Amateur radio specialists around the state will participate in a special Simulated Emergency Test on Saturday, October 1st, 2011. Members of Grays Harbor Auxiliary Emergency Communications (AEC) will take part in the test, which this year will center on a weather disaster. Members of the Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club will also participate by sending simulated messages detailing various emergencies in their area. During the day, amateur radio operators will learn and practice useful skills in message handling and emergency communications protocols.
During the simulation, normal means of radio communications will be over-loaded due to the phone and cell phone services being down. Amateur operators will use various radio frequencies during the exercise to pass simulated disaster messages between several bordering counties and the State Emergency Management Department near Tacoma. One of the methods used is called "packet" radio which is much like E-mail sent over radio frequencies. Amateur operators use various FM "repeater" stations located on high locations with in Grays Harbor to send their messages out of county.
Auxiliary Emergency Communications is organized and operates under the authority of the Grays harbor
Sheriff's Department and its Emergency Management Division.
Further information concerning AEC may be found at: http://www.wwa-district3-ares.org/grays_harbor/index.html