Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

Loudoun County Emergency Operations Center
ARES NCS - K4LRG With Tom Garasic - NA4MA and Gary Quinn - NC4S

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

Loudoun Valley HS
Red Cross Relocation Center
Purcellville Mayor, Red Cross OIC,
Norm and Austin Styer
Discuss Installation
Of ARES Station W4AU

American Radio Relay League
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Loudoun County, Virginia
ARES - Operations
Hurricane Isabel
American Red Cross Relocation Center Support

September 2003
Loudoun County ARES Emergency Coordinator Tom Dawson - WB3AKD of Round Hill, VA
Supported By The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
And Other ARES Members From Adjacent Northern Virginia Counties

Another Count On Us Operation

Photographed By Bill McCourt - WF1L and Norm Styer - AI2C
And Reported By Norm Styer - AI2C

Photograph by Bill McCourt - WF1L de Reston, VA

Dominion HS Red Cross Relocation Center
ARES Station - W3EMH
Bill Frisbie - W3EMH (L) and Randy Sly - K4SLY (R)
with Red Cross Representative

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

Heritage HS Red Cross Relocation Center
ARES Station - NA4MA
Dave Putman - KG4KZZ
.

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

Loudoun Valley High School Red Cross Relocation Center ARES Station W4AU By John Unger
Norm Styer - AI2C, Grandson Austin Styer, Barbara Heckman - KI4AVZ and Paul Bock - K4MSG

.

The ARES Roster Of Volunteers
Emergency Coordinator Tom Dawson - WB3AKD

Loudoun County
EOC
Leesburg, VA

Carol Boehler - KF4TJJ
Denny Boehler - KF4TJI
Tom Dawson - WB3AKD
Nancy Dluehosh - KERTP
Paul Dluehosh - N4PD
Tom Garasic - NA4MA
Norm Styer - AI2C


Dominion High School
Red Cross Relocation Center
Sterling, VA

Buddy Brewer - K4CJB
Bill Frisbie - W3EMH
Mark Johnson - W3ZI
Bob Kennedy - KG4QXF
Bill McCourt - WF1L
Joe Sheinman - W2BHK
Randy Sly - K4SLY


Heritage High School
Red Cross Relocation Center
Leesburg, VA

Denny Boehler - KF4TJI
Tom Garasic - NA4MA
Dale Harrison - K3CN
Larry Hughes - K3HE
Bruce Lunde - KF4KKZ
Larry McCaig - KC1YC
Dave Putman - KG4KZZ
Stephen Tedesco - KB2CEV

Loudoun Valley High School
Red Cross Relocation Center
Purcellville, VA

Paul Bock - K4MSG
Barbara Heckman - KI4AVZ
Don Heckman - KU3WE
Charlie Preston - K4LJH
Allon Stern - KE4FYL
Austin Styer Student Member LARG
Norm Styer - AI2C
Hilary Unger - KD4RDI
John Unger - W4AU

HQ Loudoun County Chapter
American Red Cross
Leesburg, VA

Denny Boehler - KF4TJI and Dave Putman - KG4KZZ

.
K4LRG / RPTR on 442.100 MHz

.

Evan Alford - KQ4CI Maintained K4LRG/R Throughout The Operation - Thanks

.
N4FSC / RPTR on 145.310 MHz

.

Maintained By The Dulles ARG - Thanks

.
O
perating From Home QTH
.

Larry McCaig - KC1YC, Mary Oliphant - KF4UUY and Ray Houff - K4AJA

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      MISSION: We all watched Hurricane Isabel for over a week as it grew to a Category 5 hurricane and made its turn toward the Mid-Atlantic coast on Monday, September 15, 2003. We all wondered how we would fair and by Wednesday morning, we knew we would be tested.

      That day, the initial calls went out to our Loudoun County Amateur Radio Emergency Service's Emergency Coordinator - Tom Dawson - WB3AKD of Round Hill, VA. Bottom line: The Loudoun Chapter of the American Red Cross needs our help. Electrical power, phone lines, cell phones were all at risk and folks mostly will need shelter.

      We got word to report into an 8 PM, Wednesday, Loudoun ARES Net and start to get organized. The following 9 PM LARG Reflector message by John Unger - W4AU for Tom Dawson summed up what we had to do:


"QST QST QST
Here are notes from the 9/17/03 2000 EDST on-the-air meeting:

Currently, WB3AKD, NC4S, and NA4MA are setting up a communications command center at the Loudoun County Emergency Center, near the National Guard Armory east of Leesburg.

Loudoun County is planning on setting up three emergency relocation centers in the county:
Dominion High School - Sterling
Heritage High School - Leesburg
Loudoun Valley High School - Purcellville

We can start setting up communications at the centers at 1200 EDST tomorrow, 9/18/03, and have to be ready and on the air by 1600. Each center will need VHF, UHF, and HF (40 and 80 meters) communications capability.

Currently, W4AU and AI2C have volunteered to set up the Loudoun Valley High School center.

Tom, WB3AKD, the Loudoun EC for ARES is requesting help for setting up the other two centers and staffing for all of these three centers.

You can contact Tom on 147.480 or via email at: wb3akd@arrl.net

Please monitor 147.480 simplex and the 145.310 repeater for further information. Also, check your email frequently for bulletins.

de John, W4AU for Tom, WB3AKD, Loudoun County EC"

 

OPERATIONAL NOTICE

On Thursday afternoon, Tom Dawson - WB3AKD, the Loudoun County ARES EC distributed the following message:

"DATE: Thursday, September 18, 2003 12:58 PM

SUBJECT: Loudoun ARES Hurricane Isabel Operational Summary

TO ALLCON:

AS OF THURSDAY 12:00 EDT, THE AMATEUR RADIO STATION K4LRG, LOCATED AT THE LOUDOUN COUNTY EOC IS MAINTAINING A VHF NET ON 147.48 MHZ SIMPLEX. STATIONS AT DOMINION HIGH SCHOOL, LOUDOUN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL AND HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL (RELOCATION CENTERS) ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. EACH STATION WILL HAVE VHF VOICE AS PRIMARY COMMS WITH HF BACKUP AND LONG HAUL. UHF CHOICE AND VHF PACKET WILL BE ASSEMBLED LATER AS TIME AND RESOURCES ALLOW.

FREQUENCY PLAN:
VHF VOICE SIMPLEX 147.48
VHF REPEATER 145.31 (N4FSC)
UHF REPEATER 442.1 (K4LRG) PL 77

HF
STATIONS WILL MONITOR THE VEN-A NETS ON 3947 OR 7260. CHANGEOVER FROM 40 TO 75 METERS IS EXPECTED ABOUT 1600.

STAFFING:
AT PRESENT, ALL STATIONS EXCEPT RED CROSS LEEBURG CHAPTER HOUSE ARE STAFFED, BUT THIS WILL BE A LONG OPERATION. THEREFORE ALL ARES MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO SUPPORT ONE OF THE STATIONS FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN.

PLEASE CONTACT K4LRG WITH YOUR AVAILABILITY ON 147.48. PLEASE GIVE PRIOIRTY TO EMERGENCY TRAFFIC.

DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF THE STORM, ADDITIONAL STATIONS MAY BE REQUIRED. PLEASE PREPARE ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR DEPLOYMENT IN THE EVENT IT IS NEEDED.

PRESENTLY THE 12 FOOT SHELTER WITH THE PNEUMATIC MAST HAS BEEN PRE-POSITIONED IN PURCELLVILLE. A TRAILER MOUNTED TOWER WILL BE PRE-POSITIONED AT THE EOC ION LEESBURG.

BT
Tom Dawson
WB3AKD
ARES EC Loudoun County, VA
(540) 454-0520 (Cell)
(877) 790-3115 (Pager)
wb3akd@arrl.net"

SUMMARY: Things pretty well ran their course throughout Thursday night and Friday morning. There was some message traffic as the Red Cross folks passed information about on hand supplies and staffing levels. And a few folks took up the Red Cross offer at the Heritage High School. About midnight, the winds picked up and shifted into the south as Isabel moved north and well west of us over western Maryland into southwest Pennsylvania. Some bands of rain and wind were heavy but most antennas held. Evan Alford - KQ4CI reported that the big antenna at 300 feet had been pushed into some other stuff, so he had switched to a lower backup antenna on the K4LRG Repeater. It still seemed to hold it own. By mid-morning Friday, it was clear that things were over and only a water supply issue remained for some parts of Loudoun County. Late Friday afternoon, all had received 'Close Station - March Order' direction. This was a real one and you never knew if something bad would happen at home or to your family or to your friends. This was a lot of work and was potentially dangerous; I'm proud to have been out there with you gals and guys. It was good to 'ride' with you all. Count me in next time.
Best Regards, Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.


.
Loudoun County Government EOC is located next to the Leesburg Air Field and on some high ground. Wednesday night, I visited and helped with installing antennas and pulling coax through the tile to the station's location in the middle of the EOC. Tom Garasic - NA4MA, Denny Boehler - KF4TJI, Gary Quinn - NC4S and Tom Dawson - WB3AKD were there several hours before I arrived and had thing well in hand. The HF antenna (below), a G5RV with 300-ohm matching lead, was in a sorta compromising location and we in Purcellville didn't hear them too often. The VHF-UHF antenna (right) was in a good location on about 25-feet of military sectionized poles and strapped to the entrance porch. Carol Boehler - KF4TJJ pulled the first NCS duty on Thursday and did a super job. They closed station late Friday.

 

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA
HF Antenna Off Light Pole At Loudoun EOC

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Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA
VHF - UHF Antenna System At Loudoun County EOC

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Dominion High School: Bill Frisbie - W3EMH and Randy Sly - K4SLY both well traveled amateurs, set up a nice station in the gym and had good communications with the EOC. Sometimes we would copy them on VHF in Purcellville and they had a nice signal on the Virginia Emergency Net - Alpha on 3947 KHz throughout Thursday night.

Photograph by Bill McCourt - WF1L de Reston, VA
Bill - W3EMH and Randy - K4SLY Deliver Gear For Dominion HS

.
Heritage High School looks like a shelter and has plenty of room. Tom Garasic - NA4MA installed this station with his 10-watt Kenwood and 4-elemet yagi early on Thursday.

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA

  Several folks did take up the Red Cross offer.


Red Cross Welcoming Center At Heritage HS

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA
VHF Antenna System At Heritage HS

Tom Garasic - NA4MA couldn't reach the outside to mount his VHF antenna but he only had to close a 2-mile link to the EOC.

.
Loudoun Valley High School's relocation center in Purcellville in the western part of the county was well organized. We knew this when Jay Greeley, a fellow LARG member, welcomed us as the Red Cross OIC and gave us a tour of the site. Andrew James from the LVHS staff helped with antenna supports (below) by anchoring a high pulley off the east side of the gym for the 40 and 80 meter dipoles. John Unger - W4AU, Charlie Preston - K4LJH and Norm Styer - AI2C did the initial installation and were on-the-air within the hour. We put the 5-element VHF-UHF yagi on a 4-section 16-foot mast; we toyed with putting it on the roof of the gym but worried about getting up there at the height of the storm if something went wrong. We installed my Kenwood TMV-7 Dual-Band VHF-UHF radio and the LARG's Kenwood TS-440 and a very old Johnson Matchbox antenna tuner on HF. We had good comms with NCS and checked in regularly on the 3947-KHz Virginia Emergency Net - Alpha. We had 4 pieces of Red Cross traffic that went to the Red Cross representative at the Loudoun EOC. Three 12-volt deep cycle batteries were fully charged and were put in service around 12:30 AM Friday when electrical power was lost in parts of Purcellville. We closed station at about 11:00 AM Friday after the Red Cross closed their relocation center. They had no clients.

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA
HF and VHF-UHF Antennas At LVHS

We had a good crew of operators but we seem to always repeat the shift-manning mistake. What we would like is 3 or 4 operators to move into the site and set up and operate for 2-hours then a fresh operator or if busy a second one takes over and we get into 8 or 12 hour shifts. Everyone else goes home or takes time off for at least 8 or 12 hours and then gets into the shift rotation. At close down and march order several others may assist in knockdown.

Several, after this operation, have suggested that we set up a team arrangement now that we know how big the Red Cross support can be.

And by the way, our practice in support to the Red Cross during the last four Reston Bike Rides have made this all possible plus they know us and we know them. And they can:

Count On US !!!!

NNNN

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA
Red Cross and Purcellville Officials Discuss Station Installation

It was important to make initial and continuing contact with Red Cross and local officials. Loudoun County and Purcellville PD and Government officials visited regularly and had folks stationed here throughout the event. The Purcellville Town Government signed out a 'business' handy-talky radio to us and we could monitor their activities and if necessary reach them.


Red Cross Welcoming Desk At LVHS

The press was also quite visible with Leesburg Today, Loudoun Times-Mirror and the Washington Post all taking pictures and asking questions.


Sleeping Quarters at LVHS

Late on Thursday evening, I set up a packet station with an ICOM 2-AT handheld radio, an MFJ Multimode TNC and a Compaq laptop computer and was somewhat successful in joining the PVRC DXCluster Node N4OHE west of Bluemont. But the indoor and small antenna proved we need better stuff. Steve - KB2CEV tried to get us to come up on the 145.73 MHz ARES system but he was too weak. Later, Allon - KE4FYL came up on 145.71 MHz frequency from his home in Purcellville and had a good QSO with John - W4AU. This stuff will work but we need more training, practice and stations.