Mason County ARES Emergency Frequency Plan

I. Introduction
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is composed of FCC-licensed
Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and
equipment for public service communications duty. ARES is part of the field
organization of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national
association for amateur radio. Under Federal regulations, Amateur Radio
public service communications are furnished without compensation of any
kind.

II. Purpose of the Plan
The purpose of this Plan is to establish a residential based amateur radio
network that provides emergency communication between the ARES Net
Control (NET) and the Mason County Division Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) personnel (EOC NET) during times of emergencies and disasters.

III. Operations
The plan uses frequencies in the following bands: 80-meter, 40-meter, 10-
meter, 6-meter, 2-meter, 1.25-meter, and 70-centimeter bands. The plan
objectives are to avoid overloading a single frequency with radio traffic,
provide a work-around for non-functioning frequencies, and maintain an
operations radio net.

To facilitate this plan, Mason County has been divided into four (4) radio
service areas. These areas are West of Shelton, East of Shelton, Hoodsport,
and Belfair (see Appendix A). Each radio service area will have its own Net
Control and has been assigned a simplex frequency in the 6-meter, 2-
meter,1.25-meter, and 70-centimeter bands for communication. These net
control operators will communicate with a countywide Net Control who will
forward the information to the EOC. Communications outside of the service
area will be determined by Net Control. Additionally, there are several
frequencies dedicated to communicating with District 3 agencies and the
Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD).

The plan is 2-meter centric. The 2-meter band is the universal band of use by
amateur radio operators. Correspondingly, more amateur radios have the 2-
meter band than any other band.

The 70-centimeter band is the second most widely use amateur radio band. It
is frequently found in amateur radios as a dual band radio.

The 2-meter and 70-centimeter dual band radios are frequently capable of
dual band monitoring. Additionally, there are a number of reasonably priced
radios on the new and used market with these two features.
During an emergency the 146.720 frequency will be the countywide hailing
frequency. Every effort will be made to keep this frequency open. Radio traffic
may be reassigned from the 146.720 frequency to either the 145.170 or
145.270 repeaters.

If the 2-meter band is unable to support the operational requirements of
amateur radio service the 70-centimeter shall be used. The primary frequency
is 443.2500. Again, this frequency should be the hailing frequency and every
effort should be made to keep it open. There are two secondary 70-centimeter
repeater frequencies that may also be used; 441.925 located on South
Mountain and 442.2500 located in the Shelton area.

If both the 2-meter and the 70-centimeter bands are unable to support the
operational requirements of amateur radio, the 6-meter band shall be used.
The primary repeater frequency is 53.0090 and the secondary frequency is
53.0300. Because of its unique characteristics, the 6-meter band may become
the countywide communication band of choice.

The 1.25-meter band is not widely used or monitored by the amateur radio
community resulting in few radios having this band. This makes the 1.25-meter
band the perfect choice for a discrete command communication net. If needed,
ARES will use the 1.25-meter band frequencies as the primary command
frequencies.

All ARES members are encouraged to have a PSK31 capable radio shack.
All operators should monitor their areas primary assigned frequency from 5
minutes prior to 5 minutes after the top of the hour.

The four (4) service areas and their assigned simplex frequencies are:
1. WEST OF SHELTON: The area east of U.S. Highway 101 and south of
the Skokomish River. The assigned frequencies are:

  •  146.535
  •  445.800
  •  52.3100
  •  223.420

2. EAST OF SHELTON: The area east of U.S. Highway 101 and south of
Anthony Road. The assigned frequencies are:

  • 146.550
  • 445.825
  • 52.3200
  • 223.440

3. BELFAIR: The area east and north of Anthony Road to the Kitsap and
Pierce County lines. The assigned frequencies are:

• 146.565
• 445.850
• 52.3300
• 223.460

4. HOODSPORT: The area north of the Skokomish River to the Jefferson
County line and the east shore of Hood canal. The assigned
frequencies are:

• 146.580
• 445.875
• 52.3400
• 223.480

If you are unable to make contact on your areas assigned simplex frequencies
contact NET CONTROL on 146.720 for instructions.

If the 146.720 frequency is unavailable use the 145.270 frequency.

If the 2-meter frequencies are unavailable use the 443.2500 or 441.9250
frequencies.

If these attempts are not successful, attempt contact on any listed frequency.

If your attempts to make contact have been unsuccessful and you need
immediate assistance to report an emergency, as a last resort, use 14.300.00.

This is the international amateur band radio frequency for requesting emergency
help.

APPENDIX A: ARES NET FLOW CHART
EOC & ARES Nets 3 deep
ICS 100 & 700 required
Net Controls
ICS 100 & 700 not required
Meet ARES Criteria
Not field qualified – will operate from home

January 2016

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