Georgia Section On My Mind

May 2011
Georgia on My Mind:

This month's story, of course is the impact of the ten tornados in north and middle Georgia. Hardest hit, in the early morning of April 28, especially considering deaths, was Ringgold in Catoosa County where eight perished in the EF-4 tornado with 140 mph winds. 150 were evacuated from Ringgold to a neighboring town. In Georgia we lost 15 with 115 injuries. And similar winds destroyed much of the infrastructure in 16 Georgia counties. Governor Deal formalized a "State or Emergency" for these 16 counties and President Obama also issued a disaster declaration for these counties. Our ASM for NWS (Lynn KN4YZ) says: "Oh, what a night." It wasn't as if it was a big surprise. See this report by KN4YZ, and David Benoist AG4ZR in the ARRL-GA.org at http://arrl-ga.org/news/news.html for the NWS activities at PTC. it the same site you can see the report by Lee McDaniel WB4QOJ for Paulding county. Paulding ARES has been busy this month! Jim WB4NWS, and Steve N4SEG combined to sum up the reports for the counties in the Metro District: Jim reported some areas for improvement, including a net control who kept the frequency occupied with reading reports from commercial media to the extent that on the ground reports were delayed. Cherokee ARES activated at EOC and in the field with 25 operators. They established mutual aid links with Paulding ARES. Total hours on 4/27: 313. Steve relays reports from the EC's in their district as follows:

From Cherokee County:

Cherokee ARES had to activate at our EOC and in the field twice yesterday, once in the morning and late afternoon/evening. Our report for 4-27-2011 is: Wx event 9am-10am, 25 checkins from 4 counties, Cobb, Pickens, Paulding, Cherokee. EOC activated with 2 ham operators (included in 25). Provided pictures to EMA of storm damage of tree down on a car (see attached).Total hours 25. Wx event 4:30pm-12:30AM, 36 ham operators (3 at EOC) in seven (7) counties checked in providing reports. Established mutual aid communications between Cherokee EOC and Paulding EOC. Monitored other counties and updated NWSChat (see attached). Total hours this event 288 hours. Cherokee ARES total emergency hours on 4-27-2011, 313 hours. Another update on the weather event last night: Cherokee County did have a tornado touch down last night, traveling 2.2 miles in the Salacoa area in NW Cherokee County, damaging 5 homes (minor), 1 barn destroyed, with many livestock missing and killed. Maximum winds were estimated at 125mph. No injuries or deaths occurred. Straight-line winds also caused damage to two structures in SE Cherokee County. About 100 folks are without power on Thursday afternoon. Estimated damage is $450,000 per EMA. Cherokee County issued 4 tornado warnings with sirens during this event. Submitted by Jim Millsap, WB4NWS, Cherokee County ARES EC

From Douglas/Paulding Counties:

It all started for Paulding County ARES at 5:41pm April 27. Email received by KJ4KUT AEC County Liaison (copy K4DMF EC ) following from Maj Kevin New (Paulding EMA): "...we are activating the EOC tonight at 8:00 PM at 911 and I will ask them if they want you to report there. I will call you". KJ4KUT: "When I arrived at the staging room, it was a buzz of activity, with approx. 16 county personnel..." Fire Chief Michael Earwood and five EMA specialists, Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge and two of his deputies (including PIO Cpl Brandon Gurley, and SWAT member, Det. S. Dooley), a Paulding DOT agent, and several 911 ops. (At one point, PIO Gurley talked directly on-air with WSB-TV's WX reporter, Glenn Burns…..He gave our "Paulding's Ham-Radio operators" praise….I looked across the room and gave a thumb’s up to Cpl Gurley)". The NET started at 2000 local time WB4QOJ AEC Digital/PIO started the official activation. (WX4PCA Tac 1) NET control all during the event was done off site from the EOC on the 146.955 repeater Dallas, Ga. NET Control at 2100 was passed to WB3ILX AEC NET Manager. KJ4KUT at the EOC (WX4PCA Tac 2) agreed it was best that NET control was off site. Activity at the EOC was busy and NET control off-site is and will always be a good thing to cut down on confusion and noise. With a total of 11 roving and stationary stations reports we quick and concise. Several stations were watching the RADAR ECHO via the internet (NOAA.GOV) and EMWIN Down-link via satellite. KJ4KUT: The real work for ARES was in the field, however. It was just like we had practiced. With the exception of a double or two, there were very few glitches. NC duties were handed off flawlessly, and reports in the field (especially from Paulding ARES member, Derek KJ4LZV, Sgt Hiram PD ... on-patrol that night), were informative and very helpful. Monitoring of repeaters (example, 146.940-146.64 and WX4PTC by W4JFL) in NW Georgia were extensive. Paulding/Douglas EC, Dave K4DMF, along with many of our ARES check-ins, gave us a crucial overview that I could relay to the PC team at 911/EOC. KJ4KUT: Participation of ARES members in the field cannot be under-praised nor under-estimated. The activity in the EOC was too intense for an on-site ARES op (yours truly) to be NC, and deliver comms to and from the field. It was all I could do to keep up with the back-and-forth patter, and deliver valuable info from our ARES ops to the PC team. On many occasions I was able to deliver very important info to the Paulding EOC team concerning conditions, before their sources informed them; sometimes as much as 5 to 10 minutes in advance. Under those existing conditions, a few seconds could mean the difference KJ4KUT: All during the event, we had PC/DC ARES members monitoring various repeaters in near-by and adjacent counties, and making real-time WX observations. Also, Jim (WB4NWS) and his team were reporting directly from the Cherokee EOC; maybe a first for ARES in this area. (I'd like to see more direct comms between EOCs during future training and real events). All the input from these ARES sources was put together to give a heads-up, more accurate observation from the NW Georgia area to our 911/EOC team. At shortly after 12 midnight, Chief Earwood announced "We are securing * standing down * at this time". A little over 4 hrs. of excellent team work by Paulding's finest... and that includes ARES. Again, let me stress the importance of ARES members reporting/monitoring from the field. One additional lesson that we can take from the performance of ARES during this event: We are a valuable asset to government agencies in times of urgent/emergency conditions. Even though we were on 146.955 repeater we had several backup frequencies staged and ready if needed if failure occurred with the main ARES VHF system. Also, if Digital messages were needed FLDigi (NBEMS) was also available. Submitted by Lee McDaniel, WB4QOJ, Paulding/Douglas County ARES AEC

From Newton County:

As for the storm on 27 April we activated the Newton County ARES/Skywarn net on 146.925 for local operations at 20:00 hours and monitored the NWS on the linked repeater system as well as the Ala. operations on 3.965 MHz. At 23:00 hours our repeater was linked to the NWS and we maintained operations until 04:00 hours. The following operators were on our local net: wa4ujc, ki4nwd (NCS), ki4jil, k4tdm, w8tsp, n4oln, k4doi and k4hcp. A total of 76 manhours. Submitted by Charles Davis, WA4UJC, Newton County ARES EC

From Clayton/Henry Counties:

Clayton and Henry County SKYWARN went into monitor mode from about 8:00 AM April 27th with the Net in a standby open net form. About ten PM local time, we activated a SKYWARN directed net with K1EB (AEC Henry County) as net control and myself, AJ4GT, as backup net control and NWS contact. We closed the net with 17 check in and a very close call. A tornado almost dropped into the McDonough area. This was from one of the lines that dropped a tornado in Spalding County but tucked itself back in the air when it got close to us. Our operators in South Henry County were aware and went to take cover. They emerged later with a good report of no major damages. Net lasted to around 2:20 AM on April 28th. Submitted by Roy Baker, AJ4GT, Clayton/Henry County ARES EC

From Cobb County:

Cobb ARES linked our secondary repeater to SKYWARN and monitored. Fortunately, no severe weather threatened Cobb County and no incidents were reported. Members were prepared to deploy to the regional hospital if necessary. Submitted by Ed Humphries, N5RCK, Cobb County ARES EC

From Gwinnett County:

Gwinnett County was quiet relative to many other counties, but we had an excellent opportunity to work with our EMA. Wednesday afternoon around 4:00pm, our EMA Director sent out an email to all EOC representatives notifying us that the Gwinnett EOC would be activated at 2000 on a "monitoring" basis with limited personnel in preparation for the storms coming in from Alabama. I contacted him and asked if he would like the ARES EOC station activated to receive any storm reports and he said yes. I reported to the EOC at 2000 along with two members of our EOC Response Team, David Adcock (KA4KKF) and Earl Whatley (AF4FG). I took the ARES position in the EOC and the Response Team members activated WG4EMA on HF for state level monitoring, 2m for the local ARES Skywarn net and the D-STAR radio with the Lawrenceville D-STAR repeater linked to reflector 30C. We operated as we would in a fully staffed situation using WebEOC for relay between the Amateur Radio station, my liaison position, and the EMA Director. Other county departments were on standby and communication remotely through WebEOC. Our local Skywarn net was also activated on an informal level with Jan Jubon (K2HJ), Nets and Skywarn Manager, and Louis Shulman (KJ4DRW) alternating as NCS. These two operated nets at various operational levels from around 1900 until 0130 Thursday. We were contacted on D-STAR by WX4PTC and requested to act as NCS for the D-STAR net since they only had one operator at NWS-Peachtree City. WX4EMA conducted the net from 2000 Wednesday until 0130 Thursday and relayed traffic to WX4PTC also monitoring on D-STAR. One piece of critical traffic passed were the first reports of a tornado in Troup County relayed by Gary Pike (KA4KBX), DEC West Central GA. I saw these reports come out on private chat that EMAs participate with NWS. While Gwinnett was spared any severe weather, we used the situation as an excellent training and practice with all of the resources and tools in operation. Our EMA Director was very pleased with our responsiveness, the ARES resources participating both at the EOC and in the field, and the opportunity to work through a situation using the procedures and tools. It will be very beneficial in future situations. Submitted by John Davis, WB4QDX, Gwinnett County ARES EC

From South Fulton County:

Atlanta got missed, thankfully. I touched base with the Operations Director at AFCEMA yesterday about 4. We did not get activated. In addition, Grady put out a provisional notice, but did not activate their Emergency Command Center. Submitted by Chris Balch, KJ4NAX, South Fulton County EC

From DeKalb County:

The DeKalb ARES repeater was monitored for most of the day on April 27th and a formal session was started as the heaviest part of the storms approached the Georgia/Alabama border. The net was activated by George, AI4UR, the AEC for SkyWarn in DeKalb County, who also was the liaison to the Skywarn NET on the 146.82 repeater. An operator was stationed at the DeKalb EOC and passed traffic to the DeKalb EMA officials located at the EOC. DeKalb seemed to be spared the worst of the storms as very little storm damage was reported and only a few power outages were noted. The net was secured a little before 1:00 A.M. Submitted by Barry Kanne, W4TGA, DeKalb County ARES EC

In the meanwhile Alabama was hurt much worse. I (W4AYK) was called by ARES in Alabama to see if we would look for communicators who could potentially deploy to the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas. The Alabama SM David Drummond W4MD resides in the heart of the destruction (Tuscaloosa) and the S.E.C. (who also had no commercial communication) took over for management of the event. Barry W4TGA, GA ASM for Public Health, reported that half the Alabama hospitals were on emergency power, water pressure was low because the water pumps were not set up for emergency power, that the EOC on Tuscaloosa was destroyed, and that many of the private physicians were unable to practice because facilities were destroyed or unavailable as functioning places. As stated, Lowry KM4Z was acting ARES-MAT and held the list of these willing and vetted hams until it became apparent that they would not be called at this time. Alabama ARES was notified that we would re-activate whenever they needed us.

The Southeastern VHF Society meeting set for Huntsville on April 29/30 was cancelled.

Other things in Georgia:

The Coastal Plains ARC (Tifton) plans an open meeting featuring Dave W5UP, the founder of eQSL. This will take place on May 14 at 1:00PM. Contact kf4bi@arrl.net.

As I began typing this I was preparing to meet y'all at the "Heart of Georgia" Hamfest in Byron Saturday (May 7). However, a big deer got me at the left front of my car on highway 300 and I could not even move the car out of the highway. Next Saturday (May 14), deer permitting, I will be at the Ellijay Hamfest. In a different vehicle! Ellijay will have some good forums about some digital formats. CU!

Robert Tyler KF4VBR (he is the guy working behind the scenes to give us the GAARES.ORG web page) is planning to set up and offer an alerting system to ARES using Twitter™. Messages have to be very short, and the system would be controlled to a very few for input (or maybe to Robert himself) so that it wouldn't be used for spam or other unessential messages and restricted to whatever would be the appropriate group at the time. And it is free! I look forward to seeing this roll out for our use in emergencies. "Tornado on ground at YourStreet—Take cover... "

The Hurricane Conference in Atlanta was very interesting and informative. Actually the ham radio sessions on April 18 and 19 had ideas that applied to EMCOMM in all events. The Skywarn™ program is very important to the NWS people with on-the-ground, real time weather reports, damage reports, and for promoting the accuracy of their other means of assessment. Though one may not directly work with the location under duress, (due to the skip of 20 meters) the relays make the whole system work. So do check in on the 14.235 Hurricane Watch Net during activities. Julio Ripol WD4R, the W4NXC assistant coordinator gave a riveting talk about his extensive and personal experience working in Haiti after the hurricane in January 2010. There were 3,000,000 people needing aid (not now improved). I found it interesting that with all the Satellite Phones they had, they were virtually useless, because with the limited bandwidth available the signals of so many attempted calls simply collided and meant that virtually none got through. Again, ham radio would work. He was then given the Distinguished Service Award for that service.

A successful high altitude balloon launch and retrieval occurred at Albany State University by two faculty members and several students. Tom Dichiara AC5MR and Ken Adams K1KBA of the Albany ARC gave technical support and assisted in tracking and recovery after the 87,000 foot ascent. Recording sensors for temperature, pressure, humidity and solar cell voltage functioned during the flight. We will see more of these events combining ham radio and learning institutions.

Folks, this is a very long monthly letter, but I am not sure what should be left out. Also we have the following two reports:

Monthly Section Emergency Coordinator Report to ARRL Headquarters

ARRL Section: GA Month: APRIL Year: 2011


AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE
Total number of ARES members: *849 Change since last month: -73 reported (+, -, or same)
# of DECs/ECs reporting this month: 54 ,# of ARES nets active: 206 , # with NTS liaison:
0 Calls of DECs/ECs reporting: see below
Number of drills, tests and training sessions this month: 317 Person hours: 2754
Number of public service events this month: 19 Person hours: 615
Number of emergency operations this month: 69 Person hours: 2463
Total number of ARES operations this month: 705 Total Person hours: 5832
Signature: Thomas Fuller Call sign: KE4QCM
* 849 members reported, 922 from last report, with -73 reported by EC's

ASECs/DECs/ECs reporting

ASEC/DECs:


DEC ARESMAT/K2HJ, ASEC Digital Communications/KG4VUB, DEC East Central/KD4CK, DEC GEMA/K5AES, DEC GA Public Broadcasting/WB4QDX, DEC Georgia State Patrol/W4SKB, DEC Handiham/N0FBV, DEC Metro Atlanta/N4SEG (last day as DEC-4-30-11)-WB4NWS is new DEC Metro Atlanta ARES as of 5/1/11, DEC National Weather Service-Peachtree City/KD4YDC, DEC Northwest/KD4EKZ, ASEC Operations/KM4Z, DEC Salvation Army/WA4UJC

ECs:

Central:
Baldwin/W4OY, Butts/K3GWK, Crawford/WB4KNU, Dodge/KC5AVR, Laurens/KF5TA, Pulaski/N4TUA, Putnam/KF4EOH, Twiggs/KJ4LAM, Washington/K4GK

East Central:

Columbia/K1OYQ, Richmond/AH6IW

Metro Atlanta:

Cherokee/WW4WX new EC as of 5/1/11, WB4NWS last day as EC was 4/30/11, Clayton/AJ4GT, DeKalb/W4TGA, Fayette/AG4ZR, Gwinnett/WB4QDX, Newton/WA4UJC, North Fulton/W4UOC, Paulding/K4DMF, Rockdale/KC4ELV

Northeast:
Barrow/N4DQ, Clarke/N4ZRA, Forsyth/KG4AOX, Greene/KF4EOH, Rabun/N4DME, Towns/W4VFZ, Walton/AI4JI

Northwest:

Bartow/N4QET, Dade/Vacant, Floyd/KD4EKZ, Gordon/AF4DN, Pickens/K4SJR, Polk/KD4EKZ, Walker/W4LWC

Southeast:
Chatham/K4GTM, Toombs/KG4BKO

Southwest:
Dougherty/N4GPJ, Lee/W5VRV, Seminole/K4TPD, Thomas/N4KXL

West Central:

Muscogee/W4OZA, Troup/AD4GS

Comments:

ASEC/DECs:
DEC ARESMAT/K2HJ, Temporary QRT (HF) due to re-location ... SKYWARN activities principal time occupant

ASEC Digital Communications/KG4VUB, Putting together a presentation to be included in a forum at the Atlanta Hamfest to spark ideas using Digital Modes, 'Selecting the Proper Mode for the Job.' -- W4PME-10 Winlink RMS Packet node is back in service, located on the Bellsouth building downtown on 145.070.

DEC East Central/KD4CK, Many hours spent in preparation for the NDMS drill for 28th which was canceled due to possible severe weather in the area. Worked with EC Health District to secure bids for a new radio and equipment for their EOC. With all the difficulties getting volunteers for events, we had all positions filled for the scheduled drill with 3 doubled up for training and 1 extra for fill in in case one did not show and 1 standby. This was all done at least 1 week ahead of schedule. That is the best any event has done for over a year in terms of volunteers. Pete, (K1OYQ) has been working hard to find an alternative D-Star site as you are aware and James (AH6IW) has been working on the contact list and updating the ARES section of the Public Health operations guide. We are beginning to make progress and pick up some speed, we just need more volunteers to be involved.

DEC GEMA/K5AES, 1. Attended D-Star training course 2. Participated in DEC Webinar

DEC GA Public Broadcasting/WB4QDX, Conducted D-STAR training primarily for Georgia ARES members in Lawrenceville on 4/23 at Georgia Gwinnett College.

DEC Georgia State Patrol/W4SKB, S.E.T. Exercise - GSP ARES Interop Team simulated the activation of GEMA/GSP Interop mobile communications unit and checking into the Georgia statewide ARES net. Participated in the GEMA Mobile Communications Vehicle exercise at Six Flag with the Georgia State Patrol. Setting up a schedule to activate the GEMA/GSP Interop Mobile Communications Unit at least once monthly for testing and training for the GSP ARES Interop Team. Maintained a radio watch on multiple ARES nets during the April 27th severe weather event.

DEC Handiham/N0FBV, corrected copy

DEC Metro Atlanta/N4SEG (last day as DEC-4-30-11)-WB4NWS is new DEC Metro Atlanta ARES as of 5/1/11, The Metro Atlanta District ARES NET meets on the first Sunday of the month. The April NET was hosted by the Douglas/Paulding County ARES Group. There were 34 check-ins and the NET lasted 46 minutes. The time for each individual is recorded in the county of record for each ham. Georgia experienced some very heavy and damaging storms on the night of April 27, 2011 and a separate report containing submissions from 8 of the 11 Metro Atlanta District ARES ECs has been submitted to the SEC and SM. This report actually submitted by Steve G./N4SEG as the outgoing DEC, Metro Atlanta District ARES.

DEC National Weather Service-Peachtree City/KD4YDC, 4 Activations: Apr 4-5, 3 people, 15 man-hrs; Apr 11-12, 3 people, 8.5 man-hrs; Apr 15-16, 4 people, 15.5 man-hrs; Apr 27-28, 6 people, 28 man-hrs. Misc hrs, various radio documentation work. These activation hours are of course just for those who worked as net control for the events. Thanks to the many, many other hams who contributed reports. Without them, we would have had nothing to pass on the NWS personnel.

DEC Northwest/KD4EKZ, The month of April was a very busy month for KD4EKZ. April started off with a roar and went out with another much worse roar.. Northwest Georgia Public Health District 1-1 and Northwest Georgia ARES have partnered to provide better information and relations between the two entities. I post weather related items from our weather nets on WebEOC for District 1-1: April 01-02 – 6.0 hrs; April 27-28 – 9.0 hrs. I attended a Strategic National Stockpile Distribution workshop at Brasstown Valley April 19-21 – 26.0 hrs. Hospital Radio Test at Floyd Medical Center April 3, 3.0 hrs; Installed a new ICOM D-880 D-Star Radio at Floyd Medical Center in Rome on April 11 – 3.0 hrs. Participated in Spring SET April 2, 3.0 hrs. Following the tornado of April 28 I was made contact person for the Georgia Forestry Repeater Site on Mt. Alto, in Rome (Site of W4VO repeater, GFC Radios and GSP Rome radio. The site had been vandalized following the storm. Assisted GFC people who were deployed to Dade and Catoosa Counties in securing site and coordinating repairs. 14 hrs. de KD4EKZ

ASEC Operations/KM4Z, Participated in two webinar meetings. Participated in Spring SET from the SOC on April 2nd. Assisted Metro Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross with installation of radio equipment in six vehicles on April 9th. Joined in monitoring the severe weather that affected Alabama and Georgia on April 27th and 28th. Continued with EC-016 course.

DEC Salvation Army/WA4UJC, I am continuing to work with the Southern Territory HQ in Atlanta to install a station in the facility. Please check into the net on Saturday at 11:00 hours on 7.262.

ECs:

Central:
Baldwin/W4OY, Ended helping with beta testing the new ARRL online Into. Emergency Communication course and presently mentoring first groups of participants. Members were encouraged taking some of the free FEMA ICS courses.

Butts/K3GWK, Our team participated in the Spring Hurricane Exercise. We operated from three Butts County locations including, two shelters and the EOC. Five team members operated on HF and VHF, phone and digital , including D-Star via RF and Internet. Members of the group also assisted Newton County ARES with communications during Cheerios Challenge. Our training meetings continued with eight members attending in April. Our team assisted Henry County SKYWARN and two members of our group attended the ham radio sessions at the National Hurricane Conference in Atlanta.

Laurens/KF5TA, We here in Laurens Co. had an EF0 tornado on the East side at the small town of Brewton about 7 miles East of Dublin. There were 60 homes damaged and 2 destroyed. Thankfully no one was hurt, we must and have thank God for that. This happened on Saturday night. The next day just as the WX folks were leaving we had another storm come up with high wind, rain and HAIL. The hail covered the ground. The good ole boys from NWS Peachtree City were just a little upset. About all we have now here is very dry conditions with high fire danger. That’s about it for now.

Putnam/KF4EOH, We had our van at the Southland Jubilee and had a number of ham visitors.

East Central:
Columbia/K1OYQ, About twenty-five ARES members and local hams prepared for the April 28th National Disaster Medical Service drill, but the exercise was preempted by severe weather and tornado warnings in the area. The exercise was canceled at 0530 in the morning by Lt.Col. Daniel Neff of Fort Gordon. A lot of preparation by many agencies and local hospitals went into this exercise. We all benefited from the preparation phase because it made us think out of the box a little more, and it put a lot of good folks in contact with each other to help improve capability. The Columbia County ARC is working hard to find an alternate site for the Wrens D-Star stack. We have found two good choices and have forwarded the information to John Davis, DEC GPB. We held a inter-club picnic on April 30th and everyone had a great time and too much good food.

Richmond/AH6IW, No Nets this month - Augusta club is looking for Net Control

Metro Atlanta:

Cherokee/WW4WX-new EC as of 5/1/11-outgoing EC is WB4WNS, Cherokee ARES, like many others, experienced severe weather events resulting in 3 Emergency Operations totaling 386.5 man hours during these lengthy nets. We had 152 check-ins during the weather nets (3) and weekly nets (2). Eight (8) ARES members held a 6 hour work party on Pine Log Mountain to restore the WA4EOC-2 weather station (just in time to monitor the bad wx). Juan Quiroga, WW4WX has been appointed EC for Cherokee County on May 1st as Jim Millsap, WB4NWS has accepted the role of DEC-Metro Atlanta. Sandy Hansen, KG4TSU, has been appointed AEC in Cherokee ARES. April's total volunteer hours were 493. 862 hours have been volunteered in 4 months for our ARES group with 50.5% served as Emergency Operations during severe weather. Thanks to Steve Garrison, N4SEG for all the work he performed as DEC and will still be active. Thanks also to Steve Reynolds, W4CNG for his years of service as he has stepped down as ADEC to spend time with the grand kids :) We welcome Don White, K4CGT to our group!

Clayton/AJ4GT, Four regular weekly nets, and two SKYWARN nets this month. General meeting with D-Star training also rounded our month. This last SKYWARN operation was an eye opener. Clayton and Henry County SKYWARN went into monitor mode from about 8:00 AM April 27th with the Net in a standby open net form. About ten PM local time, we activated a SKYWARN directed net with K1EB (AEC Henry County) as net control and myself, AJ4GT, as backup net control and NWS contact. We closed the net with 17 check in and a very close call. A tornado almost dropped into the McDonough area. This was from one of the lines that dropped a tornado in Spalding County but tucked itself back in the air when it got close to us. Our operators in South Henry County were aware and went to take cover. They emerged later with a good report of no major damages. Net lasted to around 2:20 AM on April 28th. Nets operate on a linked system of three repeaters, KI4FVI, W4UAS, and WA4DIW.

Dekalb/W4TGA, Regular monthly meetings with MMRS, Grady Hosp. Emergency Steering Committee, DeKalb EMA. Had one Skywarn net on 4/27.

Fayette/AG4ZR, Miscellaneous activities include meetings, training, coordination, and practitioner work with 911.

Gwinnett/WB4QDX, SET participation 4/2, Skywarn activations on 4/4, 4/8, 4/11, 4/15, 4/25. 4/27. Gwinnett operated as NCS for statewide D-STAR WX Net on 4/27 for NWS/WX4PTC.

Newton/WA4UJC, The Severe weather which moved thought the state caused much damage and some long hours of work for many of us this month. In Newton County we had 48 man hours on the Skywarn Net and our repeater was linked with the NWS for several hours.

North Fulton/W4UOC, Five NFARES members participated with the Georgia Baptist North American Mission Board in preparation for an upcoming exercise.

Paulding/K4DMF, The reported hours are not a mistake - I did the math twice! What an incredible month - certainly the busiest ever for our group! We had the SET on April 2, we participated in the Six Flags MCV exercise with Paulding EMA and GEMA on April 19, had a Leadership meeting on April 26, and an after action meeting with EMA on the Six Flags exercise on April 29. We had 4 weather nets during the month, and our usual 4 weekly training nets. Now that we have possession of the new trailer from Paulding EMA, we will begin the process of outfitting it with gear to make it operational. We have already received some donated cabinets, flooring, and the labor to install it. This was easily our most active month ever - hope things calm down a bit this month and allow us to catch our breath. We continue to improve our very close relationship with Paulding EMA.

Northeast:
Barrow/N4DQ, Mike I am sorry for the delay in my report for April. I had to be out of town on a family medical emergency. Our local ARES group was able to operate during several weather related emergency nets. We had a good participation in the nets

Forsyth/KG4AOX, 4 regular nets and 4 Weather Nets

Greene/KF4EOH, We had our van at the Southland Jubilee in Greensboro and had a number of ham visitors.

Rabun/N4DME, After having the bad weather come thru- Rabun co this month I have made a faster move to get things going in Rabun co now I have been on the phone a lot with the involved party's with EMA and all so thanks for every one working and all the help that pours in . We are still asking for any one that would like to help please send me an email and contact info. so I can better get a team of people together for future events that may come up. email is n4dme1@gmail.com thanks again for making it all possible.... GOD BLESS USA...

Towns/W4VFZ, Man Hours include preparation and conducting of classes on Basic Electronics for Hams.

Walton/AI4JI, 5 members participated in Radiological training provided by EMA for WIPPTREX exercise in 2012. We reprogrammed 11 radios located in County Fire stations to our VHF repeater and our tactical simplex frequency. SKYWARN monitoring and reporting activation during tornadic activity of April 27 and early morning of April 28.

Northwest:
Floyd/KD4EKZ, The month of April was a very busy month for Polk and Floyd Counties. April started off with a roar and went out with another much worse roar.. Five separate Severe Weather Nets were initiated. The log for the last net has not yet been received from Net Control. Those hours will be posted and annotated in the may report. A total of 150 man hours were reported by Net Countless Operators. Hospital Radio Test at Floyd Medical Center April 3, 3.0 hrs; Installed a new ICOM D-880 D-Star Radio at Floyd Medical Center in Rome on April 11 – 3.0 hrs.

Gordon/AF4DN, Three weather nets were held this month, 4/4, 4/11, and 4/27. On 4/28 Gordon Co. ARES participated in the Great Central US Shake Out. A drill in the event of an earthquake. After the 10:15 am drill time a net was held on both simplex and our repeater. Prior to that each member was to think Drop, Cover, Hold ON and think what they would do in the event an earthquake were to strike.

Pickens/K4SJR, Pickens County ARES- We had 5 regular nets this month, one SET drill and two Skywarn nets. We had 3 confirmed tornadoes on April 27th, EF2 and EF3. There are well over 100 houses damaged, many of which were assessed as a complete loss. We also had damaged houses due to straight line winds. Fortunately, we had no fatalities from the storms. I called a Skywarn net on two occasions this month during the storms. We had a total of 163 hours for the month of April.

Polk/KD4EKZ, The month of April was a very busy month for Polk County. April started off with a roar and went out with another much worse roar.. Five separate Severe Weather Nets were initiated. The log for the last net has not yet been received from Net Control. Those hours will be posted and annotated in the may report. A total of 150 man hours were reported by Net Countless Operators.

Walker/W4LWC, Operated during storms on 4/27 for 5 hours. North end of Walker County, including communities of Hinkle, Flintstone, and Rossville, received heavy damage. Homes of 3 Walker County AEC's without power for at least two days. Home of AEC Milo Jackson was directly in path of Flintstone tornado – his home was untouched all surrounding trees are down. He also lost most of his outside antennas and all supports. Approximately 40 trees down on ¼ mile of his road – took almost two days for chainsaw crews to clear his road. Miraculously, no lives were lost from event. As of last update (heard during CERT debriefing last Friday 4/29): 626 homes damaged; of this number, 40 destroyed or unlivable; $12 million in property damages. Walker County Emergency Services vhf repeater lost power prior to the tornado– first responders were not paged to report. Cell phone systems were heavily taxed during first 3 days of event. I volunteered with CERT 4/28/-4/29, and served as a volunteer crew leader for a group from our local church 4/30.

Southeast:
Toombs/KG4BKO, Installed new Comet GP3 antenna for Icom 2820 Gema D-Star radio on new 100 foot monopole tower at about the 75 ft level with new ½ inch hardline at the Toombs County Emergency Management Agency EOC.

Southwest:
Dougherty/N4GPJ, On 4-16 and 17-2011 the TOSRV Bike Tour was supported fully on Saturday and a limited staff on Saturday.

Lee/W5VRV, 7 HOURS COVERS MY TIME AS NET CONTROL ON THE GEORGIA TRAFFIC NET AND THE GEORGIA TRAFFIC AND EMERGENCY NET.

Seminole/K4TPD, April began with me being out of town for the first weather event on the morning of April 5th. As the storm moved through Seminole County in the early morning hours lightning struck a building in Donalsonville. This fire destroyed almost the entire block before being brought under control with the assistance of mutual aid from surrounding counties. Five businesses were a total loss and several others had significant damage. On the south end of the county where I live at Lake Seminole we were without power or telephones for about 10 hours. Other than trees on power lines no other significant damage from this storm. Again on the night of April 15/16 NWS Tallahassee requested spotter assistance due to an approaching storm system that was similar to the April 5th storm. Thankfully this system moved through without little fanfare and little rain. Finally as the month ended the same line of storms that spawned all the tornadoes in North Alabama and North Georgia moved through and the NWS requested spotter assistance again. I was about to breathe a sigh of relief after watching all the reports on TV when a tornado warning was issued for the area I live in. A tornado was reported on the ground 20 miles to the East in Jackson County, FL heading in my direction. This cell dissipated as it crossed into Georgia and I had very little wind. After the lightning ceased I provided radar reports to other SW Georgia ARES members that were mobile and heading to work for the day. My prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones and those that were injured in this severe outbreak of tornadoes.

Thomas/N4KXL, The Thomasville Amateur Radio Club help supply communications for TOSROF again this year. Great training for net oops!

Section Traffic Manager
Georgia Section
Monthly Report
April, 2011


Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR)

K2HJ 255
WA4UJC 150
K4GK 140
K4BEH 120
K4BG 110
N5EEO 105
W4WNE 100
WB4BIK 90

Station Activity Report (SAR) traffic

W4WNE 692
N5EEO 162
K4BG 155
K4GK 144
WB4BIK 48
K4BAI 31
WA4UJC 20
K4BEH 10
KJ4DRW 1

Section Nets

Georgia Statewide ARES HF Net QNI-913 QTC-12 Sessions-5
3975 kHz 2200 UTC Sunday K4GK Net Manager

Georgia ARES Digital Net QNI-103 QTC-0 Sessions-4
3583 kHz 2130 UTC Sunday PSK-31 WB4NWS Net Manager

Georgia Single Sideband Net QNI-1966 QTC-37 Sessions-30
3975 kHz 2300 UTC Daily KE4VPD Net Manager

Georgia Traffic and Emergency Net QNI-721 QTC-42 Sessions-30
3982.5 kHz 7:15 P.M. Daily W4AYK Net Manager

Georgia Cracker Net QNI-1027 QTC-`17 Sessions 30
3995 kHz 7 AM M-Sa/8 AM Sunday K4LTD Net Manager

Georgia Traffic Net QNI-314 QTC-90 Sessions-26
3987.5 kHz 1:00 P.M. Mon-Sat WA4UJC Net Manager

Georgia Training (CW) Net (GTN) QNI-73 QTC-0 Sessions-24
3549 kHz 9 PM Daily Slow speed CW KG4FXG Net Manager

Georgia State Net (GSN) QNI-330 QTC-129 Sessions-60
3549 kHz 7 PM and 10 PM Daily K4GK Net Manager

Remarks:
Congratulations to Terry, W4WNE, on Qualifying for Brass Pounders League (BPL), Again!

Charles Pennington, K4GK
Section Traffic Manager
Georgia Section