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Emergency Communications and ARES. Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club Union City, TN. Presented by James C. Hall, MD – WB4YDL. December 7, 2004. Tennessee ARES Structure. Larry Marshall WB4NCW SM. Sheila Talent KB4G SEC. Ken – AF4ZR West TN ASEC. Tom – K1KY Middle TN ASEC. Mark – AG4OA

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emergency communications and ares

Emergency Communications and ARES

Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club

Union City, TN

Presented by James C. Hall, MD – WB4YDL

December 7, 2004

tennessee ares structure
Tennessee ARES Structure

Larry Marshall



Sheila Talent



Ken – AF4ZR

West TN


Tom – K1KY

Middle TN


Mark – AG4OA

East TN


tennessee ares structure3
Tennessee ARES Structure

Ken – AF4ZR

West TN


Gary – W4GT

District 2


Randy – WB4LHD

District 1


Dave – K4WWV

District 3


tennessee ares structure4
Tennessee ARES Structure

Gary – W4GT

District 2


District 2 EC’s

Carroll: David – KE4VJC

Dyer / Lake: Ed – KE4UJP

Gibson: Greg – KD4UJT

Henry: Jeffrey – W4JPG

Obion: Jamie – WB4YDL

Weakley: Alan – KA4BNI

amateur radio emergency organizations
Amateur Radio Emergency Organizations
  • ARES: Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • RACES: Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
  • Skywarn
ares membership
ARES Membership


  • Organize amateur communications response during a disaster or crisis.


  • ARRL membership not required
  • Not necessary to spend money
  • Don’t have to spend a lot of time – just dedicate your spare time.
liaison with served agencies
Liaison with Served Agencies

ARRL has MOU’s with the following:

  • American Red Cross
  • National Weather Service
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Assoc. of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
  • National Communications System
served agencies con t
Served Agencies (con’t)
  • National Assoc. of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers
  • Salvation Army
  • Society of Broadcast Engineers
  • Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams (REACT)
national disaster medical system
National Disaster Medical System
  • ARRL has no formal agreement, but lends informal support to its operations – usually at section level
  • Purpose is to establish single national medical response capability
  • Disaster Medical Assistance Team
  • Evacuation capability
  • Voluntary hospital network
community response
Community Response

Community Emergency Response Team – CERT

  • ARES/RACES contribute to community response during a disaster
  • CERT training available by FEMA and by local/regional emergency organizations
  • Training includes fire safety, hazardous materials and terrorist incidents, disaster medical operations and search and rescue.
communications emergency
Communications Emergency

A communications emergency exists when a critical communications system failure puts the public at risk.


  • storm knocks out telephone lines or radio towers.
  • massive increase in use of a communications system that causes it to overload
  • Failure of key component in a system that has widespread consequences i.e. 911 failure
emcomm volunteer
Emcomm Volunteer
  • Wide variety of backgrounds, experience and skill levels
  • Common attributes:
    • desire to help others without personal gain
    • work as member of a team
    • take direction from others
how do you fit in
How Do You Fit In ?

Amateur Radio Operators are “communications commandos”

Hams have the ability to rapidly enlarge their communications capacity to meet growing needs in an emergency – something commercial and public safety systems can not do.

how do you fit in14
How Do You Fit In ?

Many of the skills are the same ones used in daily ham activities.

Other skills are specific to emergency communications and must be learned. Without these skills, you could easily become part of the problem.

day to day vs emergency communication
“Day-to-Day” vs. Emergency Communication
  • Emergency communications involve both amateur and non-amateur operators.
  • Emergency operations happen in real time.
  • Emergency communicators often deal with several continuous nets simultaneously to pass critical messages within a limited timeframe.
  • Emergency communicators are often asked to organize and coordinate field operations with little or no warning.
  • Emergency communicators may need to interact with several key organizations simultaneously.
day to day vs emergency communication16
“Day-to-Day” vs. Emergency Communication
  • Emergency stations must be portable.
  • Emergency communicators contact specific stations quickly.
  • Emergency operations have no schedule.
  • Amateur radio emergency communicators have the equipment, skills, and knowledge to create additional capacity in a very short time.
anatomy of a communications emergency
Anatomy of a Communications Emergency
  • Early Phase: no immediate need for emergency communications

- “watch” or “warning” periods – monitor developments, prepare to deploy if a request for assistance comes.

  • Served agency puts out call for volunteer communicators.

- EOC (emergency operations center), field locations, or both.

anatomy of a communications emergency18
Anatomy of a Communications Emergency
  • Rapid Response Teams (RRT)

- small sub-group deploys minimal response in a very short time.

- backed up by more robust response in an hour or two.

  • Resource Net

- Set up to handle incoming communications volunteers and direct resources where they are most needed.

- Volunteers not assigned to a task check in and monitor the net.

anatomy of a communications emergency19
Anatomy of a Communications Emergency
  • Operations – depends on the agency served and the circumstances.

- staffing shelters to handle calls for information, supplies, and personnel.

- collecting and transmitting damage reports.

- pass health & welfare inquiries to / from refugee centers.

- logistical needs of the served agency (supplies, equipment, personnel).

anatomy of a communications emergency20
Anatomy of a Communications Emergency
  • Over time, the need for emergency communications networks will diminish and eventually the networks will be dismantled and closed.
  • The emergency communicators group should then review the effectiveness of its response soon after operations are closed.
a day of infamy
A Day of Infamy

Original radiogram sent by Commander in Chief of Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC)