Readiness: Red Cross, ARES/RACES, etc.

Mercer County ARES/RACES

ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) is an organization of “amateur radio operators providing communications services when disaster strikes.” While club members come from several counties, Mercer County ARES is the group that covers our “home turf.”

ARES Weekly Net is held every Thursday at 7:30 PM on the W2MER repeater- 147.105MHz (147.705 Input, PL 123.0)

David Sarnoff Radio Club members are encouraged to register themselves with Mercer County ARES/RACES. To do so, just send an email to the Mercer County EC John Pugh WJ3P for more information.

Mercer County ARES/RACES has a page of useful readiness links (Reference cards, Go-kit recommendations, etc.)

THIS DOCUMENT is a “.pdf” of a presentation from March 2022 — What’s New with ARES/RACES by John Pugh, WJ3P

The American Radio Relay League has a statement of understanding with FEMA, which applies to our local groups as well.

Locations: American Red Cross of Central NJ and Mercer County EOC

N2ARC is the callsign at the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey, the lead American Red Cross chapter in the event of a statewide emergency.

W2MER is the callsign at the Mercer County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), located at the Dempster Fire Service Training School.

The David Sarnoff Radio Club meets monthly at the American Red Cross building. Club members helped set up N2ARC and operated it during several emergencies including 9/11/01.

2019 Field Day was at the American Red Cross

“ARES Open Houses” are held the last Monday of each month (except December and May) at 7:00 PM at:

  • The American Red Cross, 707 Alexander Rd (2 blocks east of Rt 1, use rear entrance)
  • And also at the Mercer County EOC located on Lawrence Station Road.
    From Route 1, turn south onto Quakerbridge Road. Lawrence Station Road is a right turn about a half mile south of Quakerbridge Mall, pass COSTCO. Just follow the signs to the Dempster Fire Training Center. The Mercer County EOC is in the basement.
Click map to enlarge
(Map copyright OpenStreetMap contributors)

Files about N2ARC This page shows our participation in the 2023 S.E.T. This .pdf comes from the ARRL SNJ Section, with lessons learned from the 2023 Simulated Emergency Test (power blackout on August 14, 2003, N2ARC linked to other ARC chapters) (New York debrief on 9/11/01 Ham Radio operations mentions N2ARC) (Website tracks APRS signals heard related to N2ARC.

Emergency Communications Readiness files:

1) Command Post

This undated .pdf is a 3-page outline for emergency and public service communications which details the requirements for:

  • Setting up a command post
  • Operating a command post
  • Operating in the field

2) Connecting Power for Emergency Equipment

This .pdf of a PowerPoint presentation covers 12 VDC Power Distribution. Prepared by Gary Wilson K2GW.

3) Gelled Battery Safety

This .pdf of a presentation has information on floating a gelled lead-acid battery and a simple modification to the popular Astron RS-35 power supply to protect it from reverse current flow when AC power is lost. Talk was by Gary Wilson K2GW. for volunteers, NCS, and EC.

SKYWARN program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) operates a program called SKYWARN(R). The NWS website has information about joining the program as a spotter.

The DSRC 2 Meter Repeater is designated as a Skywarn repeater. When the SKYWARN net is active spotter reports have priority on our club repeater.

From time to time our club has sponsored Skywarn training sessions. For local information see: NWS Mount Holly, NJ SKYWARN Program

Narrow Bandwidth Emergency Messaging System

In 2024 our mailing list included discussion of nets which send emergency traffic using “Digital Modes” (in this case THOR and MFSK) A summary of the discussion is available HERE.