Seal Beach RACES and CERT join for emergency preparedness drill

Members of the Seal Beach/Los Alamitos Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (R.A.C.E.S.) and the local Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) joined to conduct an emergency communications drill on Saturday May 4, 2019.

Both organizations are maintained and supported by the Seal Beach and Los Alamitos Police Departments under the direction of F.E.M.A. and the F.C.C. R.A.C.E.S. consists of licensed Amateur Radio operators and the C.E.R.T. group has undergone extensive emergency training. The purpose of this latest drill was to establish training for both groups to insure disaster communication throughout each city with the Emergency Operations Center in the Seal Beach Police Department. Other cities in Orange County conduct similar drills insuring that disaster needs can be met locally and in the County of Orange.

Traditional RACES operations involve emergency message handling on Amateur Radio Service frequencies. These operations typically involve messages between critical locations such as hospitals, emergency services, emergency shelters, and any other locations where communication is needed. These communications are handled in any mode available, with 2 meters FM being the most prevalent.

Prime examples of the service provided by R.A.C.E.S. was exhibited during the Northridge earthquake in 1984 where the only communications link was that provided by over 80 Amateur Radio Operators.

In Seal Beach and Los Alamitos there are four (4) locations providing communication to the Emergency Operations Center, these locations are at the Seal Beach Pier Sub-station, Fire Station 48, Los Alamitos City Hall and the Seal Beach Police Department. Radio Amateurs (Hams) staff all four locations.

If you are interested in being a part of either R.A.C.E.S, or C.E.R.T. contact Corporal Brian Gray at the Seal Beach Police Department. If you are not an Amateur Radio operator the R.A.C.E.S. team will help train you to pass your Technician License allowing you to operate 2 Meter Radio equipment and to be a part of the Disaster Communications team.

If you have questions regarding this team, please contact Corporal Brian Gray at (562) 799-4100 ext. 1145.

This article was released by the Seal Beach Police Department.