PERSONAL GO-KITS FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS
Mission of the Emergency Communicator
As a volunteer Emergency Communicator, your mission is to get every message you handle to its intended recipient—quickly, accurately, and with a minimum of fuss. Achieving this goal requires that you employ your operational and technical skills at the highest level possible. This means being adequately prepared to]handle an emergency communication assignment, so that you can keep focused on the job at hand and avoid unnecessary distractions.
Being prepared for an emcomm assignment involves a wide range of considerations, including radio
equipment, power sources, clothing and personal gear, food and water, information and specialized training.
Having your Go-Kit planned-out and assembled ahead of time will help you be prepared when the call-out
comes. It is important to think through each probable assignment you might be faced with and plan your GoKit to meet the situations you might encounter.
Types of Incidents
*As an Emergency Communicator, you may be called upon to assist with various disasters, incidents and
• Epidemic / Pandemic
• Earthquake / Tsunami
• Wildfire / Conflagration
• Severe Winter Storm / Flooding
• Hurricane / Tornado
• Terrorist Attack
• Mass Casualties
• Search and Rescue
• Others (usually do not involve a need for Amateur Radio operators, but may under certain conditions)
• Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups (most often in heavy fog)
• Aircraft Crash
• Train Derailment
• Shipwreck / Oil Spill
• Hazmat Incident
Public Service Events:
• Races / Walk-a-thons
• Parades / Celebrations
• ARRL Field Day
• Personal Go-Kit for Emergency Communications
Types of Assignments
You may be asked to assist with any of a number of assignments, from a variety of operating locations, such as:
• Base Station
• Incident Command or other Fixed Command Post (Helibase, Staging Areas, etc.)
• Emergency Operations Center
• At Home (HF Long-Haul Relay or Traffic Net)
• Field Command Post
• Shelter or Intake Center
• Aid or Rest Station
• Mobile Command Post
• Vehicle Ride-Along (Transport, SAG Wagon, etc.)
• Relay Station (Manual Repeater)
Modes of Communications
You may be asked to provide communications using a variety of modes, including:
• Tactical Voice Communications (VHF/UHF FM)
• SSTV / WinLink
• Tactical Message Traffic (VHF/UHF Packet)
• Long-Haul Message Traffic (HF SSB Voice or CW)
• Other Available Modes (Telephone, Fax, Agency Radio, Runner)
Length of Assignment
The length of time you are asked to assist with emergency communications will depend on the type and size of the incident and the number of Emergency Communicators available
• Short—A Few Hours to Less Than A Day
• Two to Three Days
• Long-Duration—Greater than 72 Hours
What is a Go-Kit?
• A Go-Kit is a pre-staged collection of equipment and personal gear that you will need to perform your duties as
an Emergency Communicator in the event of a call-out.
• Your Go-Kit should be tailored to your needs, your equipment, expected assignments, and expected length of
Personal Go-Kit for Emergency Communications
Why you need a Go-Kit
Some reasons why you need a Go-Kit:
• In the event of a major disaster, your assignment location will probably be without power, heat, water, and
telephone service. Most businesses in the area will probably not be open, due to the emergency.
• As an Emergency Communicator, YOU must provide your own Equipment and Gear.
• YOU are responsible for your own Safety, and YOU must provide for your own Welfare and Comfort.
Building your Go-Kit now ensures that the items you will need are:
• Available when you need them.
• Where you expect them to be
When the Activation Call comes, you won’t have time to hunt for things!
Types of Go-Kits
Your Go-Kit should be tailored to your needs, your equipment, your expected assignments, and the expected length of assignments. Break-up your Go-Kit into different types of kits, depending on function and storage location:
• Types of Incident
• Type of Assignment or Mission
• Length of Assignment
By Storage Location
• Carried on Person
• Carried in Vehicle
• Cached at Fixed Location (Home, Office, Shop, etc.)
• Non-Cached Equipment—gathered as needed (Home, Office, Shop, etc.)
Ideally, you should divide your Go-Kit into small, easily-transportable modules, based on expected Type of
Assignment, Length of Assignment, and Storage Location.
Go-Kit modules should supplement each other with additional equipment and supplies, to extend your
capabilities and endurance.
• Day Pack—Items needed for a short-duration or for mobile or foot assignment. Keep in a vehicle
for immediate access.
• 24-Hour Kit—Supplemental items needed for an overnight assignment.
• 72-Hour Kit—Supplemental items needed for an extended assignment of up to three days.
• Field Office Kit—Paperwork, operational aids, and other gear that may be useful for setting-up and
maintaining a portable or base communications station.
• Portable Radio Kit—the classic “Radio in a Briefcase”—for voice or packet.
• Computer Kit—Notebook computer and interface equipment for packet, SSTV WinLink
• Tool Kit—Tools and equipment needed to set-up and maintain your radio station.
• Antenna and Mast Kit—Portable antenna, mast, and tripod/Drive on base and guy lines,
for setting-up an outdoor antenna.
• Emergency Power Equipment—Batteries, Cables and related gear.
• Additional Gear—Sleeping bag, tent, shade canopy, etc.
• Vehicle Tool Kit—Equipment needed to keep your vehicle going.
• Evacuation Kit—Food, water, and equipment needed if it becomes necessary to evacuate from your
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