Emergency Services
ARRL South Carolina Section
ARRL SC Section Manager (SM)
Marc Tarplee, N4UFP   -   E-mail:   n4ufp@arrl.org

ARRL SC Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC)
Billy Irwin, K9OH   -   E-mail:  k9oh@arrl.net


South Carolina is divided into six Emergency Management Districts (EMD).  The Charleston area is in EMD 5 which includes Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Williamsburg Counties.

ARRL SC EMD 5 District Emergency Coordinator (DEC)
George Mudd, KK4F   -   E-mail:  kk4f@arrl.net

When the Big One Hits,
South Carolina Will be Ready

QST - Public Service Article - March 2009 - Pages 62 & 63

South Carolina Healthcare Emergency Amateur Radio Team

Low Country Regional Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Plan

Berkeley, Charleston, & Dorchester Counties


When a disaster of any kind occures, there is a strong possibility that at least some of the repeaters will not be operational. When this happens, you must operate your radio in Simplex Mode. Be prepared, read the manual for your radio now and learn how to switch it to simplex mode on repeater frequencies. If no one is heard on the repeater freqencies, select the National Simplex Calling Frequency 146.52 MHz or the often used local simplex frequency 146.58 MHz.

ARES and RACES Information

For Amateur Radio Emergency Service information visit the ARES web site.

For Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service information visit the RACES web site.

To join ARES and/or RACES, please fill out the pdf   Volunteer Registration Form on-line, then print it and submit as instructed on the form.

You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, fill in and print the Volunteer Registration Form.
Click here --> Get Acrobat Reader to get the Acrobat Reader.

For more information, visit the ARRL South Carolina Section ARES web site.

ARES and RACES Training

The courses listed below are needed to fill the minimum training needs of our volunteers. The FEMA courses are needed to learn about the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) and the ARRL courses are needed to learn Radio Communications Proceedures.

Training needed for ARES and RACES Volunteers:

          Recommended, but not required:

Training needed for Emergency Coordinators:

Training needed for District Emergency Coordinators:

Training needed for Section Emergency Coordinators:

The FEMA training is available on-line at:

The ARRL training is available on-line at:


Shelters are listed as Conglomerate Shelter and ARC/DSS Staffing.   We are in the Central Conglomerate (although Low Country ARC is also responsible for one shelter in the Southern Conglomerate, Walterboro). The shelters are broken down in groups 1 through 5.   Group 5 shelters are re-entry only. This shelter list is accurate as of August 2013, all shelters are confirmed with County EMS prior to opening.

GROUP 1:  Berkeley County    (4): Devon Forest Elementary, Goose Creek; Cane Bay High School, Summerville;

Berkeley High school, Moncks Corner; Berkeley Elementary, Moncks Corner

Charleston County (1): Ladson Elementary, Ladson
Dorchester County (3): Summerville High School, Summerville; DuBose Middle School, Summerville;

Summerville Elementary, Summerville

GROUP 2:  Berkeley County    (1): Sangaree Elementary, Summerville

Charleston County (0):
Dorchester County (2): Woodland High School, Dorchester; St. George Middle School, St. George

GROUP 3:  There are currently no listings for this group.

GROUP 4:  Berkeley County    (1): Cross High School, Cross

There are 15 listings for re-entry shelters and 23 listings for reserve shelters.


Berkeley County ARRL EC (Emergency Coordinator)

Linda Selleck, KJ4EVV
Phone: 843-670-0861 (Emergency calls only)
E-mail: kj4evv@gmail.com

For Berkeley County ARES information, visit the Berkeley County ARES web site.

For Berkeley County information, visit the Berkeley County Emergency Management web site.


Charleston County ARRL EC (Emergency Coordinator)

Rick Valentine, N8BKN
Phone: 843-810-3658
E-mail: rickvalen@aol.com

For Charleston County information, visit the Charleston County Emergency Information Menu.


Dorchester County ARRL EC (Emergency Coordinator)

John Place, W4HNK
Phone: 843-696-6213
E-mail: w4hnk@arrl.net

For Dorchester County information, visit the Dorchester County web site.



The Earthquake Operational Area concept allows for deployment of response units to areas that may be isolated as a result of severe damage to bridges and roads. The anticipated damage to bridges and roads will virtually create "Islands" within the disaster areas. This would effectively isolate communities from one another which initally may only be accessible by air or sea.

For earthquake plan details, visit the SC Emergency Management Department web site.


The following article was published in the November 2005 issue of the AARP Bulletin. South Carolina, especially the coastal area, needs to follow this example.    John, WA4GPS

Your Life Defensive Strategies
A disaster plan for those who need it most.
By Barbara Basler

Ned Wright calculates that if Linn County, Iowa, had “a real bad day” – a leak at its nuclear power plant or a storm that might trigger devastating river floods – he could bring in 650 buses and move 35,000 of the county's most vulnerable residents to safety.

The county emergency manager knows exactly where frail older residents and others with special needs are in Cedar Rapids and in the countryside surrounding it because he has mapped their locations by computer.

“A high proportion of Linn County citizens are retirees, and we've got this GIS program – geographic information system – that puts every nursing home, assisted living and congregate care facility in the county on a map,” he says. People who live at home and need help register and are put on the map, too.

This plan for special–needs residents has been cited as a model by federal emergency officials and by the National Association of Counties. Linn County has planned every step – from setting up a large shelter with emergency power for those on dialysis or life support to how to ensure that city, county and school bus drivers report for duty in a crisis to transport these residents:

“We’ve told the drivers their families will be on the first buses to roll out of town if they're on the job,” Wright says. “That way they don’t have to worry about what’s happening to their loved ones.”

Most communities have not even considered the issue of how to evacuate people with special needs, let alone made specific plans. “It’s a problem that is going to get bigger, not smaller, and it’s going to get bigger particularly in those coastal areas where the risk is the greatest,” says Jack Harrald, director of the George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.

“We have to sit down and do the math – how are we going to evacuate all these people? Where do we put them?”

Watching the New Orleans evacuation story unfold, Wright, a blunt former military man who has spent the last 11 years of his life preparing Linn County for disaster, was livid.

“We would not,” he says firmly, “have had a St. Rita’s here.”

St. Rita’s, the flooded Louisiana nursing home where 34 bodies were discovered – some still slumped in their wheelchairs – has become a disturbing symbol of the way older Americans were abandoned, left on their own during the swirling chaos of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. These residents and many other older, infirm men and women living alone died because they needed help to escape the city – and they didn't get it.

Congressional hearings probing the botched evacuation of the city are already under way. But disaster managers say what happened in New Orleans could have happened in other cities and towns.

Experts say all levels of government – federal, state and local – bungled the Katrina disaster. But Dennis S. Mileti, an expert in disaster planning who co-founded the Natural Hazards Review journal, says, “If you want to know what might happen to you in a disaster, you have to look at what your local government has planned.”

Linn County developed its special–needs plan on its own – Iowa has no specific laws governing that evacuation issue. Only a handful of states require that kind of planning by communities. Florida is one.

With its large older population and its vulnerability to hurricanes, Florida has developed a comprehensive program and “is one of the few states that has seriously dealt with this issue,” says Jack Harrald.

Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida has passed a number of laws spelling out what communities must do to prepare for and respond to a disaster. Its lengthy special–needs legislation includes provisions for:

While the Florida law is one of the most detailed, state lawmakers are now at work refining it after a series of hurricanes in 2004 revealed some shortcomings. For example, while federal regulations require nursing homes and hospitals to have emergency evacuation plans, a bill proposed by state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R – Port St. Lucie, would establish an emergency number nursing homes could call if plans went awry.

Experts know the time to institute reforms is right after a disaster, before the public and the politicians lose interest.

“This is the window of opportunity for people and organizations to demand better disaster preparation from the bottom up,” says George Haddow, a research scientist and disaster planning consultant who has co-authored a textbook on emergency management. “People have to demand it now.”

Preparing means more than just writing a plan. About 15 times a year Linn County conducts disaster exercises, which, experts say, are essential to help an emergency plan work even when it encounters the unexpected.

Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, says emergency managers should emulate the legendary jazz musicians of New Orleans.

“Research on jazz,” she says, “tells us that the jazz musicians who are the best at improvisation are the ones who study and practice the most.”

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For information on amateur radio activity in Linn County, Iowa,
visit the Linn County ARES web site.