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Michigan 2011 Summary

An overview of the 2011 program year

John McDonough

American Radio Relay League Michigan Section

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Working with state and local governments, as well as a wide variety of non-governmental agencies, Michigan amateurs participate in a wide range of public service and emergency preparedness activities. This report outlines the efforts of the 2011 calendar year.

1. Overview
2. Amateur Radio Emergency Service
2.1. Organization
3. National Traffic System
3.1. Organization
4. Individual Amateur Reporting
4.1. Public Service Honor Roll
4.2. Station Activity Reports
4.3. Brass Pounder's League
5. Exercises
5.1. State-sponsored exercises
5.2. Section Exercises
5.3. 2012 Exercise Plans
6. Internet-based Media
6.1. Electronic Mail
6.2. Web
6.3. Online Social Groups
6.4. Microblogging
6.5. Online Meetings
6.6. Wiki
7. Year over year comparisons
7.1. ARES
7.2. NTS
A. Revision History

1. Overview

The Michigan Amateur Radio Public Service Corps (ARPSC) is an organization of over 2,000 amateur radio operators who participate in public service and emergency response activities. These include such things as providing communications for various walks and runs, as well as reporting storm damage, participating in search and rescue efforts, and providing backup communications for public safety officers.
There are two primary programs, the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS). ARES provides "feet on the ground" for various events and incidents, while NTS provides a communications infrastructure that moves formal messages across the state and across the nation.
There are two other programs, associated with ARES, which do not report independently. These are RACES and SKYWARN. RACES consists of those ARES members who have been approved by their local government to operate in critical areas such as incident scenes or Emergency Operations Centers. This approval generally requires a degree of training and a background check. The Michigan Section and the Michigan State Police have published suggested RACES qualifications, but the responsibility for vetting RACES members rests with the local Emergency Management Coordinator. Most counties follow the guidelines closely.
SKYWARN members provide ground weather observations to their local jurisdictions and to the National Weather Service. SKYWARN members do not have to be ARES members, but almost always are, and most counties run SKYWARN programs as part of their ARES programs. SKYWARN observers are trained by the National Weather Service.
Together, Michigan amateurs reported over 138,000 volunteer hours during 2011 representing a contribution of almost $3 million [1]. This is up substantially over 2010 (88,368 hours).

[1] $2.95 million based on the Independent Sector value of $21.36 per volunteer hour for 2010. 2011 value was not yet available at the time of this writing.