Amateur radio operators across the Hawaiian Islands are invited to participate in a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) exercise on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 9 Am to 12 Noon HST. The purpose of the simulation is to test radio operators’ capabilities and communications systems in the event of a disaster.

All radio amateurs throughout the State of Hawaii are encouraged to join in the exercise simulation. This includes members of ACS, American Red Cross, ARES, CERT, DEM RACES, Hawaii VOAD, SKYWARN, STATE RACES, The Salvation Army, and unaffiliated radio operators.

The scenario will simulate the devastation sustained by Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island as a Category 5 storm, with severe impacts on power, water & communication systems and overall infrastructure. There was disruption of the food and fuel supply chains, pumping stations, ATM machines and cash availability, and destruction of homes and businesses by wind and flooding.

The Hawaii simulation will be a major hurricane with sustained winds of 130 to 156 MPH (a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) affecting all islands in the state. The hurricane will have approached the state from the south and passed close to the western coastline of all the islands as it headed north.

The specific objective for this communications exercise is to develop a Simulated Incident Map (SIM) for all islands. Developing the SIM map will also support objectives to assess the ability of radio amateurs in the state to respond quickly to an event; to develop emergency communication skills; and to send clear, concise, and comprehensive messages to emergency operations centers. The amateur radio operators will be encouraged to use digital communications by sending long messages using digital techniques (specifically WinLink).

This exercise will build off of the successful Grid Madness event in September where amateur radio operators used their radios to talk as far as possible around the island in a mode called Simplex. Amateur operators are encouraged to work completely off of the electrical grid by using batteries, solar panels, or generators to power their stations.

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