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