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!

Heroes Run -- Making a difference

Event crest

Posted by SCVMC, 21 Dec 2017

Everyone needs a hero, and the annual November Heroes Run certainly provides heroes and more for kids who are cared for in Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s children's health programs.

As in past years, the run was organized by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the VMC foundation. This year more than 1,000 people participated and raised more than $50,000 for children's health services. Donations from the Heroes Run go to kids in our care.   

Preparing for an EMP

Starfish Prime - Honolulu night sky

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 2 Nov 2017

This was the topic for this month's CARES meeting. Over the years, we have spent time talking about the different risks that the City faces, and EMP -- Electromagnetic Pulse -- and Solar EMPs were only lightly touched on during our Communications Outage discussions of last year.

This is not an easy topic and is further complicated by the broad spectrum of information, ranging from fact to fiction, on the web. So, the intent of this month's session was to slowly ease into the topic, describe what an EMP is, what causes them, and what, if anything, we should do to prepare for them in the event one does occur. Even here, the topic was limited to equipment preparedness.

There were plenty of good questions and discussion, with more information and references coming up over the course of the meeting. For many of us, I suspect we are only just scratching the surface, and it will take time to search out the facts and let them sink in. See the start of an EMP Resource page and the presentation here for a copy of the slides.   

Too many questions, not enough frequencies

ICS 205

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 6 Oct 2017

How do we handle the expected interference on TAC1 during a bay-area wide event? What should we do with the desense issue between the resource and message nets? And, how do cover multiple field teams deployed to different ICPs?

These were just some of the questions that were discussed during the CARES October General Meeting. With the replacement of the Citys' Public Safety Comms Vehicle only a few months away, this seemed like a good time to address these questions. This topic, and some of the recommendations presented, prompted plenty of discussion and ideas on how to proceed. And with these ideas in hand, this may form the basis for our field test later on this year.

See the October 2017 presentation for details. And stay tuned for more information on how we will proceed.   

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.   

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Upcoming Activities

24 Jan 2019, Message Passing
Message passing is an essential skill for emergency communicators. This class will provide both instruction and practice. 6:30pm-9:00pm EOC Room, City Hall   

7 Feb 2019, General Meeting
This is a review and discussion on the lessons learned from our Earthquake 2018 exercise. Quinlan Center, 7:30pm to 9:00pm   

23 Mar 2019, Preparedness Fair
Memorial Park, behind Quinlan Community Center, 10:00am to 3:00pm   

13 Apr 2019, Pop-Up Packet Practice
SCCOo RACES opportunity for field packet practice. 9:00am to 12:00pm, Location TBD,   More Details...

20 Apr 2019, Big Bunny 5K
CARES support for this annual family friendly 5K run/walk. 8:00am to 11:00am, Cupertino City Hall.   More Details...

4 May 2019, Spring Communications Exercise
Save the date!   

22 Jun 2019, Field Day
National Amateur Radio event that promotes emergency communications preparedness. Location TBD, 8:00am to 5:00pm.   More Details...

4 Jul 2019, Fireworks Event!
CARES, CERT, and MRC support for Cupertino's annual Fireworks event. 4:30pm to 11:00pm.   More Details...