TRAINING & SKYWARN
You may get training from a variey of sources, but here's a couple of easy places to find: Go to www.gwinnettares.org and click on their 'Training' page. On it you will find a link to their basic skills online test. It's a great place to start. You'll get the essence of what exactly amateur radio emergency service volunteers do. Take the test and send the results to WN4JC. We do ask that you perform some very basic training to join Rockdale ARES.
Another place you can get this information is on the Georgia ARES website. There, on the front page, you will find a link to the Georgia ARES Basic Communications Course Exam. Take the test and fill out the information. Your results will be sent to WN4JC, our Rockdale ARES Emergency Coordinator.
Yet another place is www.arrl.org/ares. Obviously you will need an amateur radio license to communicate, but if you do not have one, you can find out how to get one on the arrl.org site as well.
Rockdale ARES does not currently hold training classes, but we do have a 'net' and we do have 'exercises', which are essentially simulations of emergencies. The net is a gathering of ARES volunteers, and others who are interested, on the air. The net times and frequencies are listed on our home page. The next exercise, when one is coming, will be listed on the home page also.
Why do we have exercises?
Exercises are a great way to get a feel for how operating conditions MIGHT be during an actual emergency. There are many unknowns that could pop up and it's far better to discover them during a non-emergency if possible. Of course, there is no way to fully simulate a real emergency, but we have already learned of a number of improvements that need to be made.
Training is not only a group function, it is a personal function....am I ready? Are you ready to leave the house and not come back for hours? Are you ready to leave for days? No one has to commit to more than they can do, but you will want to be as ready as possible. Do you have a 'go-kit' of radios, cables, etc? Do you have a 'go-kit' of personal items? Have you read about the experiences of other ARES members across the country? Have you taken some of the NIMS courses? Every little thing you do adds up to make you an excellent volunteer....one whose services will appreciated by those who you serve.
How about taking a turn as Net Controller? All stations that can should have the opportunity to train as Net Controller? Why? Perhaps the regular Net Controller will not be available during an emergency. You may get an idea of what a Net Controller's duties are, other than speaking into a microphone. It could be much more than you think! Ask your EC or AEC if you are interested. For a copy of the Net Control script, click below:
RCA Net Control script.pdf