Spring 2021 Exercise

"The best way to deal with emergencies is to train and practice beforehand, so that response becomes automatic."


Saturday April 17, 9AM to Noon

Exercise Goal: Participants will practice various emergency radio communication procedures using the BeCERTAINN repeater.

To Participate: Anyone interested in participating should fill out the Signup Form (at the bottom of this page or here), to receive updates and details. And if you're not already on the BeCERTAINN mailing list, you can join it here: https://www.becertainn.org/contact.

Equipment Needed: Participants who wish to transmit messages must have a valid GMRS License and repeater-capable radio that is set up to communicate with the BeCERTAINN repeater. More information about radios and licensing is here: https://www.becertainn.org/radios. For info about the repeater and how to set up your radio, see: https://www.becertainn.org/net.

Anyone is welcome to listen only on channel 22, which can be done with any GMRS radio.

Optional Pre-exercise Meeting: Wednesday April 7, 7:30 PM

This pre-exercise meeting is intended to address questions and information needs. The Zoom link will be sent to the mailing list the week of the meeting. Attending the pre-exercise meeting is NOT required to participate in the April 17 exercise.

Exercise Summary:

On Saturday April 17, BeCERTAINN will be running an exercise to practice different disaster communication operating procedures through our repeater. The aim of the exercise is to have participants from the greater Berkeley area simulate the types of operational procedures that may be required after a major earthquake.

With the repeater operating on backup power, participants will be invited to engage in the following activities:

Checking in and Out of the Net: The goal is to have an understanding of who is “monitoring” the net and net control will aim to create a visual map of operating stations on the air. Because we would like to have a sense of who is actively monitoring, checking out is as important as checking in.

Filing a Situation Awareness Report: Participants are encouraged to file reports that would be of interest to the broader network of users. For example, “Alameda is not passable at Hopkins due to downed power lines.” Net control may ask for an update to such reports (see Summary of Reports).

Resource Sharing Request: Participants seeking mutual aid from other users can make a request. We will practice having the requesting station and the mutual aid provider taking directly over the net -- see “Go Direct.”

Periodic Summary of Reports: Net control will, at a designated time interval (probably on the half-hour) repeat major situation reports, and request if the reporting station has any updates. Individuals without a GMRS license are welcome to monitor Ch 22 and we hope these reports prove useful.

Shadow Net Control: Participants are encouraged to act as a shadow net control where you monitor situation reports and copy messages received over the net. Effectively you track the same information as net control and are prepared to become the net controller.

Transfer Net Control: We will have two or more net controllers during the exercise and ideally there will be shadow net controllers so transfers can occur without the need to re-report additional information.

Tactical Go Direct Operations: “Going direct” is an efficient and effective way for two or more operators to coordinate without net control serving as an intermediary. For example, two operators may wish to coordinate a resource sharing request. The operators may request to “go direct” to one another over the repeater and exchange information without participation by net control.

Geographic Focus:

BeCERTAINN welcomes check-ins and exercise monitoring from the broader regional GMRS community, but we would like to focus the operational elements of this exercise on Berkeley participants and Oakland/Emeryville/Albany participants that border Berkeley.

In the event of a large earthquake or other disaster, regional groups will likely be engaged in local operations. We would like to focus this exercise on BeCERTAINN’s core geography.

Signup Form