The 2019 TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise will be held over the weekend of July 26 through 28. Save the date now to save yourself later. The AmRRON T-REX is a radio communication disaster exercise, but you can follow along with the disaster scenario even if you don’t have a radio. (Click here to see the 2018 T-REX archives.) For AmRRON and its members, the exercise is a functional to full-scale exercise. If you wish to participate on your own with your local group, you can work it as a walk-through, tabletop, or more as you see fit.
The next regular assembly of the whole will be on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the WestWind Aviation Services hangar at the Prosser airport at 6:30pm. Bring your handheld radios with you for the radio exercise. There will also be a potluck dinner. An email will go out with potluck assignments/suggestions, so please be on the watch for it. Your radio is your ticket to eat. Don’t forget it!
AmRRON’s 2018 TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise (T-REx) will be held on the weekend on July 20th – 22nd. This is a nationwide grid-down disaster training exercise.. This will be an emergency communications training exercise with emphasis on Amateur Radio for use during emergency/disaster situations.
Here is a listing of the Pre T-Rex Message Traffic that has been collected from the AmRRON practice nets! The Pre-T-Rex message traffic and the T-Rex Breaking News page are used as a ‘build up’ to the exercise scenario for T-Rex 2018!
EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE20181807022103 // Exercise // Exercise // Exercise // Farmers in Pickens County SC report rapid spread of disease among livestock. Many animals have been destroyed as a result. Disease also affecting migratory birds with many found dead county wide. Farmers indicate similar reports from family members in WA/OR/CA. // Exercise // Exercise // Exercise // end of messageMSG #0714-01-E-P EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE SPECIAL ADVISORY STATEMENT In a special bulletin transmitted on television and radio, officials from the CDC, DHS, HHS and FEMA issued the following statement: "Our research has concluded that we are entering the 90 - 100 day window where symptoms of disease X, a prion based disease, may be dramatically expanding based on extrapolation from the number of initial cases seen in April and May. In fact, we are seeing an increasing number of cases nationwide bearing this out. With this in mind we have issued the following directives: 1. Do not travel beyond your local community and do so only when absolutely necessary. TSA, FEMA and members of the Natl Guard are conducting screenings at all transportation hubs and airports. Be advised if you have to travel, expect long waits and mandatory screening. 2. Avoid large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and malls. 3. If you have symptoms, DO NOT go to the hospital, physicians office or ER. Call you local public health department and report your symptoms to them. Follow their instructions. The CDC, USAMRIID and researchers are working tirelessly to contain this disease and put mitigation measures in place. Please remain calm and follow the instructions of government officials. Information is being disseminated to local health officials now." EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISEMSG #0708-01-E-R EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE Amateur Operator picked up information relayed by WPA ARES net for an additional resource request of (10) isolation kits and (3) additional biologic decontamination units to be dispatched from the State public health HQ to the University Hospital campus asap. Local news reports out of the Pittsburgh area have stated that an exclusion zone has been set up around the University Hospital in the downtown area and all non police and emergency vehicle traffic is being diverted. An eyewitnesses states that there are multiple arrivals of medivac helicopters. There is to be a joint public statement by the Allegheny Co EMA and University Hospital PIO at 1800 EDST. EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISEMSG #0705-01-E-R EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE SW listener reports that he picked up spanish language SW broadcast discussing disease effecting cattle, goats, sheep and humans in Argentina. Symptoms are consistent with those of "disease X" in the USA. Requests to WHO regarding spread of "disease X" outside of the USA remain unanswered. There are unsubstantiated reports of outbreaks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain. If you have contacts outside of the USA and can verify reports of breakouts in other countries, pse contact AmRRON national with further information. EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE
The Pre-Exercise Breaking News and Pre T-Rex Message Traffic are used as a ‘build up’ to set the T-REX training exercise scenario. We are also providing resources to help you with your preps! We look forward to training with you! T-REX 2018 officially begins Friday, July 20th at 1900 zulu.
7/16/18 21:00 Exercise // Exercise // Exercise Several alternative media sights are reporting that due to the supply shortages, many Sams Club, Costco, Kroger and Safeway store in IL, MO, MN, NE, AR, LA, CO and UT are limiting quantities of beef, poultry, and pork that can be purchased in a single order. Corporate representatives for these chains deny any knowledge of supply problems and are unaware of any stores instituting transaction limits. Precautionary measures: Stock up on food and supplies due to possible supply problems. Take steps to make sure your universal preparedness prepping supplies are stocked up. Examples: Nitrile Gloves, Disposable gown, hair cover, eye cover, mask (N95 or better yet N100 with pink filters)! In the event we go grid down, monitor during the net times indicated in the Communcations S.O.I.
7/16/18 00:00 Exercise // Exercise // Exercise Federal authorities have reportedly destroyed the entire livestock heards of several ranches in North Central NE, inducing the Sandhill, Spade, Krebs, Nolles and Haythorn cattle ranches. This represents the destruction of over 500,000 cattle. Precautionary measures: Take steps to make sure your universal preparedness prepping supplies are stocked up. Examples: Nitrile Gloves, Disposable gown, hair cover, eye cover, mask (N95 or better yet N100 with pink filters)! In the event we go grid down, monitor during the net times indicated in the Communcations S.O.I.
Here is some guidance for participating in T-REX 2018!1. ///EXERCISE EXERCISE/// Some of the traffic we pass is very plausible and realistic. Many who stumble across our traffic nets may not realize we are conducting a training exercise and could believe there is a real world emergency developing. Always precede and end your traffic with the disclosure that this is a training net. In voice modes, say "Exercise Exercise Exercise. The following is traffic for the T-Rex disaster preparedness exercise of 2018." And at the end, "... again, this is only a training exercise." For digital modes, add slants before and after your emergency training traffic: /// EXERCISE /// or /// TRAINING EXERCISE /// 2. As the Army training adage goes, 'Train hard, fight easy', or 'An ounce of sweat in training saves a gallon of blood on the battlefield'. Although we want people to have successes and victories during training, which builds confidence, we also need to embrace the 'suck' when we're training. Due to the solar cycle and other solar weather factors, the band conditions are expected to absolutely SUCK! This is a very real world factor that we could be (and have been) faced with in real world emergency situations. Make every reasonable attempt to pass or relay traffic. Use whatever method or mode you can, as often as you're able, until your traffic gets passed, or until you receive traffic others are attempting to pass to you or others. If you are having great difficulty due to band conditions, DO NOT FREAK OUT, and do not get discouraged. Pass what you can, when you can. There WILL be traffic that never makes it out of the gate or never reaches its intended destination. Some of you WILL have antenna, transceiver, tuner, power, computer, software, etc failures. Don't sweat it. Work through it the best you can. This is training and this is designed to reveal shortcomings in your communications equipment, training, and overall capabilities. 3. DIGITAL MODES WILL RULE THE DAY. If you do not have (at the very least) digital receiving capabilities, you need to go to www.AmRRON.com and type 'Digital' in the search box. There are several articles there to help get you up to speed. The software is free. This is how most traffic will be passed in this training exercise, and real world events. It is reliable and gets through when voice does not. When tuning in to talk or listen, follow the Signals Operating Instructions. However, keep in mind that some of the bands may be unusable due to propagation, sun spot activity, sometimes for hours or days. If you cannot hear activity on 20m, wait for the 40m band time window. If you cannot copy any activity on 40m after ten minutes, switch to 80m frequency (applies to both voice and digital time windows). If the band has deteriorated and has become unusable, Net Control Station (NCS) operators should move the nets from 40m to 80m (or from 80m to 40m) after ten minutes of attempting to use the primary band. Obviously if the band has deteriorated, the NCS cannot tell everyone to switch (aka. QSY) to the alternate band. Each operator should follow the net and do this on his own. Remember the rule of thumb -- TEN MINUTES of no activity? Then switch! The AmRRON SOI calls for Contestia 4/250 and MT-631KL for the standardized digital modes. However, the situation on the ground (in the air) will often dictate your course of action in a real world situation. USE WHATEVER MODE GETS THE JOB DONE THE FASTEST! Feel free to use MFSK 64 (fast), 32 (medium), or 16 (slowest but surest) modes. The MFSK modes are also best suited for sending images using fldigi. 4. Take good notes about what went well, what did not, and improvements needed to your station, your equipment, your skills, and your local/area/regional network. 5. NET CONTROL STATIONS. You are expected to be on the air, but you won't be alone! There will be six SIGCENs (Signals Centers) with three to ten operators who are deploying together. They will be coordinating with other SIGCENs across the country and will be standing by to assist you. They will also help establish a roster of volunteer stations so you can have some relief, and they are prepared to step up as Net Control Stations where gaps are identified. SIGCENs will also be contacting you to distribute Executive Summaries, News and Information releases, etc. We're all in this together. We're all patriots. We all want to help each other succeed, so don't get frustrated and take it out on others who are trying to come alongside and help you. 6. SIGCENS. You have been requested to provide communications support by various elements of leadership in your community or region. For some of you, your local sheriff who does not have an active ARES/RACES group in his county has asked for help. For others, groups of community leaders inside and outside government positions have asked you for assistance with communications to stay informed on regional/national developments. And for others, the local ARES/RACES groups are overwhelmed with what needs to be done and you have deployed to augment communications and fill gaps that the county EOC cannot cover. In all cases, the SIGCENs' secondary function besides local EMERGENCY traffic, is to correspond and coordinate with the other AmRRON SIGCENs, and National SIGCEN, to keep the network informed and connected. DO NOT NEGLECT THE CH3 COVERAGE, MONITORING, AND TRANSMITTING OF INFORMATION. There is no other viable system to keep the 'average joe citizen' connected and informed in a grid down situation. Black Echo Broadcasting Stations can be a huge asset in many cases.
Sparks31 put up a couple of posts on running a monitoring exercise (MONEX) designed to use basic radio receiving equipment, get you experienced in listening, test your gear, and give you an idea of who is operating in your area and their frequencies. The first exercise in part 1 uses a portable broadcast FM radio and the second an AM radio, which just about everyone has. These are exercises that you can do on your own and only require the ability to receive. You do not need a license to receive radio communications.
MONEXes (Monitoring Exercises) are important because they help you understand what your listening equipment is capable of doing, they help you improve your skills in both COMINT and OSINT, and they help you figure out what frequencies in your area are useful for keeping an ear on events. Communications monitoring equipment is not something you can purchase and toss in a go-box for when the balloon goes up. You need to get proficient with the equipment before the s[tuff] hits the fan. Information gathering is as important a survival skill as firearms proficiency, or growing your own food. MONEXes are the way to COMINT proficiency.
Consolidated Frequency List (pdf) This contains a long list of to whom various frequencies have been allocated for use. (H/t Sparks31)
MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the 4th annual, Nationwide grid-down disaster training exercise T-Rex! T-Rex 2017 will be from Friday, August 11th- through Sunday, August 13th, 2017. This will be an emergency communications training exercise for AmRRON members with emphasis on Amateur Radio for use during emergency/disaster situations.
WHAT IS T-REX?
It is a nationwide scenario-based disaster preparedness exercise where we simulate that a catastrophic event has caused disruptions and/or failures in conventional services, such as the Power grid, Internet, Telecommunications, Transportation, etc.
It is a chance for you, your family, your group or team, or your organization to practice your emergency preparedness plan, and respond as though it were real.
Most importantly, it is an emergency communications exercise, where AmRRON operators across the country and elsewhere practice tuning in and listening for information and developments, reporting what’s happening in their area, and helping others get radio traffic passed across the network using unconventional communications — mostly Amateur Radio and the most popular digital modes.
WHAT IS THE SCENARIO FOR 2017?
This year we will be simulating a major seismic event, which will actually be TWO catastrophic earthquakes in different parts of the country, three hours apart.
At Noon Pacific time (1900hrs Zulu) the first, 9.1 earthquake strikes off the Pacific coast, followed by a devastating tsunami. This is known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Scientists claim we are overdue for a major event on the CSZ and that it is only a matter of when, not if. Power, internet, and telecommunications are lost to the western United States.
At 1700hrs – 5pm – (2200hrs Zulu) the second, 9.2 earthquake strikes in the New Madrid Subduction Zone in eastern Missouri. Power, internet, and telecommunications are lost to the remainder of the United States and two thirds of Canada.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Plunge yourself into darkness:
Depending on where you are located, turn your cell phone, internet, electricity, etc. off at the time the earthquake occurs (west of Mississippi River = Noon Pacific -or- east of the Mississippi = 5pm Central) aka. 1900Z and 2200z respectively. Most of us have freezers, etc. that we can’t turn off. That’s fine, just don’t use lights, internet, or traditional cooking appliances. Get that dutch oven out, the Coleman lantern, and those two-way radios.
You need to know what’s going on. What is the size and scope the the event? Where is the damage concentrated? What secondary safety hazards have been produced from the disaster? What escape routes are available or closed? Where and when is relief coming? How can I check on my loved ones hundreds of miles away?
Update: AmRRON is posting artificial news stories in support of the exercise narrative to set up the scenario. These can be read at Amrron.com by clicking here.