can not be of any help to anyone if you are not well prepared and in
reasonable health. Be sure that you have all that you will need
to sustain yourself (food, water, medicine, etc.) so others will not
have to take care of you.
need to have your equipment ready ahead of time and in a specific
location. If you have an item that you need, and it is located
elsewhere, place a note (easily seen) on the outside of your duty
kit so you, or someone else, can go retrieve it. Keep an inventory
inside the container as well.
Consider the type of containers you are using for your supplies. Can
you carry them? Can you put wheels on them? Are they waterproof or
water resistant? Are they clearly marked? Can you sit on it when it
is empty?. Can you mount the equipment into, or on it? Would your
antenna fit inside a large PVC Pipe with removable end caps? Do you
have light to see at night? Can you provide battery power to others
while not disabling your set-up? How do you plan to recharge your
batteries? Did you hide some of your favorite candy, gum, health bar,
snack, etc. inside one of your duty kits in addition to your food
supply? Do you have a plastic tarp to cover you and the equipment?
Is your equipment and supplies marked with your name?
Step 1: Notification
The job of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service is to provide
emergency communications to our served agencies, when and only when, our assistance
is requested! Once our services are requested and approval is given, our
first official duty is to notify all members of the request. This can be done via
phone, pager, radio, or door-to-door if all other forms of notification are
disabled. At the time of notification, members will be informed of the basic
situation, who needs to be contacted, what to bring, when to meet, where to meet,
safety measures to take, and how long to expect to be deployed. All members
and Served Agencies are given updated recall listings as they change.
Step 2: Duty Kits
How many times have you reached
into your suitcase, and been unable to find the item
that you "knew" was there? Now picture the same thing
happening when you're at the Emergency Operations
Center, trying to contact the Incident Commander at the
scene of a tractor trailer accident in downtown Elk
River, and are unable to power up the radio due to you
not having a $1.50 power connector! (BAD NEWS) The
proposed duty kit contents that we have gone through,
should help eliminate most of those awkward times. Most
of the items listed are already on-hand at most of our
houses, but they will now be organized together, and
easily grabbed at 2am by anyone in the house.
Step 3: Net Control
"TOTAL CHAOS" How many times have
you listened to an HF radio during a band opening? YES!
It is total chaos when everyone is trying to call
everyone else! Here in ARES, we utilize a Net Control
Station to maintain control of all communications during
an incident. No messages are sent between stations
unless authorized by Net Control. This may sound like it
is restricting the flow of information, but it actually
is increasing the flow! Messages are prioritized and
sent in order of precedence. Emergency messages are
always priority one! The radio frequencies are
kept clear of idle chit chat, and stations involved in
the incident are able to clearly hear all messages sent.
Accuracy is paramount.
Step 4: Situation Briefing
The very first question everyone
asks when a major incident happens is "What Happened?"
To help prevent rumors, bad information and possibly
dangerous actions, we hold an initial situation
in-briefing. This allows the Emergency Coordinator
to inform all responding members of the current
scenario, and to answer as many questions as possible.
By doing this, we all enter the scene with the most
accurate, reliable and current information available.
Step 5: Deployment
When deployment is required, members
are reminded to take all appropriate safety precautions.
Members will deploy to locations as dictated by the
Incident Commander or his/her designated representative.
The Minnesota Incident Management System will be
utilized whenever possible. Upon arrival at the deployed
location, all members will notify Net Control of arrival
on the scene. Members will then sign in with the
controlling authority, and request their assignment.
Step 6: Portable Stations
When a deployable radio is
required, members are reminded that extended operation needs to be
considered when designing their system. There are many
options and designs available for "Box Radios". The
design that seems to be most popular starts with a water
resistant enclosure like the SPUD-7. Inside is roomy
enough to house a mobile radio, 10ah battery, 23 amp
power supply, speaker, wattmeter/SWR meter, and even a
TNC. Make sure to allow plenty of room for ventilation.
Consideration should be given to a dual-band radio.
Step 7: Communications Trailer
When extended deployment is needed,
we have the ability to utilize a self contained travel
trailer that is able to support multiple net
controllers. This trailer is fully heated and air
conditioned, has on-board cooking facilities, sleeping
facilities, and a full bath room. It carries it's own
propane, water supply, and 200ah of AGM battery supply.
External power can be supplied by any available 115v
source capable of providing 30 amps current.
Contact the Emergency Coordinator's
Office via email
Office of the Emergency Coordinator
Daniel L. Shartle, N0JHU
As a volunteer organization, Sherburne County
ARES welcomes any suggestions you might have to help us serve you better.
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