Amateur radio operators on Oahu that participate with emergency communications are registered with Department of Emergency Management (DEM) on Oahu as RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) radio volunteers. Click on this link for more information on C&C DEM OCD RACES.
Similarly, amateur radio operators working with Hawaii SCD (State Civil Defense) are registered under SCD's RACES program and other amateurs are registered with their respective agencies. Many are registered with ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service), the emergency communications portion of the ARRL (American Radio Relay League), the national organization of amateur radio operators in the United States.
As one of the original contributors to ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (ARECC) in 2000, I highly recommend becoming proficient in passing messages, with special emphasis on timeliness and ACCURACY, and having your radio station ready to operate at all times. I also recommend the use of the ANDERSON Powerpole connector for your 12 volt DC power needs. You just never know when you'll need to communicate as a result of an unexpected emergency.
Enjoy, and feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions.
If you're reading this page just before an emergency strikes and have not yet made preparations, it's probably too late. Accomplish what you can in the remaining moments. If you haven't yet stocked up before the emergency, get started by referring to this bookmark.
If you're reading this and it's not yet an emergency, NOW (and not later) is a great time to get going on your preparations. Remember the saying: "Snooze, you lose." The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster is a good guide to use as a starting point.
Review your action plan with your family.
If you're reading this page just before an emergency strikes, have made your personal preparations and are getting your radios ready, refer to this bookmark to get started.
If you're reading this page just before an emergency strikes, have made your personal and radio preparations and need the frequencies, refer to this bookmark to get started.
If you're reading this page just before an emergency strikes, have made your personal and radio preparations, have the frequencies and want to avoid the most common pitfalls in emergency communications operations refer to this bookmark to get started.
Emergency communications is used when normal means of communications are overwhelmed or unavailable. Community-based emergency communications is based on where you live and work. It is also based on where you may have to evacuate during a disaster. If you're interested in participating in emergency communications, feel free look through these pages and contact these people.
- What is emergency communications and why do we need it?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Emergency Planning Guidelines for First Responders
- How Amateurs Accomplish the Impossible During Disasters
- Emergency Communications in Hawaii Using Amateur Radio
- Primer on ARRL's ARES organization and FCC's RACES radio service
- FAQ on ARES operations and RACES radio service operations
- How Hawaii amateurs responded to Hurricane Iniki, Sept 11+, 1992
- Year 2000 Emergency Communications in Honolulu: Dec 31, 1999-Jan 1, 2000
- KGMB9 Video of Communications during emergencies c/o KARC
- How Hawaii amateurs responded to the Kiholo (Kona) Earthquake, Oct 15, 2006
- How Hawaii amateurs responded to the tsunami from the Chilean Earthquake, Feb 27, 2010
- Amateur radio response and media coverage of the Chilean Tsunami, Feb 27, 2010
- Amateur radio response and media coverage of the Honshu, Japan Tsunami, Mar 11, 2011
- Queen Charlotte Island Tsunami, Canada, Oct 27, 2012
- Tropical Storm Flossie, July 29, 2013
Emergency Incidences on Oahu
There are quite a number of incidents on Oahu each year that could potentially lead to situations requiring emergency communications.
Take time to read this PDF article. You'll recoup the investment in time with the increased, time tested and proven knowledge.
Emergency preparedness is an individual responsibility. A disaster is not the time to find out that you're not prepared. You can't do much on the radio if you're struggling with taking care of yourself.
A lot of your personal success to weather a disaster or interruption involves how much preparations you've made when the situation is normal for the difficult times. In the time just before a disaster strikes, it is very hard to mobilize and reposition many things that's needed, so now is the time to get it done. Just make a checklist and accomplish one item at a time. Do it now!
The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster is a good guide to use as a starting point.
Check out this book for additional information which you may find useful.
If you interested in some simple ideas that you can accomplish to be better prepared, see these six simple tips on radio preparations. It doesn't take much or very long to implement, but it goes a long way to being prepared. If you're wondering why, consider the key points about Hawaiian geography and radio propagation highlighted in this article. If you wish to be better prepared, check out this list.
You should also be using Anderson Powerpole connectors on your 12 Volt DC cables. Find out how the Anderson Powerpole became the national standard power connector.
A disaster is also not the time to find out that you're unable to effectively pass accurate messages in a timely fashion. You should be familiar with passing ICS-213 messages, and the ARRL Radiogram messages. To practice, join in some of these radio nets, and practice during the annual Makani Pahili hurricane exercises in mid-May and the SET (Simulated Emergency Net) in October.
- How to compose test practice messages
- Learn the radio protocol for passing ICS-213 messages on the radio
- Jeff AH6IX's ICS-213 Test Message Generator
- Procedures for making Radio Tests on Simplex
- Makani Pahili 2013
- Makani Pahili 2012
- Makani Pahili 2011
- Makani Pahili 2010
- Makani Pahili 2009
- Makani Pahili 1999
- Simulated Emergency Test 2013
- Simulated Emergency Test 2012
- Simulated Emergency Test 2011
- Simulated Emergency Test 2010
Now is the time to learn more about the many different ways to make and maintain radio contact. Take a look at this web page for starters.
Alerts: To get advanced warning of weather, tsunami and other alerts, you may wish to pick up a Radio Shack Weather alert radio with the SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) feature. You may wish to refer to the Hawaii SAME Codes to program the SAME codes into your radio.
You can also monitor other near-realtime alerts.
Read up on the the General Process for Alert and Activation in Hawaii.
As amateur radio operators and emergency communicators, you need to be a problem solver: (a) be able to resolve problems with your station and equipment, (b) be able to resolve and work through problems with other stations regarding net operations, and (c) be able to solve problems that are in front of you and work with people to get it solved.
There is information about response plans and standard operating guidelines. The actual response will vary from incident to incident, and exercise to exercise:
- Standard Operating Guidelines(SOGs)
- Response Plans
- Emergency Communications Net and Frequency Information
- Hawaii State RACES -- Communications for the State of Hawaii
- DEM RACES - Communications for the City & County of Oahu
- DEM RACES - District Simplex Frequencies
- Kauai Simplex Frequencies
- Maui County Simplex Frequencies
- Repeater Frequencies for the State of Hawaii
- File with Memory Channels for Hawaii for the Kenwood TMD710
- Healthcomm - Communications for Healthcare Association of Hawaii
- Organizations and Points-of-Contact
- ARRL Field Organization Emergency Communications Web Page
These are links to external web sites of interest.
Click on these logos for more information about these programs.
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