Welcome to Cupertino ARES/RACES


This site is operated by and for Cupertino Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CARES) members interested in emergency preparedness and amateur radio communication. Visitors are welcome to check us out.


What's News!


County Comm Ops and MAC Program Update

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 11 Sep 2017

The September 2017 CARES meeting kicked off the CARES 2017/2018 year, and the leading presentation was on the state of the County Comm work to get access for receiving alternate 9-1-1 messages from the field.

As a recap, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Altos Hills contract with Santa Clara County for all Sheriff, Fire, EMS, and dispatch services, but we cannot easily pass 9-1-1 traffic to County Comm because (i) our PSAP is located in San Jose, and (ii) DSW restrictions prohibit us from traveling outside our city. We are in the middle of attempting to fix that. See the County Comm Operations update for details.

Because of the DSW restrictions, we need CARES members signed up as County MACs to respond to County Comm. County RACES has a terrific program for Mutual Aid Communicators that fills that need. And this is where you come in.

See the MAC program presentation and what it takes to get signed up.   


2017 ISA Exercise checks out several new processes

Alternate Response Plan Equipment

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 18 May 2017

We typically perform the Infrastructure Safety Assessment (ISA) about every other year. CARES uses these exercises as a chance to test new procedures and tools, and this year was no different.

There were a few important changes for this mission that we wanted to check out, the first being a different ISA assignment process. Unlike past exercises where assignments were centrally made, we recognize the fact that our members are distributed throughout the city, and reducing the travel time to receive an assignment is important for our Served Agencies. Our new ISA Field Assignment process worked well.

The second big change was a test of our Alternate Response Plan equipment. In the event that our Public Safety Comm Vehicle is our of service, do we have the communications equipment in place to cover the response? With the city's help, a solution was defined, purchased, and deployed during the drill. The result was we were on the air from a non-standard location with solid communications with all field units. This new equipment capability can also support an ICP within the city whenever communications with the EOC or other field units is required.

The After Action Report is still in progress; watch for that to be posted for more details.   


Emergency Response Go-Kits

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 3 Feb 2017

Go-Kits are the tools of the trade during all of our response activities. Yet, they are also a reflection of our personal style on how we respond to the field. The parts we assemble, how we store them, power them, and use them help ensure our success during a deployment.

At our February General Meeting, we reviewed Emergency Response Go-Kits with the added twist of doing a deeper dive into some of the areas that needed more elaboration, specifically coax connectors and cower connectors. As usual, the resulting discussion did not disappoint!

Thanks to the members who participated in the show-and-tell, shared their experiences and kits, and what worked and didn't work for them. With this added input, we will definitely update to the presentation (will re-post later) to share with the membership.

See the Go-Kit presentation here, and watch for a re-post within a few days.   


Earthquake Exercise tests CARES & CERT procedures

Lawson ARK

11 Dec 2016

This fall's CARES-sponsored exercise was designed to test a couple of new concepts related to both our communications capabilities as well as how we use the City's ARKs. Even with rain in the forecast (that started right after the drill debrief), 50 Cupertino Citizen Corps members (31 CARES, 29 CERT) turned out to participate in the exercise... a tremendous turnout!

With 5 objectives set for the exercise, two in particular were watched closely. New ARK Activation Levels and ARK opening procedures were put to the test. Did they work? With all 6 ARKS opened and staffed for ARK Zone reporting and communications, the answer is a (conditional) YES! We received plenty of good feedback on the procedures and will hold the Citizen Corps final review in January.

Additionally, ARKnet was exercised with voice communications between the De Anza ARK and the EOC. Local ARK responders were able to communicate directly with the Citizen Corps DOC without issue.

All in all, we could not have asked for a better exercise or outcome. While there are plenty of things to work on, we see this drill as a win for Cupertino! Stay tuned for the After Action Report.   More Details...


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Upcoming Activities


5 Oct 2017, General Meeting
Topic: TBD. Quinlan Center, 7:30pm to 9:00pm   

14 Oct 2017, SCC RACES Exercise
The plan is to set up alternate EOCs. Ed Levin County Park, Milpitas, 8:00am to 4:00pm. Details to follow.   

2 Nov 2017, General Meeting
Topic: TBD. Quinlan Center, 7:30pm to 9:00pm   

4 Nov 2017, Sheriff's Heroes Fun Run!
Annual 5K run/walk and kids fun run sponsored by the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office, County Fire, and Valley Medical Pediatrics. Cupertino Civic Center, 8:00am to 11:00am.   More Details...

7 Dec 2017, General Meeting
Topic: TBD. Quinlan Center, 7:30pm to 9:00pm   

10 Feb 2018, Introduction to Emergency Comm
Presented by SC County ARES/RACES. Cupertino Room, Quinlan Center 9:00am-12:00pm   

17 Mar 2018, Fundamentals of Emergency Comm
Presented by SC County ARES/RACES. An essential class for new MACs. Cupertino Room, Quinlan Center 9:00am-12:00pm