KaroEcho Western Hemisphere  Operations Center HQ Alpha

OperationS: Working Group

The Operational Working Group designs the functional operating procedures directly relating to  principles of efficient flow regarding net operations, portable operations, mobile operations, and message handling operations.

For example OPERATIONS governs how messages are encoded and flow across the KARO-ECHO network. It designs methodologies to handle emergency communications needs of the Kensington/El Cerrito Community when conventional communications services are rendered inoperable and/or overloaded.  

Job Responsibilities/Purview

OPERATIONS here refers to efficient radio operator procedures, net operations, efficient message handling operation, and best practices, as well as establishing the goals of the training unit  (training in the use of batteries, solar back up, the use of automobile  charging systems, portable operations, mobile operations, message centers, message formatting, net procedures, and the like). The Operational Working Group should identify and recommend technical improvements and needs including the integration of needed digital communication development for KARO-ECHO.  The defacto lead is the KaroEcho EC or his/her appointee.

Join Our Fun Team

Team Lead: Howdy, KE6BEE

Current Volunteers 

More volunteers are needed. Please email info at karoecho dot net 

Completed Tasks

Portable Go-Kart equipped on wheels with 50 watt dual-band radio, dual-band gain antenna, 105 AH AGM deep cycle battery, and GMRS radio, antenna, and mast. (Completed May 2019)

Flow Chart from Area ICPs to EOC via ham radio (task completed 3/2018)

Flow Chart from Intra-area FRS stations to the Area ICP (FRS/GMRS) (task completed 3/2018)

Inter-area Flow Chart from Area ICPs to other Area ICPs (facilitates mutual aid such as nurses, doctors, medicine, water, food, personnel, tools, batteries, water, etc.) Facilitated by Ham Radio and/or GMRS. To sum up, the intra-area communication to be provided by FRS and aided by GMRS who can relay to the area ICP. The area ICPs communicate to and from EOC and Fire stations by Ham radio. Inter-Area communications by ham radio by ham radio or GMRS. (task completed 03/2018)

Produce and maintain a one page FRS/GMRS Operations and procedures page. (Completed 04/2018)

Protocols and Procedures: Net control duties and procedures, (task completed, 12/2017) 

Develop and practice message handling procedures such as the use of phonetics, pro-signs, obtaining fills, good operating procedures), written message handling, relaying, message center operations and procedures, etc.  See Field Operations Handbook (Made Available to All Members)

Develop and install a 3 ring binder containing pencils, erasers, blank paper, forms ICS 213, ICS 209, ICS 214, Simplex frequency list, radio operating manuals, maintenance logs, Net Control log, phonetic alphabet, and the  Field Operations Handbook at each Operations Center(Tassajara Park, Harding Park, Hilltop School, the Kensington Community Center, FS 55, FS 51, FS 52, the EOC, and portable Go-Kart(s).

Establish bi-annual Simulated Emergency Tests (SETs) in the SPring and Summer to test readiness and improve best practices skills. 

Ongoing Tasks in Progress

Develop and build a digital  store and forward communications system at  remote sites,  and/or at FS 51 or the EOC. (2012- present postponed)

Develop a Shelter, Evacuation Center, and Reunification Health and Welfare message center plan

Develop a parallel GMRS to interoperability message center operational plan at each Communications Hub to interface with our ARS networks 

Run a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) at minimum twice a year to test portable message handling and emergency power capabilities.

Develop and run mini-exercises on each Thursday night training nets

Develop and run the training part at the monthly KaroEcho Monday meetings

Update the KaroEcho Disaster Plan

Install additional rooftop dual-band VHF/UHF antennas at the KCC and Neighborhood Hubs such as park clubhouses that integrate GMRS/Ham portals.   

Establish a formal written Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with El Cerrito Fire Department

Related Pages


Written Messaging: How To and Formats

External Links:

FEMA Presentation on How to Utilize Ham Radio During Disasters: Strong Content (March 30, 2021

A nice portable Go-Kit by Benicia Amateur Radio Club (youtube video -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BrHsMfEZT4

A very simple and compact dual band go-kit; but well thought out and complete for 8 hours plus.

ARES (ARRL) Manual http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/ARES/ARESmanual2015.pdf 

ARES Field Resource Manual http://www.arrl.org/files/file/ARES_FR_Manual.pdf 

ARES Emergency Coordinators Manual (EC Manual) https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public Service/ECMANUAL.PDF

Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale [https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/mercalli.php

Palo Alto amateur Radio Assn. on Choosing a  Suitable Battery Based on  Characteristics 

The IARU EmComm Guidebook -- Very excellent in all regards. Well thought out! The GOLD STANDARD! Thanks to Rod, W6ROD!

Basic Training: An Excellent Beginner's Video for Emergency Net Operations by the Marin Amateur Radio Society

Radio Relay International