EmCommMany SARA members and other hams in the Stafford area volunteer to participate in Emergency Communications (EmComm) support to the Stafford County government and those jurisdictions within the immediate SARA repeater coverage area, including the Red Cross regional office in Spotsylvania. SARA provides the use of our repeaters, and operates and maintains equipment provided by Stafford County, to support emergency communications. Such equipment includes VHF/UHF mobile, and HF radios for EMCOMM provided by the County. Please also visit the Stafford County-approved Stafford EmComm Team website for more information.
A couple of years back we sent out an email to SARA members to determine their interest/willingness to be a member of the Stafford EMCOMM Team and that inquiry resulted in a great response and we thank everyone for their willingness to support the County whether a resident or not. Over these last few years we have had very few calls from the County to man shelters or the EOC but during those times we were we had excellent support and thank everyone for that as well. During hazardous weather SARA has ensured local reports were passed through the weather net to both Stafford County EOC as well as the National Weather Service (NWS) via the Skywarn network. These services really strengthen our County and are recognized. Your efforts have enabled several things to happen:
- Stafford County has procured several dual-band VHF\UHF mobile radios which are installed at the EOC, the EMV, and Command Bus.
- Stafford County has procured a new IC-7300 for the EOC which provides not only a local HF capability but an inter\intra state capability.
- Stafford County has procured several new Antenna's to support EMCOMM operations as well as SARA members use and are located at the Garrisonville Repeater site.
- Stafford County has paid for climbers to install these additional antenna's on the free standing cell tower.
- A new commercial grade antenna will be installed the next time a climber is secured to replace one of the existing multi-band antenna's that took a hit a couple of months ago.
- The County has also opened up training opportunities for our folks both EMCOMM Team members and local area hams such as FEMA courses and Skywarn courses.
EmComm OutreachPeriodically we need to reach out to those individuals who have volunteered in the past to:
- Verify that those individuals who have volunteered to support from home during emergencies remain willing to report events via our repeaters.
- Verify those individuals who are have volunteered to be on site (EOC or field location) are still willing and capable to carry out those duties.
- Solicit new volunteers
- Answer any questions concerning EMCOMM that they may have.
Stafford County Emergency Communications Team & ARES® Standardized Training Plan
Stafford County Emergency Communications Team Plan
If you're interested in joining the Team at any level application. Please fill it out and send to Rich - KH7RC.
SARA participates in SKYWARN, a network of volunteer severe weather spotters, who act as the "eyes and ears" of National Weather Service (NWS) offices throughout the county. The spotters are trained by local NWS Forecast Offices on how to spot and report severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and flooding. In some areas, spotters also report snowfall and ice accumulation.a field spotter network trained and sponsored by the National Weather Service.
The local NWS designated SKYWARN repeater is our 145.270 machine. SKYWARN net control operators can activate the SKYWARN mode on the repeater [SKYWARN mode puts the CW id in the courtesy beep, activates the SKYWARN announcement every 16.7 minutes, and disables numerous admin announcements], and then take weather reports to be relayed to the NWS in Sterling, Virginia. For more information on SKYWARN, and to see a list of the area repeaters supporting SKYWARN, go here.
For an on-line tour of the SKYWARN area...go here.