McHenry County ARES/RACES & EMA Members Coverage Test

On October 27, 2020 7:15 PM CST the McHenry County ARES/RACES & EMA members will verify their ability to receive and acknowledge a message from the McHenry County EMA EOC.

We will open a GoToMeeting connection at 6:30 PM before the test to allow our participants time for a Q&A session on the test of their equipment. This open channel will also allow you to know when we have started the test. At the end of the test we will leave the line open for an additional half hour for more Q&A and general comment.

At 7:15 PM, Sheriff’s Dispatch will activate the EMA tones and send a message. This should act like the every Tuesday test alerting EMA Members via  TwoTone/eDispatches/IAMRESPONDING. Also at this time, a separate IAMRESPONDING message will be sent to EMA members. This is TWO SEPARATE COMMUNICATIONS.  Amateur radio operators should listen for the tones to signal the start of the exercise.

At 7:30 PM, a public service net will be started which will include an initial message and a rollcall of EMA volunteers on McEMA’s VHF transmitter set to 155.025 Mhz, PL146.2 Simplex. This is the channel labeled “EMA MAIN” on any EMA-issued VHF Handheld radios.

1. If you are an EMA Member WITH an EMA-issued VHF Handheld Kenwood radio:

  • Listen on this radio for the Sheriff’s Message and then for the rollcall net and attempt to respond back to the net via this radio. The rollcall will consist of calling all EMA-issued Radio Numbers. When your number is  called, please respond back with your radio number. Once you respond back to the rollcall (whether we can hear you or not), DON’T FORGET TO complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire.


  • AND, monitor your phones/email for the IAMRESPONDING message. DON’T FORGET TO complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire.


  • AND, if equipped with an Amateur Radio, have your radios set to 155.025 Mhz, PL146.2 Simplex. Listen for the message. DON’T FORGET TO complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire.


2. If you are an EMA member WITHOUT a EMA-issued VHF Handheld Kenwood Radio: 

• Monitor your phones/email for the IAMRESPONDING message. Also monitor your phones/email for the TwoTone/eDispatches/IAMRESPONDING notification of the Sheriff’s Message. Respond on IAMRESPONDING with TEST     OK if you receive the message(s) and DON’T FORGET TO complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire.


3. If you are an Amateur Radio Licensed EMA or ARES Member:   • Have your amateur radios set to 155.025 MHz, PL146.2 Simplex. Listen for the message. DON’T FORGET TO complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire.

4. Optional activity (EMA Members):  • During the rollcall net, please keep track of as many volunteers RESPONDING with their radio numbers that you hear as possible. The SurveyMonkey will ask for these. If you miss some, no problem. If you     choose to not do this, no problem. This is the only OPTIONAL question in the  SurveyMonkey.

SurveyMonkey questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XT8PFTM
GoToMeeting connection :https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/689424773

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