The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy to Test Surry Power Station Emergency Response Plans July 25July 18, 2017
“As home to two nuclear power generating facilities, Virginia must constantly remain prepared to address any issues that may occur at one of these stations,” said Dr. Jeff Stern, Virginia Department of Emergency Management State Coordinator. “As with other threats of manmade or natural disasters facing our Commonwealth, VDEM, state and federal agencies, localities and emergency responders must have strong partnerships and procedures in place to address issues that arise to protect life and property. These exercises allow all entities to test response plans, build skills, and solve challenges that would slow real-world response activities.”
The goal of these exercises is to learn and identify any areas of improvement needed by responding entities. To facilitate this process, FEMA will provide a formal report of the exercise within 90 days to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for use in licensing decisions. The final report will be available to the public approximately 120 days after the exercise.
FEMA will present preliminary findings of the exercise in a public meeting at 10 a.m. July 28, 2017 at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, 740 Town Center Drive, Newport News, VA 23606. Planned speakers include representatives from FEMA, NRC, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
June/July 2017 Virginia Section Manager Report
Section Theme---“Moving forward with Amateur Radio for our Future”
ARRL VIRGINIA SECTION June/July 2017 REPORT
Section Theme---“Moving forward with Amateur Radio for our Future”
This a dual month report because of work travels as well as vacation for many of you as we enter the summer season.
OK, spring is here and we are the threshold of summer and Hurricane Season has officially started as of June 1 st. And, of course one of the ARRL’s most active events is Field Day coming up June 24 & 25. The following message is for those clubs and groups that will have active Field Day events. We expect to have about 150 locations listed in Roanoke Division for Field Day, about half of these locations will be in Virginia. I have received numerous invitations to visit clubs around the state. My plans are to visit as many locations as possible dependent on weather as well as my knees. This is always an exciting time for me as well as the clubs I am able to visit.
The following information is to help your group enjoy your field as well as maximize your ARRL points.
If you haven’t done so yet, register your listing at: http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator
1. Monitor your designated repeater talk-in frequency throughout the weekend, even if you close up early in case people are trying to find you.
2. Put big, clear signage on the roads and intersections near your Field Day location so people can get to your site quickly.
3. On your website and promotional material, provide your Lat/Lon coordinates so people can plug them into their GPS.
4. Consider having a “Kick Off” ceremony Saturday afternoon where a dignitary cuts a piece of old coax cable instead of a ribbon. Have an elected official make the first QSO. If media isn’t there to cover it, take a picture for social media and to send later to newspapers and TV stations.
5. Designate 1-2 people to be ambassadors to greet anybody who comes to visit. Never let strangers leave without greeting them. Have brochures to hand out.
MAXIMIZING FIELD DAY BONUS POINTS
Rule 7.3.2 PUBLICITY— Don’t just do a press release for 100 points. Do a newspaper, radio or TV interview before FD and invite people out. Book appearances and send out releases now. Click here with CTRL for Field Day Media Packet. For weekly newspapers, send your release June 14 for publication week of June 19. If you’re lucky to get a reporter to come to your Field Day site, be patient. Many do not know what Ham Radio is. Don’t fall into lingo like “SSB” or “SWR”. Give them introductory and overview material from your PIO table (another 100 points).
Rules 7.3.5 MESSAGE TO SECTION MANAGER OR SEC, AND 7.3.6 UP TO TEN MESSAGES - Instead of waiting for a voice traffic net, send messages via a CW net or anytime digital, such as RMS Express via Winlink. Contact your Section Traffic Manager (STM) on these alternative (and time saving) methods. Up to 200 points.
Rule 7.3.7 SATELLITE QSO - The capture effect makes a QSO via FM hit or miss. Try a CW/SSB bird instead like FO-29, AO-7, EO-79, EO-88, LO-87, the XW series 2B, 2D, 2E, 2F and UKube-1. They generally have longer passes and wider bandwidth for multiple QSOs. 100 points.
Rules 7.3.10 EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY AND 7.3.15 YOUTH PARTICIPATION— Offer to teach the Radio Merit badge to a Boy Scout troop. Up to 200 points.
Rule 7.3.16 SOCIAL MEDIA - If your club hasn’t done it yet, tiptoe into Facebook and Twitter on Field Day using hashtag #ARRLFD.
The Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Communications Test was held on Saturday May 13. This annual HF communication interoperability event, is sponsored by the Department of Defense since 1934, challenges Amateur Radio operators to contact military stations across the US. As expected, this yearly event was well attended and successful.
Recently ARRL Field Services staff made a concerted effort to improve reporting within the ARES program. The main objective was to use information, submitted from ARRL Emergency Coordinators (which is derived from monthly reports by Emergency Coordinators and District Emergency Coordinators) to generate a basic report showing the value that ARES provides to our communities, states and the nation through collaboration with partners at all levels.
I must REPEAT, Our SEC and his staff have been increased their efforts to get ALL our ARES county and district EC’S to do their monthly reports.
It is a difficult effort and some people don’t like to be leaned on, but these reports are CRITICAL for the ARRL as well as our state officials to know how MANY and WHERE emergency communicators are available, if and when they are needed. In addition, our weekly ARES nets are held for a reason. Every net allows ARES as well as ANY ham to check into each net. This gives each ham the opportunity to test and check their equipments operation. If and when an emergency may happen, they know their equipment is in working condition. Private EMCOMM as well as SKYWARN members are encouraged to check into these nets. Cooperation is CRITICAL to effective emergency communications. Reporting has improved slightly, but we still need improved cooperation reporting.
I ask all hams to make use of our ARES Virginia Web site. It contains links to many important ham radio web sites as well full interactive ARES reporting, ARES applications and many other features for old as well as new hams. http://www.aresva.us
Greg Butler, KW6GB has initiated a Winlink weekly check-in session a several months ago. This was done to educate Virginia ARES/RACES members as well any ham that is interested, to how to use winlink as well as establish effective coverage across Virginia. The sessions information can be followed on our ARES/RACES Facebook page.
P2P SESSIONS: Morning session: ~0730-0930L, 3590 kHz (dial, USB). The afternoon/evening session will start on 40m if conditions allow, then move to 80m as needed. .
WHO: All amateur radio operators located in Virginia.
WHAT: VA ARES/RACES Winlink Net
WHEN: Anytime on Wednesday
HOW: This net will accept check-ins via Winlink only. Please do not use a telnet connection (which defeats the purpose of Winlink).
Subject: //WL2K VA ARES/RACES Winlink Net Check-In
Message: call sign, first name, city or town, county, state (HF or VHF)
KW6GB, Greg, Front Royal, Warren, VA (HF)
These sessions check-ins have been increasing weekly and we are over 60+ messages per session from all over Virginia.
Our Virginia SKYWARN programs play a critical role in all types of storm emergencies. It is important to understand that our technical abilities to forecast weather, use of radar, satellites, etc. has improved our warning and reporting, however, nothing can beat an actual person giving a visual account from actual ground level observations.
The 2017 National Hurricane Conference was recently held in New Orleans, LA. As usual Amateur Radio plays an important part of this yearly conference. Sessions were presented by Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR of the Canadian Hurricane Center, Julio Ripoll, WD4R, of the National Hurricane Center WX4NHC, Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, of the Hurricane Net, Rob Macedo, KD1CY OF THE VOIP Hurricane Net, and Bill Feist WB8BZH of National SATERN. All of these sessions were recorded and live streamed at that time. All of these recordings are available on you tube.
For 2017, NOAA has issued their prediction for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. Forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season.
“NOAA’s broad range of expertise and resources support the nation with strong science and service before, during and after each storm to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy as we continue building a Weather-Ready Nation,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “From our expert modelers to our dedicated forecasters and brave crews of our hurricane hunters, we’ll be here to warn the nation every step of the way this hurricane season.”
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Be sure and check the Ready Virginia web page for emergency preparedness. https://www.ready.gov/virginia . This page includes what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area.
The National traffic systems continue to utilize very dedicated hams. Traffic remains steady, but slow. We encourage all hams to learn about the ARRL traffic system as it is still in daily use as well as during emergencies. Please support your local NTS operators.
Please Check the ARRL web site, http://www.arrl.net , for all the latest major and national ARRL and world amateur radio event’s, contest’s and meetings.
July 4th holiday is coming, Drive Safely and Honor Independence Day
NEW SECTION APPOINTMENT
Ken Longnecker, KN4BAF has been recently appointed as LGL (Local Government Liason) and PIO (Public Information Officer) for the Virginia Section.
Ken has extensive experience with USMC, Civil Air Patrol, National Maritime Law Enforcement Assoc., and as editor of Journal of maritime Law Enforcement. In addition, experience with planning for Emergency Planning and Homeland Security will benefit our section greatly. Getting the word out about the achievements and successes with emergency communications and public service events as well as educational opportunities to the general public in addition to local and state government agencies will of great benefit to Virginia hams.
REMEMBER----Education is the key to your success, both in Ham Radio as well as in your life.. We as humans are not perfect, but we will try our best based on our education, experience, faith, and morals.
Dr. Joe Palsa - Virginia Section Manager
K3WRY@ARRL.ORG - 804-350-2665