Last night at the Barry/Lawrence ARES meeting in Monett, I told people about the SEMA Disaster Support Mapbooks, a set of 1:25000 Missouri atlases, one atlas per county, using the US National Grid (USNG) Coordinate Reference System (CRS), in a Geospatial PDF format (readable by most PDF viewers with some applications providing more features than others).
Now that the deployment drill has been completed, it is time to go through the after-exercise process. Since this is the first time our organization is going through this, we will be setting up templates and checklists to make the next process easier. We are following the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Process (HSEEP) which is based to a large degree on the DoD process which has been in use for a long time.
This month, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Auxiliary will have its first field deployment exercise, Operation Earwax, timed to coincide with the National Amateur Radio (Ham) Field Day. The purpose of the exercise will be group training and operational test of field equipment (communications, power, etc).
We have scheduled the CERT Introductory course for 8 and 9 June (Friday evening and Saturday) in the Lawrence County Emergency Operations Center. This is a free training required for all LCSA volunteers. Several of us have also decided to have their older children or family members go through the training. We need at least 15 people signed up to run the course, so please RSVP.
Our next meeting will be Tuesday 8 May at the Mount Vernon Library, from 18:30 (6:30pm) to 20:30 (8:30pm). The meeting is a business meeting for volunteers but is open to the public, especially prospective volunteers.
The LCSA is exploring local deployment of the prototype LifeNet software stack as "a WiFi-based data communication solution designed for post-disaster scenarios". LifeNet is a fault-tolerant multipath routing framework which uses COTS (Commodity Off-The-Shelf) 802.11.x WiFi equipment to route emergency traffic from device to device until it can reach functioning infrastructure.
This is an annual amateur radio gathering in Aurora, Missouri which falls on Saturday 14 April. As discussed at our business meeting of 12 April, they will be conducting licensing tests at 10 am and this is a good opportunity to get your HAM Novice license as well as to meet local ARES volunteers and potentially, perform outreach for the Auxiliary. ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, is the backbone for emergency communications in Missouri; working with amateur operators is critical to our mission.