[mdmars_members] Re: //MARS R/ SMD NR 11-68 HURRICANE IRENE AND RESULTS

  • From: pudgeforrester@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: mdmars_members@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 11:50:31 -0400 (EDT)

 Excellent writeup John,
The suggestion I have following on the heels of this event is to see if we can 
get MEMA to issue ID Cards to all of our MD/DC MARS members.  

Clearly they appreciated our involvement and from the conversations I had with 
Hank and others would like even more of our participation there.  

He mentioned things like checking out antennas and coax also he has a need for 
a AM and FM receiving antenna to be installed.

Let me know if anyone needs the use of a small (2kw) generator for a few days.

God bless,
Pudge AAR3RF




-----Original Message-----
From: aar3ck <aar3ck@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: mdmars_members <mdmars_members@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: mike.figlerski <mike.figlerski@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, Aug 29, 2011 9:46 am
Subject: [mdmars_members] //MARS R/ SMD NR 11-68  HURRICANE IRENE AND RESULTS

DE  AAA3MD  NR 11-68
R 291200Z AUG 2011

Good morning, All - 

First and foremost, I know many of our own members have lost electrical power 
or experienced other problems as a result of Hurricane Irene.  If you are aware 
of anyone in our group who needs assistance, please let others know so that we 
might be able to assist them in whatever way we can.  Though the storm has 
past, we may be feeling the affects for quite a while.

Next, let me express my sincere appreciation to everyone for your participation 
and support of our emergency operations during these last several days.  It is 
only because of your selfless dedication that we were able to offer the 
exemplary services that we did.  Several of you helped with the preparations 
for our response.  Many stayed on the air at all hours of the day and night, 
operating with little rest under very unusual conditions, to support 
communications links that would otherwise not have existed.  From my view 
point, net operations were both courteous and professional at all times.

Some of you operated from your QTH, while some operated from MEMA.  Some of you 
did both, burning both ends of the coax.  Many operated on emergency power.  
Some endured the height of the storm and fulfilled the mission by traveling to 
the MEMA site, despite the high winds and torrents of rain.  Some were not able 
to participate this time around for a variety of reasons, and that is perfectly 
OK.  We are, after all, volunteers and we cannot always be everywhere doing 
everything.  There will be other times and places, and some of our roles will 
swap over at that time.

Senior management at MEMA was especially pleased with MARS' response to the 
emergency.  Our operations at their location encompassed both HF and VHF, voice 
and digital.  We erected our own HF antenna down range at the facility, then 
used existing VHF assets and transmission lines.  Our MEMA station constantly 
monitored and copied all net MT-63 traffic for the entire time period, an 
impressive 38 hour stretch of unbroken coverage.  In addition, our members 
provided substantial and direct support to the RACES operation, as they were 
understaffed and not always able to provide the required coverage.  Needless to 
say, RACES appreciates that we have the "know how" to step up to the plate and 
assist.  As importantly, a great spirit of team work and comradery prevailed.  
The latter alone was worth the price of admission.

I definitely want to to say "thank you" to MEMA management and staff, as their 
outstanding support of our operations made it possible for us to do what we 
did.  All MEMA personnel had a "can do" attitude, making our life a lot easier. 
 They were most gracious in their hospitality and provided every technical 
asset we asked for without hesitation.  Support areas included the permission 
to erect necessary additional antennas, a full time data network connection, 
WebEOC access, direct call in "land line" support, and immediate access to 
additional antenna assets on the structure.  To say this was a cooperative 
effort would be a complete understatement.  Oh, did I mention the food?

MEMA senior management also made sure that our mission support was mentioned in 
at least one of the bulletins they issued during the incident.  Additionally, 
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley paid a personal visit to the radio room to 
observe first hand what those "amateur radio operators" were doing.  He was 
specifically briefed on the support given freely by the MARS and RACES 
organizations, including shelter information that otherwise was not directly 
available.  Governor O'Malley later referenced the amateur radio support 
operations in a televised address conducted at MEMA.

In the final analysis, we are clearly on the radar for assisting in future 
operations.  And lest we forget, we would not be talking about this at all had 
the ground work not been laid quite some time ago.  Relationships that were 
started three years ago, or maybe longer, have formed a foundation upon which 
we stand now, and upon which we continue to build.

Please send your after action report to either myself or Nick, AAM3EMD (as seen 
in his earlier email) as we want to make sure we capture as many comments about 
this activity as possible.

Thanks and 73,

John  AAA3MD


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