FUNDAMENTAL OPERATING PROCEDURES
I. Prior to Activation Make sure you are registered with your ARES/RACES EC. File copies of your IS-100 and IS-700 Course Completion Certificates with your EC. Have a basic jump kit ready to go, including critical medications and personal items as well as your radio communications items. Make sure your home will be secure and family can cope without you. If you have been issued an ID card, take it with you. II. Activation by Served Agency When a Served Agency activates your ARES/RACES group, contact other members as requested using a telephone or any other mode that works. Check in to your local ARES/RACES net and wait for deployment instructions from the Net Control Station. III. Reporting to Your Assigned Location Remember that the Served Agency will be using the Incident Command System and that an Incident Commander will be in charge. Remember that under ICS participants may assume new titles and the need to use common terminology is very important to avoid confusion. You must find and identify the Emergency Communicator to whom you will report, probably someone in Logistics who is in charge of communications. You work for the Served Agency, but you may respectfully question your assignment for valid reasons, and you may pass on taking the assignment. You are not a first responder, have no authority, and must be qualified to perform the assigned tasks which must include a communication function. Your attitude should be similar to a non-paid employee. If you decide to accept an assignment, sign in or register, so you are officially recognized as part of the Served Agency. Ask the Emergency Communicator if any other ARES/RACES members have arrived and if you should set up a station and where. Ask about hazards or special problems, considering shelter needs, weather conditions and possible escape routes. Proceed with station setup and establish, or check in with, Net Control Station as instructed when deployed. If possible have two persons at each communications location. If you need to delegate, remember the ideal Span of Control is 1 supervisor to 5 persons, but 3 to 7 persons is acceptable. A person should have only one supervisor to insure accountability. IV. Communication Principles Your job is to get messages through as fast as possible without error or misinterpretation. Served agencies only use serious formal communications under FCC rules, so you should follow the same procedure.
FOR THE ARES/RACES OPERATOR
You must follow all FCC rules that apply to Amateur Radio. You may conduct Third Party Traffic on behalf of a non-ham or allow a non- ham to use the mike if appropriate. If the President invokes War Emergency Powers, only RACES registered amateurs may operate on 144.50-145.71 MHz. and 146-148 MHz. Part 97.403 states that an amateur may use any means of radio communication for immediate safety of human life or immediate protection of property when normal communications are not available. Part 97.405(a) states that when a distress situation exists you can use any means to attract attention. Part 97.405(b) says you may assist a station in such a distress situation. Errors to avoid in an emergency situation: a. Talking too loud b. Using VOX c. Using Q and 10 codes d. Identifying too often e. Using non-ITU phonetics f. Using contractions Do use plain language and acceptable prowords - such as clear, over, go ahead, out, standby, roger Use voice for tactical communications and fax or e-mail for accuracy of lists. Remember the FCC does not allow codes or cifers, so use a courier if you need total privacy. Use NTS Radiograms whenever possible. Log all communications. If you encounter interference move over or switch frequencies, and do not publish your new frequency. Never talk to the News Media - the Public Information Officer does that. V. Taking a Break or Shutting Down Always tell the Net Control Station if: (1) you close down, (2) take a break, or (3) a relief operator is introduced. Move station and turn off radio if requested by Emergency Communicator. Confirm that you are to cease operations permanently from your superior or Net Control Station. Start by packing your equipment and loading it in your vehicle. Clean up trash and other disposables. Replace furniture where it was located, but do not unpack cartons. Do not remove seals or tapes unless told to do so. Thank all personnel you had contact with. Apologize to anyone you may have offended. Make sure logs and records have been preserved. Determine when a debriefing will be held so you can be present. Sign out when ready to depart, so Served Agency records show you are no longer under its direction. Prepared for ARES/RACES use by: WA9KCU, Claude Rev. 05/03/06
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