MOU Signed With Hospital

The Burke ARES® entered info a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Burke Medical Center on February 23, 2016.  The agreement states that Burke ARES® will provide emergency communications for the hospital in times of emergency, communication outages and drills.  John MacDonald, EC, and Scooter Dyson, OES, were on-hand for an area-wide drill on February 15 and provided communications for the hospital in the drill.  In addition to the MoU, the hospital will install a VHF antenna and a 75M dipole for long-range communications.

FCC Approves New Emergency Alert System “Event Codes” for 2017 Hurricane Season


The FCC has added three new “event codes” to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for the 2017 hurricane season. The new rules apply to EAS and NOAA Weather Radio (NWR). Two of the EAS codes correspond to a potential Storm Surge Watch/Warning. The National Weather Service (NWS) is still developing and seeking comments on a Storm Surge Watch/Warning for operational use in 2017. The new codes are:

Extreme Wind Warning (EWW): The EWW is an existing operational warning NWS uses for advance notice of sustained surface wind speeds of 115 MPH or greater during major hurricanes. All NWS Gulf and East Coast Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) issue the EWW.

Storm Surge Watch (SSA): The NWS may issue an SSA for the gulf and east coasts when life-threatening inundation is possible from rising water moving inland in the specified area, generally within 48 hours. Weather forecast offices could issue the SSA for tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclones. A WFO may issue the watch even earlier, when conditions such as tropical storm-force winds might limit response time for evacuations or other action. A WFO may also issue the watch for locations that could be isolated by inundation in adjacent areas.

Storm Surge Warning (SSW): WFOs may issue an SSW for the gulf and east coasts when tropical inundation is more imminent — generally within 36 hours. NWS may issue a warning when other conditions, such as the onset of tropical storm-force winds, are expected to reduce the time available to evacuate or take other actions. Like the watch, NWS may issue the warning when an area could be isolated by inundation.

For all three new codes, NWS receivers that provide a limited, caption-like message display will likely show “UNKNOWN WARNING” or “UNKNOWN WATCH.” Receivers equipped with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) will activate with SAME alarm tones. Receivers equipped with the 1,050 Hz Warning Alarm Tone will activate a tone. The NWS Dissemination Team will work with receiver manufacturers to add the new codes to newly manufactured NWR SAME receivers.

Beginning with the 2017 hurricane season, NWS will request an EAS activation using the EWW event code. If the NWS decides to make the SSW operational in 2017, the NWS will request EAS activation for the Storm Surge Warning. In most jurisdictions, the NWS will not request EAS activation for the Storm Surge Watch. WFOs are now reaching out to state and local Emergency Communications Committees, state and local emergency management agencies, and broadcasters’ associations for help in implementing the new codes. Local WFOs may issue public information statements and update WFO web pages and air public service announcements over NWR. These service changes will be further discussed at outreach events and with seasonal hurricane program briefings.

The FCC order does not require an upgrade of existing equipment already in use. The FCC “will allow EAS participants to upgrade their existing equipment to include the new event codes” on a voluntary basis; however, EAS equipment manufacturers are required to “make necessary software upgrades to EAS participants” by March 12, 2017. In most cases, broadcasters only need to obtain and implement the manufacturer-provided software update.

For more information, see the Weather-Ready Nation information fact sheet summarizing these changes, and check the list of frequently asked questions. — Thanks to the National Weather Service

What do you know about Winlink? See this video!

(June 16, 2019)
Have you ever heard of Winlink?
Did you know what Winlink is before the “feature image” of this article gave it away?
Do you know the frequencies that most Georgia stations use for Winlink?
Do you know how to get on Winlink?
Do you know if your current radio and computer equipment are ready to get on Winlink?
Have you ever successfully transmitted and/or received on Winlink?

A NOTE from John, K4BR:
This is something all of us can improve our skill set by learning how to use Winlink… I’ve tried Winlink and it’s terrific.  It’s important for all of us to learn how to operate Winlink, especially for groups we support like the City of Waynesboro and Burke County Medical Center.

Georgia Section Nets List

(September 1, 2016)  Here is a list of HF nets that you may check-in to.

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia ARES Statewide SSB Net  –  3975 KHz  –  2200 UTC  –  Sunday[/box]

[box style=”orange” icon=”keyboard-o”]Georgia ARES Statewide Digital Net (PSK63)  –  3583 KHz  –  2100 UTC  –  Sunday[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Single Sideband Net  –  3975 KHz  – 6 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Traffic and Emergency Net (G-TEN)  –  3982.5 KHz  –  7:15 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Traffic Net  –  3987.5 KHz  –  1 PM EST  – M-Sa[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Cracker Net  –  3995 KHz  –  7 AM EST on M-Sa and 8 AM EST on Sun[/box]

[box style=”green” icon=”pencil-square”]Georgia State Net (CW) – 3549 KHz – 7 PM EST and 10 PM EST – Daily[/box]

[box style=”green” icon=”pencil-square”]Georgia Training Net (CW)  –  3549 KHz  –  9 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

ARES® in Burke County

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (a.k.a. ARES®) is an emergency response group of licensed amateurs who have registered with their local ARES® Emergency Coordinator (EC).  Every licensed amateur is eligible for membership in ARES®.  Training is desirable, but it is not a requirement in Georgia.

The Emergency Coordinator for Burke County is John MacDonald, K4BR.

ARES® members stand ready for communications duty when disaster strikes.  Our primary focus in the CSRA is providing emergency communications for all area hospitals.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) downloads

ARES Training Recommendations:

  • ARES® members are encouraged to complete two, free online FEMA courses: IS-100 and IS-700.
  • SKYWARN training is also encouraged.
  • Further classroom-style training in Amateur Radio Emergency Communications may be offered periodically.
  • Training may also be conducted from time-to-time at monthly Burke ARC meetings.
  • Email John, K4BR, to join ARES®.


Anderson Powerpoles – ARES’ Official Connector

Your “Go Kit”

Click to enlarge

To ensure that our local ARES members are prepared to respond to any emergency at a moment’s notice, every ham radio operator in and around Burke County should prepare and have a “grab-and-go kit” (right) ready to use in case of emergency.

According to’s Build a Kit (FEMA) page, every Grab-and-Go Kit should be sufficient to provide communications and personal needs for the ARES member if the need arises.  There is a list of items on the Build a Kit (FEMA) page that you will want to consider for your grab-and-go kit.


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