RACES Volunteers Needed for Peach Bottom Exercise

Wednesday, March 30, 2016, evening:

The sheltering portion of the federally evaluated Peach Bottom Exercise will be held on March 30, 2016 in the evening.  RACES radio operators will be needed to staff the RACES Room/EOC, the shelter at Patterson Mill High School, and a Reception Center.  The actual exercise will begin around 7 PM, but we will need to report to our facilities earlier than that.  Anyone available to participate in this exercise on the evening of March 30, please email Jeff Matthews.

Harford County RACES in Amateur Radio Newsline

Amateur Radio NewslineHarford County RACES was recently mentioned in Amateur Radio Newsline, an independent weekly newscast for radio amateurs.

“Also in Maryland, Harford County RACES reported to the county’s Emergency Operations Center and worked Friday, Jan. 22 continuously through Sunday, Jan. 24, mostly on a standby basis, checking into the Maryland Emergency Phone Net and Baltimore Traffic net.”

Harford County RACES vs January 2016 Blizzard

Message via Jeffrey Matthews, KB3LFG, Harford County RACES Officer

January 2016 blizzardI had been monitoring the weather situation since Monday Jan 18 and sent out an email to the RACES group Monday evening requesting members’ availability over the weekend should RACES be deployed.  I participated in weather conference calls with Harford County on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon from work or home.

On Thursday afternoon, Linda Ploener of Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES), emailed me and requested that RACES personnel be present in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the blizzard.  I arrived at the EOC around 6 PM Friday evening, and Ted Wieworka, W3YR, arrived around 8:30 PM Friday evening.  Both of us stayed there continuously until Sunday.  DES wanted RACES there just in case there would have been a communications outage requiring our services.  So we were really there on a standby basis only.

During our two days there, Ted and I participated in the scheduled situational briefings in the EOC Room, received reports from other RACES members in their homes regarding local conditions in their areas, and did some routine administrative tasks such as re-programming the Yaesu FT-8900 radios in the 9 RACES Go-Kits located in the RACES Room.  I also checked into the Maryland Emergency Phone Net (MEPN) and performed my scheduled net control duty on the Baltimore Traffic Net (BTN) on Saturday evening.  DES formally released RACES as of 7 PM Saturday evening since, by that point, they were confident they would not be needing our services in the field.  Due to road conditions, both of us remained at DES until Sunday.

Active RACES participants

  • Jeffrey Matthews, KB3LFG, RACES Officer
  • Theodore Wieworka, W3YR, Assistant RACES Officer

Additional References

Harford County RACES Active During January 2016 Blizzard

Harford County RACES is now manning the emergency operations center throughout this weekend during the blizzard.  We will be on the 146.775 and 449.775 repeaters.

Good Evening, this is Emergency Manager Rick Ayers with a daily weather update. Harford County Executive Barry Glassman has declared a Local State of Emergency and we have requested National Guard Assets. The Blizzard Warning is now in place and we can expect 18 to 24 inches of heavy snow and potentially more. Harford County has also been placed under a High Wind Warning and we can expect wind gusts up to 65 mph. This is a very dangerous storm and we should treat it as such. I would expect widespread power outages that may last for several days. The Harford County EOC is activated at this time and the Harford County Hot-Line will be activated tonight at 7 PM and that number is (410) 838-5800.