Friday, December 16, 2016

Emergency Communications, Part 1

Originally posted on by web site as a single long page it is too much to post all at one time on Blogger.  As done with the mast information it'll be done in parts.

I also edited the original post from 2010.  The edits are in green to avoid confusion with links. 
Blogger there is a problem.  Blogger renders the blue link text as red.  I did not re-edit the original.  Pleas pardon the crappy green.

From my web site:

Welcome to my emergency communication (EmComm) page.
Part of Emergency Communications is Emergency Preparedness. Be prepared, always prepared. There are many sites related to emergency preparedness, but few ham sites cross over and few of the others mention ham radio. One of the things is to always have first aid training and supplies in the house and every vehicle. What supplies may depend on ones amount of training. Also at least one fire extinguisher in the house, garage, and each car.  Each communicator should be trained in basic and even advanced first aid, CPR, and fire suppression. Many A.R.E.S and RACES groups require several FEMA classes and even the ARRL Emergency Communications courses. All are topics requiring more space than can be handled on this site.
In Florida we not only get hurricanes we also get wild fires and search and rescue deployments. We've got an active A.R.E.S. group here in Flagler County,, and Flagler County Emergency Communications Association as well as REACT Flagler County Emergency Communications Association and members maintain several repeaters throughout the county. The 2-meter band is used as the primary emergency band as well as 70 cm, D-Star and GMRS. For those interested in D-Star and more information on some of the ham radio activities in Flagler County please visit the Noth East Florida D-Star repeater blog at NE-FL D-STAR
This page was copied from the original web site. The ARES link may or may not work as Flagler ARES has changed sites several times since this was originally posted. The D-star group is also not as active as it was at first so the link may or may not be current.
Several amateur radio operators in Flagler County belong to all of the above listed organizations as well as being emergency volunteers for the County EOC and the local fire departments. Many also belong to the Flagler Palm Coast Amateur Radio Club. Information on this club can be found here: W4FPC.
Please visit the above sites (or Facebook) for more information on our repeaters and if you live in or near Flagler county and are interested in getting your amateur radio license please contact one of our members for information on licensing. The sites also contain emergency information. The county emergency site is
To be prepared for an emergency deployment I decided like many hams to build a jump kit or go-kit. These kits can be as simple or complicated as desired. My first kit was made from an ammo can which held a gel battery and VHF amp to power my HT. As things progressed I decided to get with the program and build a bigger kit that I could use at home, on the road, or for emergency communication. I've seen kits built from file carriers, large ammo cans, tool boxes, tube caddies, wooden boxes and even the $7.00 orange box from Wal-Mart that now costs about $18.00 (find them in the marine section in sporting goods). File carrier boxes can be bought for less than $10.00 or choose the more expensive ones.  As far as the emphasis placed on water proof by some, water proof is not necessary. Will the station be operated under water? It it nice to have a case that keeps the rain water out during transport, but unless all connectors are sealed, all screws and other mounting hardware that goes through the case is sealed, a water proof case will no longer be water proof. I used o-rings between the connector flanges between the case and around the connectors, silicon seal in the screw holes, but I do not think I would like to subject my kit to being submerged. My cases are made by MTM-CaseGuard and all state -- water resistant, not submersible, NOT waterproof.

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