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Ex17-2 Participant Guide

2017 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test

John J. McDonough, WB8RCR

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Copyright© 2017, the Michigan Section of the American Radio Relay League
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Each year the American Radio Relay League hosts a contest known as the "Simulated Emergency Test". Traditionally, this was held on the first weekend in October, but recently Sections may participate at any time during the year. For a number of years, Michigan has used the SET as an excuse for an exercise.

1. Introduction
2. Preparation
3. Execution

1. Introduction

Over the past few years, FEMA has been emphasizing preparation for long term communications outages. The Section has participated in many drills and exercises around this scenario.
With the introduction of MI-CIMS, Michigan has become much more disciplined in responding to incidents. Part of that discipline has been to record everything in MI-CIMS. MI-CIMS is the official record of the incident response.
A result of this is that everything is recorded on forms. Many of the forms are ICS forms, but many others are unique to MI-CIMS. The Section has been practicing with MI-CIMS and with transmitting forms over several exercises.
In more likely incidents, however, it would be expected that legacy communications would be restored within a few days. The mission for ARES® then would be to transmit critical messages during those first, critical days.
In preparing for the 2017 Statewide Exercise (SE17), it was determined that the most critical form to be sent from the counties into the SEOC would be the MI-CIMS Resource request, and during SE17, that form was exercised. In a total loss of legacy comms, it is quite likely that an ICS-205A would also need to be transmitted when some forms of legacy comms are restored. It is also possible that the IAP may be desired, in either direction, but the IAP is often a rather large, unwieldy document. However, the IAP consists of a series of ICS forms, and only the first two, the 201 and 202, are likely to be interesting outside the jurisdiction that created the IAP.
During SE17, some success was had transmitting resource requests over voice circuits, as well as digital. Since digital circuits might not always be available, SET 2017 will concentrate on transmitting critical forms over voice circuits.