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Posts Tagged ‘FEMA

When all else fails

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Part of the relevancy of Amateur Radio in the 21st Century is the idea that “When all else fails” Amateur Radio will be there.

From the ARRL

Despite the complexity of modern commercial communications – or perhaps BECAUSE they are so complex – Amateur Radio operators are regularly called upon to provide communications when other systems are down or overloaded.

You can check out what the ARRL has to say here:

What is the “else” in…When all else fails?

Did you ever wonder what has to fail? Curiosity led me to find the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan for my state – Illinois

Here is the scope of that plan

The Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan, or SCIP, serves as the operational blueprint for the conceptualization, procurement, implementation, and usage of interoperable communications by Illinois’ public safety agencies and non- governmental/private organizations. The development of the SCIP was a cooperative effort by a consortium of federal, state, and local public safety practitioners working through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force’s Communications Committee and the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee. Annual reviews/updates to the SCIP will be conducted under the auspices of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The SCIP is much more than a user’s guide to radio communications. The plan outlines Illinois’ interoperability vision, its mission, and the goals, objectives, and strategic initiatives that will be employed to achieve that vision. It establishes standard operating procedures that will be followed by public safety practitioners when responding to disasters or significant incidents and underscores Illinois’ adherence to the tenets of the National Incident Management System. The plan sets forth the methodology that will be used to assess Illinois’ current interoperable capabilities, defines the governance role of the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, and details funding strategies to achieve Illinois’ interoperability vision.,, Most importantly, however, the SCIP demonstrates Illinois’ uncompromising commitment to bring communications interoperability to all of its governmental/non- governmental public safety agencies.

It’s a fascinating read.  In this plan you will find tons of frequencies providing the opportunity to “listen in” on drills and actual emergency communications  (link)

The Bigger Picture

The bigger picture, for Illinois, is located here

Illinois Emergency Management Agency

Disaster Preparedness, Response & Recovery

And then there is FEMA.

Check out the National Response Framework

FEMA offers more than 100 training courses on-line for free

So how does all this fit in with Amateur Radio?

Read the Public Service Communications Manual from the ARRL

Here are some resources from an Illinois ARES group

Mystery Projects – FEMA/DHS AM backup transmitters

And finally, this  article from the Radio Engineering Blog

What is the deal with those FEMA/DHS AM backup transmitters?

Back last February, it was reported that FEMA/Department of Homeland Security was mysteriously constructing prepackaged AM transmitter buildings at various PEP (Primary Entry Point) transmitter sites across the country as something call “Primary Entry Point Expansion.” These buildings contain a 5 KW Nautel AM transmitter, EAS gear, satellite equipment (the exact equipment list is undisclosed) and a backup generator all in a shielded (Faraday Cage), prefabricated building placed inside of a fenced in compound at the station’s transmitter site. The buildings are being put in place, but not connected to anything in the outside world. They are planning to have about 80 (the number keeps increasing) of these structures in place when the project is completed by mid 2013.

Read the entire posting here –

The Take

If all the above is the “else” … and  “If all else fails” I’m not sure I want to be around. Or perhaps, if all else fails, none of us may have a choice to be around or not.

Read a related article on this site –

Written by frrl

February 4, 2012 at 7:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Nuclear Detonation Preparedness: Communicating in the Immediate Aftermath

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Is that thing in North Korea heating up?  Or, maybe Iran?

From your friends at The Department of Homeland Security with publication date September 2010

Amidst the calamity ensuing from a nuclear detonation, a crucial task for federal, state, and local authorities will be communicating clear and consistent messages to the public. All levels of government have responsibility for coordinating and communicating information regarding the incident to the public. State, local and tribal authorities retain the primary responsibility for communicating health and safety instructions for their population. Effective communications will be a critical factor in building trust, comforting a nation in distress, and, ultimately, saving lives and minimizing injury.

This document was developed as a resource for emergency responders and federal, state, and local officials communicating with the public and media during the immediate aftermath following a nuclear detonation in the United States. This document has been approved for INTERIM USE while it undergoes public message testing and review by state, local and tribal emergency communicators, planners, public health officials and responders.

September 1, 2010
Members of the Domestic Resilience Group
IND Response Sub-IPC
Nuclear Detonation Response Communications Working Group

Read the entire guide –

And, the greatest of all – “Duck and Cover” Civil Defense film from about 1951 during the Cold War

We’ll set off a nuclear blast and you soldiers run towards the explosion
(longer version)

How it all works in technical detail –
Operation Tumbler Snapper 1952 Vintage Atomic Bomb Film
Courtesy National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

Written by frrl

December 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

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