Special Audible Signals


VERN • Special Signal Tones

Network Control and Group Leaders (with a GMRS radio+license) could use additional audible DTMF tones to indicate certain conditions on a Volunteer Emergency Radio Network. These tones are sent using the radio’s numeric keypad as described here for the two basic signal tones.

A standard GMRS radio, the BTECH GMRS-V1

NOTE: FRS radios generally have no keypad and are NOT able to produce tones.


SPECIAL SIGNALS

For Network Control & Group Leaders ONLY, three (3) additional special audible signals are proposed. Most VERN operators will not send these but could hear them.

(3) Danger Level Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 ###  ###  ###  ###  ###            Danger !
 
###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###   HEY !!

• Press “pound” key 3x rapidly (a ‘triple-tap‘)
• Pause for one (1) second between each ‘triple-tap’
Repeat ‘triple-taps’ 5x-10x (more indicates higher danger)
• 10x = highest possible danger level (catastrophe: almost never used)

NOTE: These signals are sent by Network Control
   —> Only to the Emergency Alert Channel (FRS 9, GMRS 33)
—> Only when there is useful incident info to broadcast.
   —> Followed by:
            A brief incident summary.
            More info on Main VERN Repeater channel (FRS 8, GMRS 23)

(4) Group Leaders / GMRS “Gather” Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
  88 33 77 66                                 Group Leaders Gather

• ‘Musical’ tone for NetCon/Group Leaders to call all GMRS operators*
Press & Hold each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each
Pause 1 second between pairs

NOTE: Spells “VV EE RR NN” for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network operators. Variations on this are still being proposed and refined.
* GMRS operators are the network‘s backbone, leading the groups and relaying other people who cannot be heard: this calls them together for something important.

(5) Test Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 218  218  218                                  Start Test / End Test

Used by operators to: test the Repeater and train on using signals.
Press each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each press.
Pause 1 second between pairs.
Preceded by saying “START Test Alert” out loud.
 • Followed by saying “Test Alert END” out loud.


Member Benefits

#1 • CAVERN Member Benefits Package

As the 2020 fire season draws to a (hopefully quick) close, it gives us all time to participate in a discussion about public safety and radios around Cobb Mountain. Especially relevant —while things are fresh in our minds after a few nearby fires recently grew into the first “gigafire”— is what have we all learned we still need to do?

An idea has been floated on the CAVERN Talk list to bundle different PDF information sheets together into a CAVERN Member… Booklet? …Package? As a benefit of being a CAVERN volunteer/member, you get the collected wisdom of the Community assembled in one convenient PDF package that you can print pages from for your refrigerator or bulletin board.

What pages/chapters/sections/etc do you members of the CAVERN community think the Member materials package should contain? Is a PDF file enough? Should we also organize things like bumper-stickers, tee shirts, lawn signs, etc?

Here are a few Example Ideas:
 + CAVERN Channel Guide (1pg Guide/128 channels/Printable)
 + CAVERN Member DB (Members’ firstname+callsign/all 6 Groups)
 + User Guide for <radio model> (1pg/Printable)
 + GMRS Licensing Guide (upgrade from FRS/listen to GMRS/talk)
 + RS Codes (how to describe someone’s signal quality on air)
 + Audible Signal Tones (basic ops, emergencies & special uses)
 + Emergency Radio Instructions (what to do/emergency radio stuff)
 + Pandemic Radio Guide (radios & public health)
 + Network Control Script (what I read if I need to lead)
 — Anything else to add, Cobblers?

Please make your suggestions in a Comment (below).

#2HELP

PLEASE, WILL YOU HELP assemble any of these 1-page documents, using information already available on the https://CAVERN.mobi website?

#3 • PARTICIPATE

CAVERN has three low-volume mailing lists at lists.CAVERN.mobi

(1) The most basic is “Announcements” which sends out general CAVERN info (meetings, news, etc) 1-3 times a month.

(2) Next is “Alerts” which ONLY broadcasts urgent emergency info like evacuations, ongoing fire threats, power outages, sudden lightning storms, etc. If things are going well, you’ll almost never get anything from Alerts, but you have to be subscribed to get the important stuff!

(3) Last but not least is “Talk“, the general conversation list to which any subscriber can post their information, questions or advice. If you have a CAVERN radio, but you’re NOT on the “Talk” mailing list yet,
just click here to become part of the conversation.

2020 LNU Lightning Complex

This post is a call to the Cobb Community to contribute useful info.
PLEASE add a comment that we can include in the updates!


(Original Post) 19 Aug 2020 @ 9:30 PM Pacific
+ UPDATES!

Hello Everybody,
We hope you’re safe right now
as the many fires sparked by lightning strikes (over 10,000 in the first August storms), are flaring up all over the state and already stretching CalFire’s resources dangerously thin. Fires are continuing to run in multiple directions and impact multiple communities. There are now over 500 fires in California (including 23 major “complex” fires).


LNU Lightning Complex Fire”                                          (LNU = Lake Napa Unit)
Fatalities: 5 (plus 4 injuries — as of 24 Aug)
Counties Affected: Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo & Solano
Multiple Blazes: Hennessey, Gamble, 15-10, Spanish, Markley, 11-16, Walbridge (13-4).
Started: 17 Aug 2020
Acres Burned: 350,000+ acres (as of 24 Aug)
Structures: 871+ destroyed, 234+ damaged, 30,500+ threatened (as of 24 Aug)
Containment: 22% (as of 24 Aug) —— 98% (as of 26 Sep)
———————
LNU Lightning Complex(3 fires), Sonoma-Lake Napa Unit, Cal Fire. IMT 1 (Cal Fire Team 2). Two miles north of Barro, CA. Chapparal, tall grass and timber. Extreme fire behavior with long-range spotting, short-range spotting and wind-driven runs. Numerous structures, energy and communication infrastructure threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect.


Lake County & Cobb Area Information

• Radio      • Weather      • Maps      • Images       • Info & Alerts


• Radio •

Radio Frequencies (MHz):
   462.5500   CAVERN Main GMRS Repeater Channel        (DCS Tone: D071N)
   154.2875   Morgan Valley Fire Command / Round Fire (“Fire 23”)
   155.0250   CalFire LNUE (CAVERN 47)
   169.5375   Hennessey East Fire Command

NOTE: to tune in 7-digit freqs, use Menu on your radio to set the “Step” to “2.5“, the smallest increment. On some radios, the last digit is just visible in a very tiny font on the radio’s display.

Web-Based Radio:
Lake County Fire & Police Radio (direct: Lake County emergency svcs)
Broadcastify.com (general: online radio frequency aggreagtor)

Stay Tuned: more frequencies are coming soon from CAVERN Network Control !


Weather

NWS Weather Update
• 21 Aug •

Fire Weather Threat:
Thunderstorms Possible on Monday & Tuesday (24 & 25 Aug)
across northwest California.
New wildfires may be ignited by lightning

National Weather Service                                                      (general)
Current Weather for Cobb, Lake County                                 (95426)
The Geysers • Weather Forecast

WindFinder.com                                                    (dynamic wind maps)
Windy.com                                                          (wind tracking website)
AirNow.gov                                                        (CA fire & smoke maps)
LightningMaps.org                                         (pinpoint lightning strikes)


Maps •

Lake County Fire & Evac GIS Maps
Lake County, CA GIS Portal
Lake County Map Info:                   Email: Lon.Sharp@LakeCountyCA.gov
National Wildfire Coordinating Group                 (maps w/fire overlays)
CalTopo.com                                     (topographic maps with data layers)
SF Chronicle Fire Maps                        (both current & historical fire info)
ArcGIS Map of LNU Complex Fire             (complex extents, evac zones)
LNU Incident Maps                     (NIFC maps: hi-res downloadable PDFs)


• Images •

AlertWildfire.org                  (Lake County & North Bay area tower cams)

19 Aug: Some LNU Complex Fires (from the Cobb Mtn 1 webcam)

• Info & Alerts •

LNU Lightning Complex Fire Info                                 (LNU fire details)
Fire Updates from CalFire                                       (general CF website)
CalFire LNU Tweets                                      (updates for hummingbirds)
FlightRadar24.com                                             (track aerial fire-flights)
Fire Info for Resource Mgmt Sys                            (NASA data d/l login)
Lake County Sheriff OES Alerts                     (emergency services alerts)
511.org Road Closures                         (critical fire-related road closures)
CA Dept of Transportation                        (enter hwy# for road closures)
Red Cross People Locator                                      (safe & well program)

211 General Help Line                                      (bay area 24/7 help line)
707.967.4207    CalFire LNU 24/7 Info                              (see note*)

* CF 24/7 Info NOTE: the St Helena dispatch command center is handling these calls and is already stretched thin from coordinating CF’s dozens of fire engine crews. The voicemailbox may be full when you call andif it’s very busy there may be nobody able to answer, but: a 911 operator may call you back to make sure you’re not in imminent danger, so please call only w/serious issues.

NIFC.gov                                            (National Interagency Fire Center)
Wildfire Intel Forum                   (community wildfire intelligence forum)

Nixle Alerts:                                                Text JOINLCSO to 888777

Nixle Alert • 19 Aug 2020 @ 9:42 PM Pacific
LCSO has issued Evacuation Orders for Residents in…

FaceBook Scanner Groups:                         (from Mel / Siegler 001)
Public Safety Scanner Lake County CA
https://www.facebook.com/OnTheScannerLakeCounty
Lake County Public Safety Scanner and Awareness
Lake County, California Emergency Warnings and Preparedness


• Other Useful Links…     (WIP)
Get Started as a CA.VERN Volunteer Emergency Radio Network Operator…