Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Emergency Plan for Beaufort County, South Carolina
1.1 The Beaufort County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is composed of FCC-licensed Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and equipment for public service and emergency communications duty.
1.2 Under Federal regulations, Amateur Radio public service and emergency communications are furnished without compensation of any kind.
1.3 The Beaufort County ARES functions under this Emergency Plan and under the direction of the Beaufort County Emergency Coordinator (EC), who is appointed by the ARRL South Carolina Section Manager.
1.4 The EC may appoint Assistant Emergency Coordinator’s (AEC) as needed for the ARES to function efficiently.
2.1 The purpose of the plan is to provide a written guide containing the minimum information that would be needed in an emergency. Each emergency is different, and flexibility is necessary to provide an appropriate response to each situation.
2.2 The primary responsibility of the Beaufort County ARES is to provide communications in the event of a disaster, or any situation, where normal communications are disrupted.
2.3 Exercises, training and instruction shall be regularly carried out to ensure readiness to respond quickly in providing effective and efficient Amateur Radio communications whenever the need may arise.
2.4 The following agencies could be served during a communications emergency: Beaufort County Emergency Management Division, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, SC DHEC, local U.S. Military facilities, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other agency(s) requesting assistance from ARES. Assistance may also be provided in coordination with South Carolina ARES.
3.0 ACTIVATING THE PLAN
3.1 Any member of the Beaufort County ARES, who for any reason suspects that a communication emergency exists, should monitor the assigned primary frequency for activity. The current repeater frequency is 145.130 MHz with a tone of 88.5.
3.2 If local telephone service is available, the EC and/or AECs should be notified by telephone. Other means may be by Amateur Radio, runner, or direct contact.
3.3 In an emergency in which Amateur Radio may be needed, Amateur Radio operators may be alerted by a served agency. This alert should be shared immediately with the EC and/or AECs, or their representatives.
4.0 ARES MOBILIZATION PROCEDURE
4.1 If local telephone service is available, each registered member will be called by telephone or receive notification through Amateur Radio.
4.2 Upon awareness or notification that a communications emergency exists, members of the Beaufort County ARES will call into the Beaufort County ARES Net on the 145.130 repeater with the 443.850 repeater with a tone of 123.0 as an alternate. Should these repeaters not be available, 146.655 (simplex) may be used or other frequencies as directed.
4.3 Mobile units will be dispatched as needed to support communications or other operations. This may include locating and manning the Beaufort Amateur Radio Group (BRAG) Emergency Communications Trailer.
4.4 The EC will assume control or delegate a Net Control Station (NCS) which may be set up at the Beaufort County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) or where best feasible for the communications emergency. This station will be extensively utilized during the emergency. It will have full emergency power capability and relief operators assigned to ensure continuous operation. A minimum of a two-person team is optimal (operator and runner/note taker/logger).
4.5 The ARES Net will normally operate on the 145.130 repeater (primary) or 443.850 repeater (alternate). The second repeater can be used for non-net tactical activities as needed.
4.6 The 147.240 repeater may be used for an incident localized to the Hilton Head/Bluffton area.
4.7 The SCHEART VHF/UHF system may be utilized, especially for communications extending beyond Beaufort County. The primary analog FM repeater is the 146.715 repeater at Whitehall. The primary DMR repeater is the 441.9875 repeater at Beaufort. The 443.850 repeater may or may not be linked into the SCHEART system depending on the situation.
5.0 DUTIES OF NETS
5.1 The Beaufort County ARES Net will be established for coordinating the response of ARES members to/at assigned locations.
5.2 The Beaufort County ARES Net will be established for handling incident communications and for providing backup communications for Beaufort County and neighboring counties.
5.3 A Liaison may be appointed under a Net Control’s authority to change to other frequencies to allow inter-communications among other operations.
5.4 Operators of home stations not placed in the field will be coordinated to serve as liaison and key stations as conditions warrant.
5.5 Liaison stations to the following nets or frequencies may be assigned as conditions warrant by the EC or his appointee.
* South Carolina ARES nets 3990 kHz, 146.715 MHz tone 123.0
* South Carolina Single Sideband Net 3915 kHz
* SCHEART Nets 146.715 MHz tone 123.0, 441.9875 MHz (DMR)
* Winlink stations
* Other nets as needed
6.1 Written formal communications will normally use ICS-213 format.
6.2 All formal messages must be signed by the official who originates them, with his/her title, taking responsibility for the content.
6.3 Stations must not transmit unless directed to do so by the NCS. The exception is that a station may break into an existing conversation to call Net Control with EMERGENCY traffic. However, with NCS permission, short tactical messages may be authorized for transmission.
6.4 Information obtained or overheard by Amateur Radio operators assisting served agencies should be treated as FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. Operators should refer information queries to the served agency.
6.5 All operators should be familiar with the South Carolina Tactical Communications Plan. This plan may be found at https://ares-sc.org/.
7.0 EXERCISES, TESTS AND ALERTS
7.1 An annual test will be conducted as decided upon by the EC and his assistants.
7.2 The Beaufort County ARES will periodically provide public service communications in conjunction with local events. Two events that do not require written request are the Beaufort Christmas Parade and Beaufort Water Festival Parade. Events must be for the benefit of the general public. Other types of communications activities should be requested and approved 30 days prior to the event for proper planning.
7.3 The Beaufort County ARES Net meets regularly on Thursdays at 7:00 PM local time on the Beaufort Radio Amateur Group’s repeater (145.130- tone 88.5) to pass traffic, share information concerning ARES and Amateur Radio news, and to provide training to amateurs in our area.
8.0 PLAN REVISIONS
8.1 The Beaufort County ARES Plan will be reviewed annually to evaluate the needs and requirements of served agencies, as well as to update current plans and procedures. Additional updates may be conducted at the discretion of the Beaufort County EC.
8.2 The current revision of the plan will be identified by date following the title of the plan.
END OF PLAN
1. James Campbell, KB9LX, Emergency Coordinator, Beaufort County 970-531-3378
2. David Jennings, N2EIO, AEC N. Beaufort County, 843-812-1721
3. Lee Marsden, KD4NJU, AEC S. Beaufort County, 404-218-0859
4. Jim Gish, AEC (Clubs Liaison). 843-263-0432
Official Emergency Stations:
1. Lee Bradley, W1WXS, UNLISTED
2. David Jennings, N2EIO 843-522-3356