Hurricane/Emergency Preparedness

One of the more important missions of radio amateurs is to provide communications during natural disasters and other emergencies. HIARC participates in Brevard County emergency preparedness, and provides operators to man shelters, hospitals, and shadow public service officers when needed. These roles and responsibilities are outlined in the county's communication plans. Please check out the following documents to ensure you will be ready to serve when the time comes! Emergency Communications in Brevard County

Brevard County Emergency Communications Plan Map (Adobe PDF)

South County Comm Plan Map (Adobe PDF)

ARES Communications Log (Template) (Adobe PDF)

South Brevard Emergency Network

South Brevard Emergency Network - Operations Plan (Adobe PDF, 195kB)

The South Brevard Emergency Net meets every Thurdays at 7:00PM on the 146.850 MHz repeater.

"The South Brevard Emergency Net (SBEN) of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is made up of FCC licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and/or equipment for emergency communications duty. The SBEN is administered by the Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society (PCARS), in cooperation with the Harris-Intersil Amateur Radio Club (HIARC) and on behalf of all licensed ARES members in South Brevard County."

Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software (NBEMS)

NBEMS is a suite of software applications which amateur radio operators can use to send and receive messages using an analog radio and a computer (Windows/Linux/Mac). It does not require addition hardware , though a sound card interface to the radio works the best. Typical emergency operation can be handled by holding the microphone up to the computur speakers, and placing the radio near the computers microphone for receive. NBEMS can work on HF as well as UHF/VHF (including FM). Software is also available for Android.

Links to obtain the software, troubleshooting and instructions can be found on the PCARS website

A link to the ARRL QST article can be found here

NBEMS uses MT63, developed by Pawel Jalocha SP9VRC. It uses 64 with of 500, 1000 or 2000Hz. MT63 is quite forgiving of audio levels and works well in weak signal environments. And of course it works with FM repearters.

Background Checks For Amateur Radio



Brevard County LImits Background Check Release Form (Adobe PDF)

Since amateur radio operators first gave their time and expertise to assisting in emergences there have been many changes which have effected all of our lives. One of these is to ensure that persons we come into contact with who are vulnerable to undesirables are protected.

Recently Brevard county required all volunteers and employees who would come into contact with children, the aged or infirm while working in county facilities to undergo a simple background check. The check includes those responding in an emergency and applies to Shelter managers, School staff and principals, nurses, doctors and other health care and ancillary staff at hurricane shelters and includes communications staff e.g. amateur radio operators. It is solely for the protection of the at risk persons seeking refuge. Most of the other titles have already been cleared.

The county advises that two actions are taken on receipt of the "Authorization to Release Information" form (attached).

A. The Homeland Security representative will check to see that the applicant is not on the national sexual predator register.

B. The application is then forwarded to a special office dedicated to background checks at the Brevard County Sheriff's office where a check is made for any felony or incarceration at a correctional facility within the past seven years.

This is all that occurs for most persons volunteering for the kind of tasks we undertake during an emergency.

The county form titled "Authorization to Release Information" is attached. This form is a standard county form used usually for permanent employees and is broader in scope than needed for temporary volunteers. Amateur radio operators should be cleared via the checks in A and B above since there is no need to investigate further.

All ARES members and any radio amateurs who might volunteer in an emergency are requested to fill in and sign the attached form and return to one of the addresses below as soon as possible. Please include your callsign somewhere on the form -

AB4ET N4LEM Ray Kassis

1575 Harlock Road 1150 W.King str.

Melbourne FL 32934-7184 Cocoa FL 32922

If you would prefer to send the form direct to the authority please mail to:

Brevard County Emergency Operations Center, Attention: Ron Ricci, 1746, Cedar Street, Rockledge FL. 32955-3133

OR you can fax direct to Ron Ricci at 633-1738

NOTE: Currently, background checks for the American Red Cross are understood to not be required for volunteer periods less than seven days.


John Weatherley AB4ET


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