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RACES stands for "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service," a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407). Many government agencies across the country train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol. The volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions pursuant to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.
This web site is intended to assist in the distribution of RACES Emergency Communications information for Sedgwick County, Kansas.
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Status updated: 15th Jan, 2017
The precipitation still is expected to begin in Sedgwick County Friday afternoon or evening. It is expected to be mainly a freezing rain event that night with around one-tenth of an inch initial accumulation.
The latest forecast shows an improvement for Wichita and Sedgwick County; total ice accumulation expected Fri-Sun is now around .25”—earlier forecasts had said .5” to 1” in our county.
There is a chance for temperatures to climb above freezing on Saturday, which would allow the precipitation to fall as rain. The down side to that is it could cause the anti-icing treatment on roads to be washed away, plus there is the chance for black ice if the surface re-freezes overnight.
The precipitation is expected to last until the overnight hours Sunday into the Monday holiday before finally moving out Monday morning. The high on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is forecast to be in the mid 40’s which would accelerate the melting process.
Westar is optimistic that this storm will result in far fewer power outages in our area than previous storms. They have been very proactive in trimming trees around power lines, the amount of ice in the forecast has gone down, and perhaps most importantly, winds are expected to be very light. High winds would have accelerated freezing on the lines, and then wreaked havoc on those now-heavier lines causing them to sway more and come down faster. Westar is monitoring the situation and will move extra crews into the areas that are hardest hit. They also will work with their communications people to update their public messaging specifically to include terminology for citizens NOT to call 911 for power issues.
United Way will have extra personnel lined up to man their 211 lines with the goal of easing the burden on dispatch centers across the region from having to answer non-emergency calls on 911 lines. But, they will only be able to help the public if we give them answers to the questions that will be asked. If a community should lose power, or there’s any need to open a shelter, or even a temporary warming center, that information should go to the Emergency Management Duty Officer at 316-660-7236 so that we can be aware and inform 211. If you are relaying information to the public about calling 211, United Way requests that you please use the phrase, “dial 2-1-1” so the audience knows that 211 is the actual number to dial (yes, it’s an issue).
The latest briefing packet from the NWS is available by clicking the link below; it goes into more detail about what the weather service is thinking. Please remember, though, that winter storm predictions are the hardest task a weatherman has, and that forecasts can change right up until the last minute. Even then, an unexpected temperature difference of just 1 degree somewhere higher up in the atmosphere can have a dramatic effect on what type of precipitation reaches the ground.
Emergency Management will continue to monitor the forecast today and tomorrow, and the conditions once the storm moves in. We urge all of you to monitor your favorite weather provider as well, to stay up-to-date. We do not expect another conference call unless something significant changes. We will be posting any information we receive to eLog. Speaking of which: there will be an eLog training class tomorrow from 10:00-11:15 in the EOC. No registration is necessary, just be here on time. The class is part of Open Practice Day, so you are encouraged to stop by your EOC desk anytime tomorrow from 8a – 3p.
We will continue to monitor throughout the weekend; with the improvement in the forecast we do not currently see the need for an activation of the EOC, but that could always change. If the weather comes in worse-than-expected, we could need to ramp things up to deal with the issues additional ice would bring. In such a case, the activation notice would include a list of the departments required to send a representative (others would be welcome if they so choose).
If you still have questions about this storm, or if you have need to contact Emergency Management for any reason, we encourage you to call our Duty Officer at 660-7236; that number rings through to their cell 24/7.
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Link posted on: 12th Dec, 2016
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Sedgwick County R.A.C.E.S. shared a link.
Video posted on: 12th Oct, 2016
Sedgwick County R.A.C.E.S. shared U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)'s video.
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Link posted on: 15th Jul, 2016
Active Shooter: What can you do (Presentation)
Photo posted on: 17th Jun, 2016
Sedgwick County R.A.C.E.S. shared Wichita Amateur Radio Club's photo.