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ARES-Red Cross utilizes CARLA for regional exercise
Last updated on September 1, 2020 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | Permalink
Local/Nationwide Red Cross Drill: Initial Reports Indicate Success
The widely promoted Local/Regional/National ARES-Red Cross Exercise was conducted on May 30,
with initial reports now coming in that are indicating widespread participation and interest.
Locally-organized ARES exercises in 28 states across the country simulated emergency conditions
and commercial power interruptions while working with their local Red Cross chapters to handle
simulated shelter message traffic. The messages were entered into the Winlink (or Fldigi)
system in the ARC-213 message format. CDC COVID-19 protocols were observed. Designated regional
or state message hubs across the country received the messages from the local nets and passed
them to a simulated Red Cross national authority, via the Winlink email system.
Members of the ARRL Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley Sections participated with the
California Gold Country Region Red Cross and 32 operators from throughout northern California
were involved. The operators sent 35 voice messages using the California Amateur Radio Linking
Association (CARLA) network, and 66 digital messages using both HF and VHF gateways, to a
simulated Red Cross Operations Center. With current pandemic events in mind, the operators were
emailed the messages to be sent to the operations center.
Amateur Radio Liaison Jim Piper, N6MED, of the American Red Cross thanked all operators that
assisted. Piper stated that many important lessons were learned, and that the Red Cross will be
putting some changes into effect immediately. -- Michael Joseph, KK6ZGB, Sacramento Valley
Section ARRL Public Information Officer