Update on Simulated Emergency Test: Saturday, October 31 2020

Update on Simulated Emergency Test: Saturday, October 31
Note: October 28 SET is not taking place

Update on Simulated Emergency Test: Saturday, October 31


For immediate release:

For what is certainly the first time in history, the upcoming Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be held during a real global pandemic – not a simulation.

The SET is a North America-wide exercise in emergency communications, which is administered by Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

There are different circumstances throughout the country and the various levels of governments (local, municipal, provincial/territorial and federal) continue to monitor the situation and develop strategies designed to ensure our safety while reducing the impact on the economy. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that all participants ensure that they stay safe and respect the specific rules and requirements in their jurisdiction – municipal, provincial, territorial or federal.

The rise in COVID-19 cases in various jurisdictions in Canada – and especially in Ontario and Quebec – has led to new restrictions and guidelines. These new policies include such items as the upper limit on the number of people allowed to gather and the closure of public buildings.

In Ontario, the Simulated Emergency Test will continue to be held on Saturday, October 31,  but the initial plan to hold the SET on Wednesday, October 28 in some areas has been cancelled since access to Emergency Operations Centres located in Municipal offices is no longer permitted.

SET Theme: A Severe Winter Storm

Planning for the SET

In Canada, the Simulated Emergency Test is administered by Emergency Coordinators (EC) and Net Managers (NM). This year I am encouraging all Emergency Coordinators to do a theme-based operation and to plan each stage using what 2020 has shown you so far and try to anticipate the next potential risk.

Starting from the Call-Out to your After-Action Reports, all teams across Canada must use the following common theme: a severe winter storm. We have provided some examples of severe winter storms on the RAC website to help you with the planning process.

Emergency Coordinators will be required to include a COVID-19 plan as part of their SET plan. As indicated above, all participants in the SET must follow the guidelines provided by the government and health officials in their respective area. The plan should include an outline covering social/physical distancing if operating outside a member’s personal residence.

A copy of the local Health Authority’s COVID-19 recommendations will be emailed to all members participating in the SET. An email list showing receipt of these instructions from all members participating in the SET will be kept by the Emergency Coordinator.

Please assess your local situation and address safety concerns according to local Health guidelines. If possible, please take part in the SET from your home or vehicle. 

As indicated above, all Emergency Operations Centres and served agencies’ stations (for example, the Red Cross, Emergency Social Services etc) will need to be simulated during the SET.

Unless you are participating in the SET from your own home or vehicle, you are required to wear a mask and follow all local Health Authority Guidelines.

For complete information about the upcoming SET on Saturday, October 31 please visit the RAC website at the links provided below:

Important Update:

Update on Simulated Emergency Test: Saturday, October 31


Main SET webpage:

Simulated Emergency Test: October 31


Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT
RAC Community Services Officer 


Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director