2023 Indiana ARES Simulated Emergency Test

By AK9R, 27 September, 2023

Date: October 14, 2023

After review, and with input from State and Local government, we have selected next April’s Solar Eclipse as the event we need to begin preparations for, and will be using the October 14th SET for these efforts.


By coincidence, on October 14th, an annular eclipse is occurring over the United States. For the SET, we are simulating that the eclipse will pass over southern Indiana. With the number of individuals anticipated to visit the eclipse path, guidance from state officials is to anticipate that 911 and cell phone communications will become unreliable, and traffic congestion will make assisting the public very challenging. A District 8 county is requesting amateur radio support to position stations across the county’s roads to help provide awareness of any public assistance needs or emergencies while individuals are stuck in traffic. The operators are only required to provide details of the situation back to County Net Control, not administer first aid or provide traffic control. Because of the hilly terrain, they are requesting:

  • mobile/portable stations (no HT’s) that have the ability to setup elevated antennas (no magnetic mount antennas), with a beam, if possible, for operations on VHF,
  • stations that may be able to establish locked-band (not cross-band) repeating operations to be stationed at high elevation points in the county
  • Mobile or portable HF stations that can setup NVIS operations for 40m are also requested.

The estimated active deployment duration is 24 hours, including registration, escort and arrival at the assigned location, operating period, and release. Operators should plan to be self-sufficient for power, shelter, and their well-being (weather protection, medications, personal hygiene). Expect to be deployed in a remote location alongside a road without guaranteeing any provisions. Water and three meals (MREs) will be provided during deployment and must be maintained by the operator. Any special dietary requirements or additional food will be the operator’s responsibility. Operators will fall under the county’s liability protection and will be provided details at registration and credentialing.

Exercise Objectives

The objectives for the exercise are:

  • Each county in Indiana to establish a local ARES net, capture the frequency used, and determine what resources are available to assist.
    • This will also help us update the frequencies used for each of the counties
  • Reinforce the local EC -> DEC -> SEC protocol
  • Reinforce the use of Winlink, either telnet, VHF, or HF, for accurate digital messaging
  • Reinforce ARES frequency standards and use
  • Practice a capabilities request and identify the potential skills or equipment required

SET Instructions

Each county is requested to establish a local net on October 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and then each county EC provide the following information to your District Emergency Coordinator over a Winlink email (telnet, VHF, or HF). Worst case use any available email. You can cut and paste this section for the email, we are not requiring a ICS 213 for this exercise:

  • The details for the net including the time of operations (9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. for example), number of check-ins, frequency utilized
  • Deployable stations that meet the requested criteria. Provide the call sign for each station. One station may meet all three capabilities and can be added to each category.
    • VHF with elevated antenna capabilities?
      • + Beam?
    • VHF with locked-band capabilities?
    • HF with NVIS capabilities for operations on 40m

All County Emergency Coordinators are REQUIRED to contact their District Emergency Coordinator over FM to confirm a net was established and that the requested information is being provided over email. If you do not have a District Emergency Coordinator, select a county to coordinate efforts on behalf of the district. If you are unable to select a county to coordinate, skip the FM contact and email the reports directly to me at W9MSK@winlink.org. You have to use capital letters for the call sign or else it will not go through! If that fails use W9MSK@arrl.net.

Between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., either the District Emergency Coordinators or a County EC selected by the district are REQUIRED to contact the State Emergency Coordinator over VOICE to confirm the District’s counties that have participated and that the information received by their counties is being forwarded. The DECs or appointee can then /forward/ the county’s information /as received/ by their counties via Winlink (telnet, VHF, or HF) or regular email if needed, to W9MSK@winlink.org or W9MSK@arrl.net. The information from each of the district’s county’s does not have to be compiled by the DEC. The SEC will monitor the Hamilton County RACES/ARES frequency of 145.17 MHz and the State ARES frequency of 7.272 MHz and 146.490 MHz Simplex.

There is some flexibility if the counties want to conduct their SET prior to October 14th , however I would like the email reports and contacts to your DEC to occur on October 14th.

Please reach out with any questions you may have and your support and participation is greatly appreciated. 

Mike Alley, W9MSK Indiana ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Mobile: 317-694-5546
eMail: w9msk@arrl.net or mikealley.w9msk@gmail.com