SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY

Skywarn™ Recognition Day

December 3, 2022 from 0000z to 2400z
Skywarn™ Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that Skywarn™ volunteers make to the NWS mission, the protection of life and property.
Amateur radio operators comprise a large percentage of the Skywarn™ volunteers across the country. The Amateur radio operators also provide vital communication between the NWS and emergency management if normal communications become inoperative.

All Skywarn™ spotters provide critical weather information before, during and after adverse weather strikes. This includes reports of rain and snow, ice and wind, storms and tornadoes, flooding and fire. This is our 24 hours to recognize all of the Skywarn™ spotters serving our nation!

Be sure to follow your local NWS social media pages and other social media outlets for additional ways to participate in SRD 2022.

Event Resources

SRD 2022 Contact Log Submission

This form is used to record your participation in SRD 2022. Record a summary of all contacts made during SRD 2022.

Note: There is no need to re-submit this if you have already completed the summary using the link on the Skywarn™ Recognition Day Facebook Page.

Log submission deadline is 1/31/2023

Participation Certificate

Share and Join Along: Twitter

BOY SCOUT JOTA (COMPLETED)

We have been asked to support the Boy Scout’s JOTA at the Scout camp Gorsuch at Mirror Lake 22700 Camp Gorsuch Rd, Chugiak. It will be Oct 14-15th, but they normally only do it for one day.  We’ll set the trailers Friday at 1200 and operate Saturday and tear down Saturday evening around 1600.  We need about a dozen folks or more to support this, excellent training opportunity.  We will operate DMR and HF.  We need trailer pullers, coordinate with Scott/KL7SLM, setup and teardown crews, coordinate with TJ/KL3IT folks to interface and training folks to work with the kids to operate, coordinate with Bridgit/KL4B.  We normally make up certificates for the kids for operating.  Possibly coordinate with Ray/KL1IL or Kathy/KL7KO to run packet, if it will work from the site. We are registered with the BSA and have the use of their call sign  K2BSA/KL7.  Suggested HF freqs are on their website. Please contact Don/KL7JFT so we can make sure we have enough folks on hand.  Trailers need to depart no later than 1100 from MATCOM.

THINGS TO PONDER

Things to ponder and prepare for emergency situations.  Keep your fuel tanks to at least 3/4s of a tank.  Have your go boxes, put together and ready to go.  Emergency rations, water, medications, warm clothing and things for your pets.  If you have a fire place is it working, do you have wood, when was the chimney last cleaned?  Do you have an emergency generator with spare fuel?  Have spare batteries for flashlights and small items on hand.  Have a bag with your radios ready to go.  Please give some thought to getting operational on Winlink and both VHF and HF as your license permits.  You will want to have spare water filters on hand, also air filters for your vehicles, in case we have volcanic activity.  Join our ARES Net on Thursday nights at 2000 on either 147.33 or 147.30.  This will allow you to test out your equipment and antennas.  We have various themes each week to evaluate your capabilities.  HT and Cross banding, Mobile operations, checking radio paths from Red Cross and Salvation Army locations, radio go boxes. Pet emergency plans, backup power.  Let’s help each other and be ready for the next possible event.  If you need assistance, check out the club web page, were we list our Elmers.

We are starting to get our meeting programs together and ready for this next year.  Please send your suggestion for programs or if you have a programs you would like to share, to our VP Craig/KL7H the program coordinator.  Our January program will be on upcoming programs.

With the first of the year here our Club Dues are due.  Please check with the Treasure John/KL1XM to make sure you are up to date on your contact info. You can get a copy of the club application on the www.kl7jfu.com website and email to him and you also can pay your dues thru the website.  You can join ARRL thru the club as well, remember ARRL supports ham radio throughout the US with programs like LOTW, training material, reference books, contesting, building projects, new equipment evaluations, lobbying for frequencies and tower ordinances, equipment insurance and supporting club activities.  Please let the treasure know if you have renewed your ARRL dues else ware so we can keep the roster up to date.  Thank you for your support.

Folks interested in joining MATSU ARES, contact me at dbush@gci.net.  Our ARES website is located at www.kl7jft.org that has all our Emergency Operating Plans, SOP and other useful emergency information and the ARES application.  If you have completed any of the ICS courses, 100, 200, 700, 800, and 144 please send me a copy of your certificates.  Also if you are interested in the Skywarn  program, you can contact me for information and requirements.  Anyone interested in joining CERTS and getting training, contact Tabitha/KL4FZ.

This may be interesting you: 14 Essential Knots for Every Survival Situation You May Encounter! This is the link: http://www.survivaldispatch.com/14-essential-survival-knots/ — You never know when you will need to use a rope and if you do need it these knots become mighty important.

We have Emergency Coordinators for various areas around the borough.  Feel free to contact them to let them know you are available to assist during emergencies.  They can give YOU additional guidance for your area.  We due need a replacement for our Palmer EC, please contact Don/KL7JFT

MATSU Borough District Emergency Coordinator  Don Bush/KL7JFT

Trapper Creek & Petersville Area  Hal Morgan/KL0WX

Caswell Lake, Talkeentna & Willow  Mark Allan/KL2EC & Paul Williams KL7ES

Wasilla and Houston Area   Ray Hollenbeck/KL1IL

Palmer & Butte Area  VACANT

Sutton/Chickaloon  Lou Friend/KL4NK

OCT STATEWIDE QUARTELY COMEX (COMPLETED)

1000-1400, Operation: FALL RECOVERY.

Exercise Scenario

Due to the recent large storm in Alaska, and also to Hurricane Ian, we see there are large areas involved in recovery operations.  For this reason, it was decided that this exercise will deal with recovery issues, and logistical support messaging.

This means, transmissions regarding:

Food, water, blood, medical supplies, chain saws, generators, fuel, transportation, etc.

Clothing is not considered a logistical issue for the purposes of this exercise.

Modes of communication

CW

Point to Point Winlink Messaging

Voice transmissions

The CW operations team / circuits will be active for this exercise.

All message traffic must be copied through KL7FJU (Thanks Jerry for the heads up on that)

I will need copies too, so I may request anything I don't get via the above method. You can send them to this email account if you prefer.

Section Protocols

  1. All messages begin with Exercise Exercise
    2. Messages are to be in radiogram or ICS format
    3. Copies of all messages need to be sent as described above
    4. We do Cross-Border Exercises because Alaska is so isolated we may need their help
    5. Primary RF is Winlink. Also can use CW and Voice
    6. If using other digital formats, must prearrange
    7. Any other formats but must prearrange
    8. We have two hubs for traffic, KL7EDK and KL7JFU
    9. All traffic needs to go thru one of the hubs and the messages to the "SEOC" need to go to KL7JFU
    10. We operate as a team. Each area is a team, like Juneau, Sitka, Fairbanks etc. Together they all make up a Section Team.
    11. If there is an emergency and a team is actuated, they need to notify the SEC so that the SEC is on hand in the event that that team needs Section support and beyond that cross border support.
  2. Please stick to the frequency plan. If you aren't where we can find you, there won't be much to communicate between us.

Section Managers

Section Manager
David Stevens
KL7EB

Section Emergency Coordinator
Todd Dokey
KL4EL

Section Traffic Manager
Ed Trump AL7N

MARA 2022 ANNUAL PICNIC (COMPLETED)

MARA's annual picnic will be held at the Lake Lucille Rec Area on the 16th of July at 1000, it will be in Pavilion A.   We will be having our usual Barbee, we need a grill and chief cook.  We ask folks to bring a side dish, MARA will supply the Dogs, Cow, Buns, Condiments and Water.  We will have door prizes.  There is a very large field and play ground, good for flying drones if you are interested. There is a great dog park that the dogs will enjoy running and playing. Those that have ordered coffee cups in the past please stop by and pay for them and pick the up.   If you are interested in a VE Session, contact Ken/KL2HF, other wise it will be the following Saturday.  Bring a chair and if bad weather a picnic cover.  We will have picnic tables in the Pavilion.

Map to Lake Lucille Park

MARA 2022 HAMFEST (COMPLETED)

Our date is set for 10 Sept.  Setup time is 0900 open from 1000-1600. The location will be the Big Lake Lions Club, at 2942 Lions Cir Big Lake.  Map below.

Don’t forget to get out and get some door prizes for the Hamfest. If you need an intro letter for the vendor ask the board for a copy, also remember once they donate to present them with a Tax donation voucher. We are looking for programs and presentations. Coordinate with Craig/KL7H for scheduling.

Entry is $5.00 at the gate and 1 door prize tickets, additional door prize tickets will be a $1.00 with max of 10, Tables are $10.00 reserve them thru John/KL1XM . The Barbee will be $5.00 ea. Please note: for all door prizes you must be present to win. The grand door prize will be a round trip tickets for 2 on the train to Seward and back, starting at Anchorage.

We need volunteers to help on various tasks for the hamfest.  Please contact Craig/KL7H to volunteer.  Will need VEs to conduct testing at 1300, will need folks at the gate and the MARA Country Store, setup and tear down crews. Folks can bring side dishes and desserts if they desire. Remember if you need a letter or tax receipt for your door prize you’ve collected, let us know. Please turn in all door prizes into John/KL1XM.  Pandemic protocols, as appropriate, will be in place. Hand sanitizer station, and optional face masks will be available, especially for those not fully vaccinated.

Interactive MAP TO HAMFEST

Alaska River Watch and Fire Status

**SKYWARN TEAM ALERT**

State Fire Status

River Watch Program

Current PIREP Areas of Interest: Link

National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for monitoring ice breakup conditions throughout Alaska to assess flood threats and navigational hazards. Ground observations, aerial reconnaissance, and remote sensing are sources used to assess ice conditions. Although ice jam flooding is most common during the ice breakup season, ice condition reports are welcome during freezeup and mid-winter as well.

We have relied for many years on observations of Alaska village residents describing the river ice condition in front of the village. Supplemental aerial observations from aircraft flying at low to mid-level altitudes have significantly enhanced the information on ice conditions. Since ice conditions can vary significantly along a river and can change rapidly during the breakup process, numerous observations are needed statewide to assess the status of breakup. It must be stressed that we are looking for reliable and objective reports.

The River Watch Program is a voluntary program that is...

  • Asking pilots and village residents to provide reports of river ice conditions
  • Requesting pilot observations that can be obtained without deviation from the normal route or flight level
  • Stressing that river ice observations only be taken when it can be done safely
  • Serving the purpose to assist the NWS in providing accurate forecasts, warnings, and navigation information

River and lake ice observations can be provided to the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center (APRFC) via:

  • radio from aircraft to AFSS with observations for inclusion in a PIREP
  • phone at 1-800-847-1739
  • email report and/or photos to nws.ar.aprfc@noaa.gov

Additional information about the program and tools to download are available at the following links:

Program background:

Current River Watch Flood Map

Discussions have begun with the Alaska Weather Forecasting offices.  There are some disturbing facts that may affect Alaska severally as breakup begins and spring continues. It is noted the ground is still frozen, the temperatures are rising and now the storms coming in are mainly rain and could become heavy.  So as happens every year, the ice breaks up and begins to flow down river, blocking areas and causing flooding.  Since the ground is still frozen and snow is melting in the mountains and low lands, there is no place to go except into the rivers, rising the levels.

As I had put out earlier we have been asked to assist the Fairbanks and Anchorage Weather Forecast offices by submitting reports of what we have observed.  As hams scattered around Alaska and near a lot of river and streams we would be the first to observe the water rising.  So as discussion continue with the various forecasting offices, we need to prepare for 2 things.  One lets take notice of the level of the water in are area, either driving around, at home or while flying.  First of all be very careful, we don't need to travel a lot yet until we get control of this crazy virus.  2nd, if your area has flooded in the past, its going to flood this year like the worst flood we have had in the past.  Get your important items packed in waterproof containers.  Some times zip log bags, Tupperware and storage containers can save our pictures, important papers, books and electronics.

I have been putting out info and links as to where you can go to get weather spotter training and begin training for our new ALASKA SKYWARN program we are developing.  Harry/AL6F works for the Fairbanks weather office (KL7FWX) and they have a complete ham station, with Winlink established. for emergencies.  Harry is heading up our SKYWARN program.  Carol and I have taken the weather spotter training several times and just completed it on line again, but if you haven't, go to the links I provided on the MARA ARES website www.kl7jft.org and take the course.  There is a great reference book and a small test at the end. That is step one.  Next will be the SKYWARN courses that goes further into what it's about.

SKYWARN is very critical in the lower 48 where they have hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.  Well all we have is earthquakes, flooding and snow and wind storms.  So with our unique capabilities and scattered like we are we can pass this valuable info onto the weather forecast offices to help them do their job better and could help save your neighbor and friends.  Now you may not want to be an official spotter, that's fine, but at least you have a little knowledge that would help you to help us.

To start, safely go to your near river and streams where you've seen flooding in the past and will probably see again and put in a marker, or put a surveying tape on a tree at the edge, something for a starting reference and log in the time and date, location, (lat and long if you have it), and check it about the same time each day. Driving back and forth to the store or work once we get back to it, check it and keep track of what you find.  Maybe you have an old broken measure tape fasten it to the marker or tree so you can use binoculars from a safe distance to see how the levels have changed.  Is there ice flowing are trees or ice blocking the river or stream. Do we have erosion picking up that may affect a house, neighborhood, or road?  It doesn't take you long and it is very important.

Start monitoring the VHF and HF nets and pass info along to the Net Control or get a message to me, Don/KL7JFT or Harry/AL6F.  Hear are some links that you can use to find out about flood warnings:

River Summary

Interactive River Map

Now to report weather or flooding go to these sites and please email KL7JFT and AL6F or if you have any questions.

RFC/River Forecast Center

Weather, Flooding, and Storm Damage Reporting