AMARILLO, TEXAS — The Panhandle is home to some of the nation’s fiercest weather and the Amarillo Chapter of the American Red Cross will be conducting a tornado disaster drill this Saturday.

The Texas Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross, along with over 20 other Texas Red Cross chapters, will take part in the statewide simulated disaster response test. The group participated in a similar drill in 2011 along with limited PARC ARES assistance.

More than 600 disaster assessment volunteers will participate in the scenario. Those volunteers will handle mock conditions after reports of dangerous storms.

Other American Red Cross chapters participating are in Beaumont, Austin, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Dallas, Pampa, El Paso, Houston, Waco, Kerrville, Wichita Falls, Orange, Brownwood, Bay City, San Antonio, Tyler, Harlingen, Midland, Denison and Texarkana.

The Panhandle Amateur Radio Club (PARC) Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Group will be assisting with this drill.

The PARC ARES group is proud to be able to assist the Amarillo Red Cross in this drill. Additionally, we look forward to assisting the chapter in selecting and assembling their own radio equipment, and we are eager to assist with training Red Cross volunteers to become new ham radio operators as well.

Please contact Chris Seright, KE5ZRT, to volunteer to assist with this drill. 806-231-4227, KE5ZRT@Gmail.com

We will operate locally on the PARC W5WX UHF repeater, and report at the end of the day to Red Cross HQ in Dallas on 40M SSB phone depending on operating conditions.

Updated 2/25/2014

Here is the general schedule for the drill. For those that have volunteered, I am super grateful! We will utilize the PARC UHF repeater 444.475/449.575 PL 88.5 for local communications.

Day of the Exercise

0800–The Exercise Controller, support volunteers, DA Supervisor, HAM supervisory workers report to the Amarillo office at 1800 S Harrison St. The Controller and support volunteers prepare exercise materials and place signs in the neighborhood. The DA Supervisor prepares street sheets, maps, and other applicable information for the DA Teams. HAM supervisory workers will set up any necessary equipment.

0900–The DA Teams and radio operators arrive and receive their briefing and materials. They depart to begin their assessments.

1200–Teams return to the headquarters for a brief AAR and lunch.

1400–DA Supervisors submit the final 5233 form to the Disaster Program Manager and information is transmitted to HQ via HF relay

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