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What's New? 

updated:  August 02, 2012

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |
2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

Updates - 2013

22-October. The City-Wide Drill is planned for this Satirday. CARES will be operating with CERT and MRC for an interesting scenario that tests a variety of response capabilities. Check out the Cross-Band Repeater Introduction and Drill Overview for details.

8 June. Vince La Porta K6TEN, SK. We are saddened by the loss of Vince K6TEN who passed away on Thursday 6-June. Vince was a good friend, mentor, and community leader to us all. As one of our 25 year members of CARES, Vince was always an enthusiastic and ever-present member of the City's volunteer community where he leveraged his Lockheed engineering experience into the various facets of CARES and City operations. He will be missed. Rest in Peace, Vince.

8 June. The Infrastructure Safety Assessment Drill went off without a hitch... 34 assets reviewed in 1-1/2 hours by 6 field teams. See the After Action Report for a summary of the event.

5 May. We're ON for the Infrastructure Safety Assessment Drill!  The drill is planned for Saturday, 18-May with the net kicking off at 8:00am on TAC-1, and we will run through the complete ISA Procedure. See the redacted ISA Part 1 and ISA Part 2 presentations for details.

6 January. If its January, it must be PSA time!  CARES held its annual Preliminary Safety Assessment (PSA) drill on Saturday, 12-Jan, with 18 members rolling up PSA reports.  We also tried a data collection process with Packet that worked well.  See the After Action Report for all the details.

Updates - 2012

20-Nov.  During the October Drill, CARES deployed 20 members over two shifts into the field as well as to the EOC/Comm Van.  Most of our operational capabilities were exercised, including the Emergency message and resource nets, Comm van deployment, field resource deployment, voice and digital message handling, and resource management to name a few.  See the  After Action Report for all the details.

2-August.  Forth of July After Action report is available.  As always, there are always plenty of learnings from this event, and we have been successful with rolling them into the next release.  See this year's After Action Report for all the details.

30-July.  Comm Van City Coverage Test.  One of the To-Do's we wanted to tackle was to confirm that the communications coverage from the Comm Van is on par with what we have with the EOC roof antennas.  Ten (10) CARES members participated in that test on 21-July and confirmed that we are at parity with the existing system.  See the After Action Report for details and a table summarizing the test

25-June.  What a Field Day! CARES deployed as 3F SCV on Saturday 23-June.  With great weather and reasonable propagation, we had plenty of visitors and great contacts!  Check the pictures from the event (courtesy of Phil WA2KDX).  Special thanks to Darryl KI6LDM for another terrific event

5-June.  The Comm Van is here and now being outfitted.  Driver training is in progress, supplies are being purchased, procedures are being developed, and we did a "Service Center" activation of all equipment in support the County's quarterly May drill.  The first field deployment is planned for the the 9-June Packet Drill and 23-June Field Day event, to be discussed at the June CARES meeting. 

6-Apr:  Comm Van testing is almost complete!  Check out the latest update and pics here.

24-Feb:  CCC Technology Roadmap; CARES and CERT reviewed the 1st draft of the proposed Technology Roadmap at a meeting on 23-Feb.  There was plenty of good discussion on what is possible with the recognition that adapting procedures and power requirements will be 2 big issues to sort out.  Roadmap Doc Version 3 is updated from this  session.

Updates - 2011

7-Nov.  2011 City-wide Drill  After Action Report is now available.  This was also the subject of the November CARES drill.  Thanks to all who participated in this drill!

6-Oct.  2011 Cupertino City-wide Drill is right around the corner, and was the topic at the 6-October CARES meeting.  CARES will be participating on Friday 21-Oct and Saturday 22-Oct covering 2 shifts each day.  See the slide package that was reviewed at last Thursday's CARES meeting.

6-Sep.  Summer Highlights!  CARES kicked off its first meeting of the Fall with a review of up-coming events and all the project that kicked into high gear including funding packet kits for the ARCs and getting serious with the Comm Van.  See the slide package that was reviewed.

25-Jun.  4th of July Fireworks!  We're back to support the City's Parks and Recreation department and Sheriff's Office with communications from the launch site and viewing venues.  See this year's event plan for all the details.

10-May. Drill this weekend!  And the last three CARES orientation sessions were topics that we will put to good use.  Here's what we covered... 

March... Nets and Message Handling (320Kb)

April... Ark Operations  (5 Mb)

May... Voice and Packet Field Deployment (440Kb) 


We hope you can make it this weekend!  Saturday 14-May, 8:00am to about 11:30am.  Check in on CARES TAC 1, at 8:00am!

30-Mar. All the Spring Sessions are leading up to our May Field Communications Drill. In  March, we covered Message Handling.  For the April meeting, we will get an overview of Ark Operations.  And in May, we will review Packet Deployment.  All this is leading up to what should be an excellent May Comms Drill!  Stay tuned!

8-Jan. Preliminary Safety Assessment Drill time is here again  Are you ready for Saturday?  Review the presentation material and make sure you have the latest copy of the PSA form with you.  The drill starts at 7:30am on CARES TAC 1, and you definitely can plan on an earthquake!  Hear you on the net this Saturday!

Updates - 2010

9-Nov. City Drill Debrief. CARES reviewed how we did with the October city-wide volunteer drill.  With the all Arks being opened, CARES deployed packet into the field for the first time as well as staffed 2 shifts.  We learned a lot that is  summarized in the material presented.

13-June.  Independence Day 2010 is right around the corner!  and with it comes Cupertino's Annual Fire Works Display!  As in previous years, city volunteers have been asked to take to the field to provide communications, first aid, and general logistical support for Cupertino Parks and Rec, and the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office.  Here's the event plan for this years event.  Interested in participating?  Then read up on the After Action Reports filed for 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, and 2004 and contact your CARES, CERT, or MRC lead. 

4-Mar. Getting Serious about SUVs. This CARES meeting reviewed general Resource Management procedures, and followed with a discussion on handling Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers (SUVs). See the presentation here.

Updates - 2009

5-Nov. CARES held its Debrief for the October City-wide Earthquake Drill on 5-Nov, with a review of feedback from the membership. See the Debrief Material for a summary of the feedback, and watch for the After Action Report coming soon

9-Oct. ATTENTION: MAC Responders (17-Oct-09):  See the note below for Event Details.  MAC responders will be deployed to City ARK sites for the drill.  All  Please download a copy of these driving directions prior to responding.  Responders should proceed to City Hall, Page 1 of the instructions.

1-Oct.  Where were you on October 17, 1989?  If you were in the Bay Area, you felt the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  As a reminder that we live in earthquake country, the City of Cupertino is planning an all-volunteer (CARES, CERT, MRC) 2 day activation with the goal of activating all six City "Arks" and reaching out to all 21,000 residences.  Several hundred man-hours of planning and preparation has gone into getting ready for this event.  Here is the material that  what CARES reviewed in September , October-Part2a, and October-Part2b to prep for this event.

10-Aug.  The 4th of July Fireworks event was another success for the City and for the volunteers who supported it; thanks to all the CARES members and County MACs who helped make it happen.  As usual, the job is not done until the paperwork is complete; see the Event's After Action Report for how we did and recommendations for next year's event.

6-Aug.  The July County RACES Drill had all city EOCs collapsed in a pile of rubble.  This required CARES to respond from the parking lot!  Mark K6FJC wrote up this event's After Action Report that includes pictures on how they responded to this very unique drill!

6-Aug.  The May CCC (Cupertino Citizens Corp) Drill was a full field deployment where CARES members responded with CERT and MRC members to activate communications at the City's Ark Sites.  Check out the After Action Report on this event.

7-May.  Pandemic Review was the topic at the May CARES meeting.  Marsha Hovey, Cupertino OES Director, updated CARES in light of the recent Swine Flu event.  See her presentation on Preparedness and Response for details.

5-May.  4th of July Fireworks Event 2009!  Back by popular demand, CARES has been asked by the City of Cupertino to provide communications support the the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office during this year's 4th of July Fireworks.  In preparation for this event, here is this year's Communications Plan, (rev: 5/5/09 v0.9).Also, take a look at After-Action reports from past years.

7-Mar.  The Spring 2009 Training Program is well underway.  did you miss any of the sessions?  Here;s what was presented so far...

  • January - Forms, Forms, Forms (and a PSA Refresher).  This was a review of what we need to do from a paperwork point of view to support the city.

  • February - GoKits and power.  This was an excellent hands-on / Show-and-Tell about what you need for a field deployment..

  • March - Introduction to Packet Radio.  With new interest in Packet by  County RACES, this session introduces why we have packet,  how it is used, and the options for Packet in Cupertino.

3 Jan.  The Spring 2009 Training Program is tentatively defined and looks like this...

  • January - a review of Forms (the job is not complete until the paperwork is done!).  This is a review of what we need ot do from a paperwork point of view to support the city.

  • February - This session will focus on GoKits and power.

  • March - Got Packet?  With new interest in Packet by  County RACES, this session introduces why we have packet and how it is used.

  • April - Packet in Cupertino.  This is a follow-on session that looks at how packet can be applied within the City.

  • May - Spring Functional Exercise planning and review.

  • June - Drill review, summer event prep

Updates - 2008

31-Devember.  The 2008 SET was completed on 8-November-2008 with very good results.  Check out the After Action Report for a summary of who participated, what worked, didn't work, and the recommendations.

7-September.  The Fall Training Season was kicked off with a review of SEMS and ICS by Ken KR6CO.  This review sets up CARES for a couple of months of understanding the emergency response from the EOC point of view.  Cupertino OES will facilitate a tabletop exercise at the October Meeting where CARES members will "staff" the EOC.

13-August.  The job is not done until the paperwork is complete! On that note, CARES and the City are almost done wrapping up this year's 4th of July Fire Works Event.  And, it was quite a show!  Thanks to all those who participated in this year's event.  As in past years, there was plenty of learning going on.  For all the details, see the After Action Report for the event details and recommendations.

1-July.  Field Day 2008!  CARES set up their Field Day on Saturday 28 June and, despite crummy propagation, had a great time!  Fourteen members operated HF, VHF, digital, and ATV while talking up Ham Radio and Emergency Preparedness with the citizens of Cupertino.  Check out the story and photos here.

17 Jun.  CARES:  20 Years of Service.  During the 17 June 2008 Cupertino City Council meeting, CARES was recognized for its 20 years of community service with a City-Wide Proclamation.  I want to thank CARES members, both past and present, for your service to the Cupertino!

30 May.  Its Fireworks time again! And the City of Cupertino is getting ready for another spectacular Independence Day event!  

As in past years, CARES has been asked to provide communications support, and we are  looking for volunteers from within our ranks as well as MACs from throughout the County.  Check out this year's event plan for details.  Interested in volunteering?  Please contact Allan KD6QPP at to sign up!

5 Jan.  The 2008 Spring Training focus will be on Wild Land and Urban Interface fires.  Over the next few months, we will have different presentations on what CARES members need to consider when responding to a city or county interface fire event.  Check into the weekly nets for details!

Updates - 2007

22-Nov.  CARES' 2007 Simulated Emergency Test (S.E.T.) took place this month and featured a 7.8 Earthquake drill.  Twenty CARES members participated in the event that ran for 6 hours to simulate our first shift of activity.  See the S.E.T. After Action Report for a look at our findings.

18-Oct.  Cupertino Sanitary District presented at our October General Meeting and gave us  an update to their plans for emergency Preparedness.  See the presentation (1.4Mb) from that session, and the training summary from past reviews.

10-Sep.  CARES responds to Stevens Fire.  On Thursday 30-Aug-07, a wild land fire broke out in heavily wooded area of southwest Cupertino.  CalFire contained the event to 150 acres and, by Monday 3-Sep, had the fire 100% contained.  CARES learned a lot from this event and have begun to look at what we need to do differently to respond to similar events in the future.  See the CARES After Action Report (to be rolled up into the OES report) on our response (photo courtesy of Carlos KI6FGR).

2-Sep.  CARES responds to Stevens Fire.  On Thursday 30-Aug-07, a wild land fire broke out in heavily wooded area of southwest Cupertino.  Because of poor cell phone communications between the base camp and the EOC, CARES was dispatched to provide a reliable link until the camp was relocated to an area with better coverage.  As of 2-Sep, CalFire reports that the fire is about 90% contained and they will be  mopping up over the Labor Day weekend.  Check out other links while the story is still running.  Watch for the After Action Report on our response.

 12-Aug.  Are you ready for a Pandemic?  Here are a couple of excellent videos and reference material that Marsha Hovey KG6CYV identified that are worth your attention.  Check out the video from the Red Cross and the Pandemic Flu, Why don't we do it in our Sleeves (on the lighter side), and lastly, the Citizen Guide to Pandemic Flu Preparedness.  Please spend a few minutes to review this material.  Are you prepared?  Do you have a plan?

2-June.  Independence Day 2007!  and with it comes Cupertino's Annual Fire Works Display!  As in previous years, city volunteers have been asked to take to the field to provide communications, first aid, and general logistical support for Cupertino Parks and Rec, and the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office.  Here's the event plan for this years event.  Interested in participating?  Then read up on the After Action Reports filed for 2006, 2005, and 2004 and contact your CARES, CERT, or MRC lead. 

21-April.  Deploying Mutual Aid Communicators was the objective for April's County RACES Drill with 5 CARES members -- Kris KG6KPB, Eric KG6QPT, Stuart KF6RZR, Kevin K6TD, and Skip WA6VFD -- responding to support a simulated event.  In total, 45 ARES/RACES members from all Santa Clara County cities responded in an excellent show of capability as to what our local cities can expect.

6-April.  IEDs was the topic at CARES during their April Monthly Meeting.  Dan KG6TSF gave a very hands-on review of what could be out there and how to find them.

4-February.  The Preliminary Safety Assessment (PSA) was the topic for the February meeting.  This portion of the CARES mission is the first assignment we will execute to provide the Cupertino EOC with a snapshot of the state of the City.  Ken KR6CO presented Damage Assessment and START, and Jim KN6PE followed up with PSA Message Handling.  The PSA drill is planned for 17-Feb-07, 9:00a to 11:00a PST.  See you on the net for the Drill!

9-January.  Pandemic Flu is currently a concern for much of the world.  In December, we received a good review from Josh Davies (Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services) on the county's plans for dealing with a Mass Casualty Health problems, followed in January by Marsha Hovey (Cupertino Director of OES) on the County-Wide Pandemic Influenza Preparedness & Response Plan.  Check out the accompanying link on the CDC's cough and sneeze" guidelines; and make sure you follow the Watch Video link!

Updates - 2006

15 November.  Infrastructure Safety Assessment (ISA) is an additional mission  that CARES has picked up and the topic for our October and November CARES meetings.  We put it all to practice during our Annual S.E.T. in November  See the Training Handouts for Part 1 and Part 2 for details, and the After Action Report for a summary on how the ISA drill went.

24 July.  CARES SOP updates have been completed and are now available for download.  Changes to Parts 1 (Overview), 2 (Procedures), 5 (Checklists) and 6 (Forms) have been made and are available on the SOP reference page.

5 July.  Got Field Day?  CARES did, and we did a lot of it!... HF SSB, CW, and PSK31, GOTA, VHF contacts, ATV, packet, plus visits from the community, our Served Agencies, and City Council members!  Check out the story in the Cupertino Courier, and this year's Photo Album, with more pictures to come!

14 June.  Its Field Day time again!  And CARES will again be out in the field.  Kevin WB6S is leading this year's effort and has some exciting things planned.  Check out the June Meeting Presentation and  2006 Field Day Plan for the details!

2 June.  4th of July Planning is here and CARES has been asked to provide communications support for  the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office.  As in previous years, we are looking for CARES and other county ham radio operators to staff the event,  Check out this year's Event Plan for details, and the After Action Reports for 2004 and 2005 for a sense of how it went in past years.

NOTE: All responders will be covered under a City of Cupertino DSW activation... see the Event Plan for details.

9 May.  Santa Clara County Public Health Dept recently released its draft plan for dealing with pandemic influenza.  The plan is the most comprehensive in the nation and is expected to be a model for other counties.  If interested in reading the plan, you can find it at

4 May.  The Resource Management discussion that started during last year's December 2005 meeting has led to specific process changes to how CARES will operate.  Specific changes cover how CARES will Manage Responder Resources over multiple shifts as well as Handling SUVs.  Check out the handouts from these two meetings for our current thinking.  We will be putting this new approach to the test during our November S.E.T.

6 April.  Cupertino's Department of Public Works provides general municipal, infrastructure, and traffic engineering services, and manages capital improvements and various environmental programs for the city.  During the 6 April CARES meeting, we will hear from Jason Chou on how DPW and their emergency preparedness plans.

24 January.  The MOU with San Jose Water Company has been completed and signed off by all parties.  CARES will be working with SJWC on how we can support them in the event of an emergency.  See a copy of the MOU with SJWC for details.

15 January.  Remember the Loma Prieta Earthquake? With that event 16 years behind us (October 17, 1989), it's worthwhile recalling the sounds of some of the first responders.  Listen to the radio traffic heard on a local South Bay Ham Radio Repeater and the California Warning System (CAWAS).  Are you ready?

Updates - 2005

3 December.  Handling Spontaneous Ham Volunteers was the topic at the CARES December general meeting.  All members are requested to comment on (i) what we should do now (regarding SUVs), (ii) what we should do during an emergency, and (iii) pending decisions.  See the Training Handout for details, pages 19, 20, and 21.

1 December.  2005 S.E.T. is all behind us.  Cupertino ARES and CERT took to the streets to address a Wild Fire Event that was threatening the city.  See the After Action Report for how we did and what we learned.

4 November.  The CARES Radio Room rebuild was completed in 2004 under the supervision of Vince K6TEN, CARES AEC and Engineer in Charge.  This was a significant retrofit to an already small area resulting in a more efficient use of the space.  Check out the photo album of what the Cupertino EOC Radio Room looks like now!  Thanks, Vince... great job!

10 October.  SCC's Multiple Casualty Incident Plan was the topic of October's joint CARES/CERT/MRC Orientation Training.  A  meeting summary is available and highlights the salient points of the presentation.  Because of the training focus Cupertino OES is taking this Fall, this presentation was video-taped and available for check-out.  Contact Jim KN6PE if interested.

7 September.  Hurricane Katrina is center stage for all of the country.  Several critical and informational websites exist out there that may be of interest.

16 August.  Santa Clara County Emergency Manager's Association sponsored a county-wide CERT drill to provide refresher training on Fire Suppression, Search and Rescue, Medical Operations, and Cribbing. County RACES was asked to assist with Cupertino participating.  See the RACES After Action Report for details and lessons learned.

7 July.  4th of July Fireworks Event... Congratulations to all Cupertino and County RACES, CERT, and MRC volunteers for helping make the Cupertino Fireworks event a safe and sane event!  The After Action Report is available and presents some terrific insights into how we did and what we should do differently for next year... Check it out!

1 July.  The CARES' 2005 Field Day (also known as our Emergency Field Communications Drill) was back in front of City Hall and the Library operating as 3A SCV under the call of KN6PE.  Did you hear us?  Aside from netting a score of 1252, we had visits from several City of Cupertino council members, officials, and residents.  Event Council Member Dolly Sandoval got on the air!   Check out the photo album for all the action!

25 June.  Cupertino OES sponsored its second Joint Volunteer Services Drill in on 13-June.  This drill built on the results of our November 2004 SET and the work done over the last several months around command, control, and information management.  See the After Action Report for lessons learned and recommendations.

10 June.  4th of July 2005!... CARES has been asked by the City of Cupertino to provide communications support the the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office during this year's 4th of July Fireworks.  In preparation for this event, here is this year's Communications Plan, (rev: 6/13/05 v1.6).and the Event Summary handout (new! 6/23/05).  Also, take a look at last year's After-Action report for details.

8 March.  The 3rd Annual Lunar New Year Parade went off without a hitch. This year's organizers did a terrific job with a nice parade for the community.  See the CARES report from that event for details.

7 March.  Cupertino OES Ball Cap! Are you a recent graduate from the CARES orientation training or a member in good standing?  If so, then you're eligible to purchase the Cupertino ARES/RACE ball cap (click on the image for a better picture)!  

These hats are available to CARES members only for the price of $12.  They will be available at the Lunar New Years Event (12-Mar) and the next several CARES meetings.  Please bring a check made payable to City of Cupertino.

7 March.  2004 Annual Report is done (finally!).  Take a look at the report for an assessment of how we did in 2004 and where we're going in 2005.

3 March.  Our Annual PSA Drill was the first drill of 2005 to put some of our process changes to the test since last year's S.E.T.  with this as a first step, we hope to have the balance of the changes in place for our joint May drill.  See the drill report here for the write-up and copies of the actual forms we used during the event.

6 January.  During the January CARES meeting, we reviewed the first operational changes resulting from the 13-Nov-2004 S.E.T.  Results will be put in practice during the 5-Feb Preliminary Safety Assessment (PSA) Drill.  If you missed the meeting, see the presentation handouts here.

Updates - 2004

20 Dec.  The Annual SET Results are in, and as we discussed during the December CARES General meeting, there were plenty of learning's to go around.  Check out the details in the SET After Action Report.

15 Dec.  If its raining, it must be winter!  And when that happens, it usually means rising creeks.  All CARES members should familiarize yourselves with the the Creeks in Cupertino in the event a creek watch is called.

18 Nov.  The 2005 Calendar is now up.  Follow the Calendar Link for 2005 activities.

28 Sep.  A Florida Response.  Several SF Bay Area ham radio operators answered FEMA's call to help with the Florida's hurricane recovery effort.  Check out the story of one responder, John KC6TVM, and his experience on Florida's  front lines.

4 Sep.  CARES received an overview of the Quinlan Community Center's Shelter Plan.  For those who missed the presentation, checkout the presentation about and the floor plans for the shelter.  

16 Aug.  Several SOP Updates have been made to Part 5 Checklists and Part 6 Forms.  Check out the Change Tables located in the front of each doc for a description of what changed.

3 Aug.  The Quinlan Center Shelter Plan leads off our Fall 2004 Orientation Training as CARES returns to its regularly scheduled meeting.  The September meeting will be held at the Quinlan Center, Cupertino Room on 2-Sep-04 at 7:30pm.

14 July.  A RACES Training Activation was initiated on 4-July-2004 at the request of the City of Cupertino.  Fourteen CARES and 23 CERT responders were joined by 12 Communications Mutual Aid Responders from Campbell, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Sunnyvale to support the City.  See the final After Action Report for details on how we did.

27 June.  Field Day 2004.  CARES held its annual "Emergency Field Communications Drill" at the Cupertino Art & Wine Festival where we operated 2A SCV.  As usual, nothing was as usual !    Watch for the story of the event shortly.  In the meantime, check out our photo album for a look at some of the scenes from the event.

12 June.  4th of July Fireworks... CARES has been asked by the City of Cupertino to provide communications support the the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office during this year's 4th of July Fireworks.  This is an event we have done in the past, but now with renewed interest in getting CARES involved by the City.  Check out the plan for details on the mission at hand. 

22 June.   June Events... Here's the CARES A&WF Plan for this year, plus the location where our booth will be.  Per the June CARES meeting, this will be another challenging "Emergency Field Communications Drill" (a.k.a. Field Day) with a new location PLUS plenty of opportunity to interact with the Community.

5 June.  June Event Planning... June is another full month with both the Cupertino Art & Wine Festival and ARRL Field Day occurring on the same days.  This year, CARES will be operating Field Day from the A&WF booth and will be on the air both days.  Our planning is in progress... now we just need to deliver!

Apr 21.  April Drills... when it rains, it pours!  CARES participated in 2 drills on Saturday, 17-Apr.  Ten members staffed communication positions as part of a City-Regional CERT exercise.  Members of the City's CERT and Medical Reserve Corps spend the morning (in the rain!) performing SAR in the vicinity of Garden Gate School.  In afternoon, 3 members participated in the quarterly County Communications Drill.  Stay tuned for the drill reports.

Mar 5.  CARES typically holds its annual Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) Drill during the first few months of each year.  This was no different.  In February, we reviewed the PDA Process, followed by a review of the Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment (START) and Damage Assessment procedures.  The drill is planned for March 5.

Feb 28.  Eighteen CARES members participated in Cupertino's Second Annual Lunar New Year Parade.  This not only gave us a great opportunity to support a fun event, but also allowed us to practice our communications skills.  Check out the details in the Event Report.

Feb 2 SOP Part 1 Overview has been updated to Revision 3.2.  This change includes the Cupertino Sanitary District (CuSD) requirements and the CARES response.  CARES members should update their SOP copies by downloading and printing the cover page, page iv, and page 4-4.

Jan 8.  CARES hosted the San Jose Water Company at the January '04 Training meeting.  Jim Wollbrinck described various aspects of the SJW operation and what they're looking for in terms of amateur radio support in the event of an emergency.   The training notes from this session will be posted shortly.

Updates - 2003

Dec 29.  With the winter storms upon us, we now have Creek Level Markers on all Cupertino creeks of interest.  See the CARES Creek Watch information for pictures, specifics on locations, and other logistics in the event you are asked to make an observation.  Also, thank you  Ray Bramer and Bob Fields of the Santa Clara Valley Water District for making these markers happen! 

Dec 27.  The training notes from the Cupertino Sanitary District presentation are now available. Check out the training summary here.  

Dec 1.  The Cupertino Tournament of Bands was just one of the events that kept us busy in October.  This is an annual event where regional high schools compete during a parade and field event.  CARES had a chance to put our Comm skills to the test.  How did we do?  Check out the Event Report for the details.

Nov 15.  CARES completed the 2003 Simulated Emergency Test  is on Saturday, 15-Nov-03.  Seventeen members participated for a total of over 70 hours of volunteer time.  The drill also included one of CARES' served agencies, the Cupertino Sanitary District.  This was an excellent opportunity for both parties to see how the other operates.  Check out the Drill Report for the details.

Sep 20.  The second half of 2003 is looking very busy for CARES... Cupertino Safety Fair, Battle of the Bands parade support, Oktoberfest support, and our annual SET will keep us all busy.  Listen in to the CARES net for information about these and other planned activities.

Sep  4. The Cupertino Sanitary District lead off our Fall Orientation Program with Richard Burton KE6RJY providing an excellent overview of the system, what CuSD does to prepare for an emergency, and how CARES can help.  The CuSD will be written into our SET planned for November.

July 18, 19,  2003 Art and Wine Festival.  CARES participated in this year's city-wide festival servicing up information on CARES, Amateur Radio, and supporting CERT with backup communications.

July 1.  "Please copy K6AB, 3A, Santa Clara Valley."  This was our exchange as CARES set up at Memorial Park, Cupertino for our 5th Annual Field Day event.  Eighteen members participated in setup, operations, and tear-down activities.  We put 3 HF and 1 VHF stations on the air, tried out some new antennas, and talked to everyone we heard.  All in all, it was a great day!  See the story of the event.

Jun 22.  2003 CARES Field Day is this weekend!  This is a terrific event to test our ability to operate in the field.  This year, we will be located at Memorial Park, Cupertino.  Setup begins at 8:30am, operations start at about 12:00, and we'll be all cleaned up by 6:00pm.  For a look at past events, check out the pictures from 2002 or the 2001story!

May 10, Cupertino 100 Critical Facilities Survey. A joint drill was held with Cupertino CERT members.  The intent of this exercise was to (i) confirm finding and documenting the top 100 facilities in Cupertino, and (ii) begin building closer working relationship with Cupertino CERT.

Mar 31.  The 2002 CARES Annual Report is now available.  For information on what kept us busy last year, check out the Annual Report here.

Mar 22.  The Annual Preliminary Damage Assessment drill was held on March 22 2003 with 15 members participating.  Good speed of delivery and message handling, excellent interaction between communicating stations, and positive situation control were some of the obvious highlights of the drill!  See the Drill Report here for details.

Mar 8.  Cupertino's First Annual Lunar New Years Parade was a wonderful event.  See the Event Report for details.

Mar 3.  The Preliminary Damage Assessment Field Form was inadvertently omitted from the SOP Part 6 Forms document.  Well its back!  All CARES members are asked to pull down SOP Part 6, and print out the PDA Form.

Feb 25.  Cupertino's First Annual Lunar New Years Parade and International Fair is planned for March 8.  CARES and Cupertino CERT have been asked to support these events.  See the Event Communications Plan for details.

Feb 18.  Resolution No. 03-038 was passed on February 18th 2003 by the City Council of the City of Cupertino thereby recognizing, approving, and supporting our Training and Certification Plan.  See the text of the resolution here.

Jan 25.  Santa Clara County RACES held a Communications Drill on Saturday, January 25th.  Eleven CARES members participated and we learned a lot!  See the Drill Report about what we observed, what worked, and what didn't work.

Jan 11.  A Cross-Band Repeat Radio Test was held on Saturday, January 11th as a means for CARES members to observe and check out this nifty radio feature!  Check out the summary report of that activity; what we did, and what we learned.

Updates - 2002

Dec 17.  Cupertino Creek Survey was completed by CARES after the first wave of heavy storms rolled through in mid December.  We identified 6 observation points on the Regnart and Calabasas Creeks that cross City Streets where flooding has been problematic.  Tune up on the CARES Tac-1 frequency in the event the heavy rains return.

Nov 16.  CARES SET / Open Net Drill was held on 16-November.  Thirteen CARES members operated in an Open Net environment and practiced Field Message Handling procedures.  See the Drill Report for a summary of our finding.

Nov 11.  Cupertino OES Class Schedule for 2003 is now available on our Website.  See this schedule for all CERT, First Aid, and other preparedness classes of interest.

Oct 12, 13.  The Cupertino Oktoberfest gave Cupertino's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and CARES the assignment to provide the event's First Aid.  See the details on this event here.

Oct 3.  October's Training Event covered Open Nets and Field Message Handling Procedures.  Check out the handouts for specifics on what was covered.

Sep 28.  CARES supports the City's cross-functional drill. County Fire and NovaCare Medical Clinic participated in this first-time ever drill to practice Decontamination and mass casualty handling procedures.  See some of the pictures here, and check out the CARES Drill Report.

Sep 1.  The CARES Standard Operating Procedure Revision 3.0 is now available.  This release updates some of the information we have already talked about as well as formally addresses the area of Checklists and Forms.  The SOP is divided into 6 parts and is available here.

Sep 1.  The CARES Training and Certification Plan was also reviewed during the September meeting.  This plan will be used to form the basis for consistency in our response while offering our members the opportunity to learn and participate to the extent they choose.  See the plan here.

July 20.  Cupertino Art and Wine Festival.  We had beautiful weather and a terrific crowd.  See the story here for all the details.

Jun 22.  ARRL Field Day.  This year's Field Day an event of firstsfirst time CARES operated on 6 meters (thx, KG6JWG!), first time we operated an ATV demo, first time we made contact using a Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) antenna.  If you couldn't make the event, check out the pictures here!

Jun 1.  CARES Field Drill was terrific practice for our Field Responders, the NCS, and EOC Operator.  We passed 26 message in 45 minutes with shift changes wrapped in as well!  Check out the drill report here!

Feb 19.  Cupertino Sanitary District and CARES entered into a mutual agreement to share resources in the event of an emergency.   An MOU has been signed.   Thanks Richard KE6RJY for your help with the MOU!

Feb 5.  Preparedness Operations PRO-020205.  Effective Tuesday, 05-Feb-02 at 1945 hours, Cupertino ARES secured from INCREASED READINESS Operations (IRO-011007) and resumed PREPAREDNESS Operations (PRO-020205).

Jan 29.  2001 State of CARES Report is now available.  See how we did in what will be a year to remember. Our Annual Report can be found here.

Jan 3.  Union Pacific Railroad presentation in January 2002 was very popular!  See the Training Page for details. 

Updates - 2001

Nov 14.  California's EDIS (Emergency Digital Information Service) bulletins are a great place to check out pending as well as problems in progress.  See the EDIS Bulletins for the last few days here.

Oct 7.  Increased Readiness Operations IRO-011007.  On Sunday, 07-Oct-01 at 1900, Cupertino ARES shifted its Operations to INCREASED READINESS. This change was made at the request of the City of Cupertino and aligns with their change in Readiness State.  See the fill notification IRO-011007 here.

Sep 29.  Agreement to use the K6FB Repeater.  With the risk of a localized disaster or emergency now even more real, ensuring CARES has available all possible communications options for a Cupertino-only emergency becomes critical. 

CARES has completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club to use their linked 2m and 440 repeater system to support communications for a Cupertino city-only emergency such as earthquakes, floods, fires, transportation accidents, hazardous material releases, civil unrest and other natural or manmade disasters.  We also have access to the repeater system fir drills.  However, multi-site emergencies where County RACES is activated will have a greater use priority. 

See the MOU for the details.

Aug 22.  City of Cupertino Honors our own Vince LaPorta K6TEN!  See the story in the August 22nd edition of the Cupertino Courier

Jun 23.  CARES 2001 Field Day.   Were you able to join us?  Or, did you happen to work our station... K6BSA?  We had a terrific event.  Check out the story here, then take a look at the  CARES 20001 Field Day Pictures.

Apr 11.  Year 2000 State of CARES Report.   CARES had a successful year in 2000.  Check out the Year 2000 Annual Report.

Updates - 2000

June 15.  Good-bye, Marie!  If you haven't already heard, our own Marie Moore KE6RAZ is retiring.

As an employee of the Santa Clara County Fire Department on assignment to the City of Cupertino, Marie has been the CARES sponsor for the past several years providing a critical link between our organization and the city.  Marie was instrumental at recruiting new members identified through the CERT (Cupertino Emergency Response Training) classes allowing us to grow and thrive.

Marie's last day with the city is the end of June, and she leaves the Fire Department on July 7th.  Her immediate plans are to travel the county with her newly acquired travel trailer and having more fun than we can imagine!  We hope she gets her Amateur Radio General License so we can keep track of her while she's on the road (hint, hint)!

Marie, on behalf of all of us at CARES, THANK YOU for all your help, encouragement, and support.  You are a good friend and your smile will truly be missed!  Best wishes and happy trails!

Jun 15.  ... and hello, Marsha!  CARES welcomes Marsha Garcia to the City of Cupertino.  Marsha comes to us from Santa Clara County Communications (County Comm) 9-1-1 center.  Because the City has felt the City Emergency Preparedness position is so important, they funded having Marsha work together with Marie for three months.

Welcome aboard Marsha, and we look forward to working with you in support of emergency preparedness.

Jun 1.  June CARES Meeting;  This meeting was dedicated to this year's Field Day activities.  Field Day is CARES' chance to practice establishing an Emergency Communications Station in the field if requested from one of our served agencies.   Ken KR6CO is the Field Day coordinator and overviewed the plans for this year's event.

May 4.  May CARES Meeting;  CARES discussed how repeaters are accessed.  This was a hands-on session where members were asked to set up their handi-talkies to one of many local repeaters.  

Additionally, the potential for co-channel interference was discussed.  CARES shares its frequency with Foster City.  We have heard them in the past and conclude that, in the event of a Bay Area-wide emergency, we will be "stepping on each others toes" in trying to run our respective city nets.  CARES members practiced setting up their HTs PL turned on for both the transmit and receive. Additional information will be sent out on specific configurations needed to operate in a PL-enabled environment.

Lastly, it was agreed that an additional frequency is needed for tactical support in Cupertino (ATV coordination, member-to-member activity coordination, etc).  The final agreed-to frequency will be sent out to all members shortly.  For a list of current assigned frequencies, please see the CARES SOP Part III.

Apr 1.  Here's the current list of Amateur Radio license upgrades.  A special note of congratulations goes out to Janet KF6PUQ for passing the Morse code 5 words per minute (wpm) test!  All candidates are planning a visit back to their local VEC shortly after April 15th for the final step to upgrade per the new rules!

  • Janet KF6PUQ, April 1, Element 1A Morse Code 5 WPM
  • Al N6VYI, March 4, Elements 3B, 4A, 4B for Extra Class
  • Janet KF6PUQ, February 19, Element 3B for General Class
  • Jim KN6PE, February 19, Element 4B for Extra Class 
  • Ken KR6CO, February 5, Element 4B for Extra Class 

Mar 9.  Neighborhood Communications Meeting.  CARES hosted leaders and members of Cupertino neighborhoods who have organized for Emergency Preparedness.  The meeting discussed communications coordination and information passing across the city.  See the Notes from this meeting here.

Mar 7.  Local School Communications Training.  CARES participated in a communications overview with Marie Moore at Regnart School in Cupertino.  The objective was to introduce the teachers to communication fundamentals and basic use of the radios they will use on campus in the event of an emergency.

Mar 2.  March CARES Meeting;  CARES heard a presentation by Scott Hensley KB6UOO of the American Red Cross on communications expectations between emergency shelters, the Red Cross, and the City.  See the Notes from this meeting here.

Feb 12,  County ARES/RACES Drill Wrap-up.  Several Santa Clara County cities participated in an intercity message handling drill on Saturday, February 12, 2000.  The purpose of the drill was to (i) evaluate the effectiveness of the K6FB repeater for use as Command 1 (city-to-city net) because of the unavailability of the OQS repeater, and (ii) give the cities a chance to practice message handling.  The drill lasted 2 hours and was followed with an on-air critique on Tuesday, February 15 after the SVECS net.

Key lessons out of that drill included

  • the need to track messages over an extended time.  It is clear that responses to requests may not be immediate.  To this end, all communicators involved with message handling will need to keep track messages, particularly between shifts.  This was handled by careful recording and serializing of messages.
  • Accuracy of message handling.  As we practiced during the February meeting, keeping messages short but meaningful is one way of ensuring accuracy.
  • Speed of delivery.  Speed needs to be balanced between ensuring message accuracy and frequency utilization.
As a result of that drill, CARES will have to revisit the method that we will pass traffic, including recording and managing the pieces of paper to ensure an accurate communications of needs, responses, and information.  How this kind of information management manifests itself for CARES use needs to be resolved.


updated:  August 02, 2012