- Published: 03 March 2011
As we’ve previously discussed, Amateur Radio Emergency Communications has changed from the days where a very informal response among a specialized group of technical individuals could provide support in an emergency in an improvised way.
The changes in how we are expected to respond are largely the result of the evolution of emergency response organizations within the government and without.As previously mentioned, many organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and even the government itself, have created their own communications teams comprised of Amateur Radio operators who meet their requirements.
Organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army are about providing direct aid during and following an emergency. Communications is one small component of that overall mission. So, within the Red Cross, for instance, the communications team members are Red Cross volunteers who happen to be Amateur Radio operators, not the other way around.
- Published: 28 April 2016
Most entities ARES will support utilize a standardized command structure call the "Incident Command System". The Incident Command System, usually referred to as ICS, is designed to be scalable for emergencies ranging from a car wreck to a hurricane. The purpose of the standardized ICS is so that the various government agencies and non-government organizations, often referred to NGOs, all understand the chain of command and the various positions within the system.
FEMA offers a series of free on-line courses so volunteers, police, firemen, and local government officials can easily learn, demonstrate proficiency, and get certified as being proficient in a variety of area.
ARES, like many NGOs (including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and others), has committed to requiring their volunteers to have various levels of FEMA course certifications before being deployed. The requirements are usually fairly minimal for most ARES volunteers, requiring only the introductory certifications to participate in support positions.
- Published: 18 November 2011
We’ve discussed EMCOMM organizations in the past, so I’ll just remind everyone that while ARES is rapidly becoming the most prevalent EMCOMM organization there are others include RACES, SATERN, MARS, SHARES and REACT.
· RACES: Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. Normally setup and administered by local or state Emergency Management Agencies.
· SATERN: Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. Amateur Radio Operators who are also volunteers with the Salvation Army operate this network.
· MARS: Military Affiliate Radio Service. This is a Department of Defense sponsored communications program managed by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
- Published: 20 February 2011
Two distinct events combined to turn my mind to emergency preparedness. September 11th, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina. One mass-murder by warriors of Islam and the other mass destruction caused by nature and made worse by incompetence in local government. In either case, they are examples of why we should be better prepared for the unexpected so we can ride it an emergency while our neighbors and local, state, & national governments work to restore normalcy to our lives.
September 11, 2001 returned my mind to thoughts of emergency preparedness and my early emergency response training. But, as is often the case, I lapsed into a "maybe I'll do something next week" line of thought. Well, at least I was thinking about it.
- Published: 03 March 2011
Emergency response has changed drastically over the past several decades, especially since 2001, and the utilization of Amateur Radio operators has been affected by it. The days of showing up unannounced with your HT and “go kit” have pretty much gone the way of the vacuum tube.
The September 11th attack and Hurricane Katrina both acted as wakeup calls to a variety of emergency response agencies all the way from the courthouse to Washington, DC. Longstanding issues, like the inability for local public service agencies to communicate with each other (such as fire and sheriff) as well as inability for state and federal agencies to interoperate with each other and local entities was a major embarrassment during the September 11th and Katrina responses.