[SEC-ARES] ShakeOut 2020 - an Amateur Radio Service Success Story

KH6FHI Joe Tabrah


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Oliver Dully, K6OLI <km6dmf@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 2020 at 8:25 AM
Subject: [SEC-ARES] ShakeOut 2020 - an Amateur Radio Service Success Story
To: <SEC-ARES@groups.io>

ShakeOut 2020 - an Amateur Radio Service Success Story

By Oliver K6OLI, 

District Emergency Coordinator

ARES LAX Northeast 


ShakeOut 2020 was a smashing success for amateur radio operators throughout the United States. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) received 175 “Did You Feel It?” (DYFI) reports sent via Winlink for the first time ever over radio on ShakeOut Day. This was the first year for DYFI via Winlink and amateur radio frequencies and the response was impressive!
Most of the DYFI reports were received from Southern and Central California, Washington and Hawaii.

Amateur radio operators practiced sending DYFI reports to USGS from simulated “donut holes”, i.e. areas without internet access. A variety of techniques were employed: ARES LAX Northeast, for example, aggregated DYFI reports via VHF using a gateway, which then autoforwarded the reports on HF to out-of-area gateways with internet connections. Ventura ARES/ACS and ARES LAX High Desert, by contrast, relied on individual HF stations to send reports out-of-area. These varying approaches demonstrate the flexible and creative responses of operators in the Amateur Radio Service based on variations of local conditions. 

Source: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/scenarios/eventpage/usares20_1_se/dyfi/intensity

USGS generously created an event website for ShakeOut 2020 which shows the amateur radio responses in Southern and Central California. 

Note the clusters of responses in Los Angeles County, Ventura County and San Diego County. For a given area 20 or more responses allow for a decent estimate of earthquake intensity in that area.

Transmitting a critical mass of DYFI reports to USGS in a timely manner was a core objective achieved during ShakeOut 2020. 

Source: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/scenarios/eventpage/usares20_1_se/dyfi/responses-vs-time

Timely information is of the essence, as DYFI data informs ShakeMap and Pager, two USGS products that are used by governments, NGOs, public and private companies, and the public to assess the impact seismic events and organize their responses. 

During ShakeOut the bulk of DYFI reports were sent in the first hour after the simulated event had occurred, achieving a second objective of ShakeOut 2020 for amateur radio operators. 

Astute amateur radio operators will notice that a circuit (or radio network) that can move DYFI reports out-of-area reliably can also move other traffic reliably. 

It is therefore critical for amateur radio operators in earthquake country to become familiar and comfortable with DYFI reports, if they want to help guide high level responses and provide added value to the communities they live in.

We invite you to check out the ShakeOut 2020 event website and learn about how the data provided by amateur radio operators contributes to ShakeMap:


We would like to thank USGS for their support, collaboration and guidance and for providing data for ShakeOut 2020.

We would also like to thank ARES LAX, Ventura ARES/ACS, San Diego ARES and Hawaii ARES for providing DYFI training to their operators and making this exercise so successful.

And we would like to thank the Winlink Development Team for coding the DYFI form and making it available to all amateur radio operators.

If you or your group are interested in a “Did You Feel It? for Winlink” online Workshop, please contact Oliver K6OLI at K6OLI (at) ARRL.NET or vial Winlink at K6OLI.