Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Sherburne County ARES

  Public Health Dept Princeton Hospital        
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Updated:Saturday August 10, 2013


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Emergency Operations



First-You 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.

Second- 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.

Third- 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?




Recall Roster 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.

Duty Kit 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.

Net Control 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.

Situation Briefing 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.

Deploying Vehicle 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.

Portable Radio 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.

Communications Trailer 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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