE1. Counties are encouraged to use these circuits, or analog VHF where possible, to avoid congestion on the HF frequency. For those counties close to Dimondale, the SEOC will also be operating on the Potterville analog repeater, 145.39/100.
ECs should consider reaching out to experienced traffic handlers for assistance during SET. Skilled traffic handlers can not only pass messages more accurately, but also more efficiently. Some years back during an SET we discovered that experienced traffic operators could pass messages as much as 15 times more quickly than inexperienced operators. All jurisdictions will be competing for circuits to the SEOC, so efficiency will be helpful.