I agree to Idea Backup Communications are Vital part of Emergency Preparedness
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I disagree to Idea Backup Communications are Vital part of Emergency Preparedness


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Backup Communications are Vital part of Emergency Preparedness

Neighborhood CERT graduates have acquired an Amateur Radio license and purchased handheld radios. Training and exercise programs presented by the volunteer CERT Radio program emphasize sustainability, self-reliance, and, through use of an international standard protocol, cooperation in a large group. Radio networking among neighbors who live in and are familiar with the affected areas are thus able to maintain effective, redundant voice communications in a disaster in the absence of utility power and/or loss of telephone or cellular service.


Familiar use of email and texting is sustained, even with loss of local carrier service through the volunteer CERT Digital local high-speed local radio network. Ad-hoc wireless extensions can be set up as needed to extend a larger radio backbone. As an example, regular smartphones can used by a Medical Reserve Volunteer group in a temporary triage or field hospital to establish redundant, secure communications to an operations center and/or hospital and clinic facilities.

Submitted by in Aug 2012

Comments (14)

  1. Neighborhood CERT graduates have acquired an Amateur Radio license and purchased handheld radios ? Which emergency management groups have been incorporated into the communications plan other than the local High School ? The real question here is if this communicatons arrangement is interoperable with all adjacent/participating agencies and jurisdictions mentioned in the jurictictional EOP ? Is it more than a 2-METER repeater/simplex local communicatins within just a CERT group ?
    in Aug 2012
  2. hbco2, adequate preparedness does require the development of backup communications. I would like to see more viable and extensive emergency communications options added to what you have suggested.
    in Aug 2012
  3. While we train our CERT teams to be ham operators and then incorporate them into our RACES plans, we do not depend on the infastructure needed to support wireless nets, cell phones, smart phones, etc., as it takes nothing more than a nice solar flare to wipe them out.
    In a major storm, the normal infastructure is usually going to be wiped out immediately and will not be back on line for quite some time. Better to stay with the tried and true rather than to bet life safety on the gadgets.
    in Aug 2012
  4. this works we use hams for disasters as they are the only way to send data and messages to the eoc if you think this a bad idea you need to research a little more
    in Aug 2012
  5. A solar flare may wipe out such a data network, but to disdained to use it if you have it means tying one hand behind your back. Not using an arm because is has been shot is not the same as not using your left arm to help lift a box because it's weaker than the right.
    in Sep 2012
  6. DISAGREEMENT: Adequate preparedness does require the development of backup communications. Data networks are fine in average times. A solar flare may wipe out such a data network as well as a flood or wind-storm.
    SUGGESTION: It is prudent to apply a TYPE-1 solution to a TYPE-4/5 incident but not prudent to apply a TYPE-4/5 solution to a TYPE-1/2/3 incident. Failure to estabilish REDUNDANCY (back-up-communication)is the formula of failure. Conventional and prudent response requires; COMMON OPERATING PICTURE, INTEROPERABILITY,
    RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY, AND PORTABILITY, RESILIENCY AND REDUNDANCY which is not inclusive of failure to estabilish back-up communications or sole reliance upon data-networks.
    in Sep 2012
    1. CERT and other volunteer organizations do not reach the level you present. Neither would most members of local goverment.
      in Oct 2012
  7. CERT in general doesn't has any communication standards, so we need these standards first before we can even go more into detail.
    Most CERT teams use GMRS or other low quality low range radios.

    So stop talking about high speed digital radio network before we even have one common standard.
    in Sep 2012
    1. Common standards are established on needs and understanding of the CERT group. Adapt your communications to your needs of information transfer to accomplish the mission. Voice comm will consume 90 percent with printed data for precession and archival uses. CERT groups will vary, it is normal.
      in Oct 2012
  8. The ICS is the system used by emergency response agencies and CERT to manage emergency operations. ICS provides a flexible means of managing personnel, facilities, equipment, and communication and can be expanded as necessary. The Incident Command System is part of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent, comprehensive approach to incident management. It applies at all jurisdictional levels and across all emergency management functions and types of incidents. NIMS was established so that first responders, including CERT members, from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together better to respond to disasters and emergencies. Emergency management and incident response activities rely on communications and information systems that provide a common operating picture to all command and coordination sites. NIMS describes the requirements necessary for a standardized framework for communications and emphasizes the need for a common operating picture. This component is based on the concepts of interoperability, reliability, scalability, and portability, as well as the resiliency and redundancy of communications and information systems.
    in Sep 2012
  9. Training and exercises play a vital role in preparedness, readiness, and proficiency in accessing and using communications capabilities during emergency events. Preparedness is essential to ensuring that interoperable emergency communications equipment is well maintained, operational, and ready for deployment. Achieving appropriate levels of readiness and proficiency ensures that personnel can deploy, set up, and use equipment effectively, both on their own and in conjunction with other emergency responders. Conducting training and exercises helps emergency responders understand their roles and be properly prepared to respond to a wide range of emergency events.
    in Sep 2012
  10. Hbco2, Thank you for your comment on alternative communications. While some of the WiFi spectrum lies within amature spectrum along with part 15 offers some interoprability vhf uhf could not touch and at prices that offer a lot of bang for the buck. We need more young minds eager to expand communications beyond current norms.
    in Oct 2012
  11. You cant play the game by holding only an ace of spades. I have always been able to send a text message but never able to reach any amateur radio operator on national call frequencies. BTDT so no comments on any disasters. I still carry my HT but will not go to a disaster without my tablet.
    in Oct 2012
  12. CERT and other volunteer organizations do not reach the level you present. Neither would most members of local goverment ? NIMS/ICS is the system used by emergency response agencies and CERT to manage emergency operations.Resources may support on-scene and command operations through the Incident Command Post (ICP) or function within the Multiagency Coordination System(s) (MACS) serving at an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or similar site.Resources are organized by category, kind, and type, including size, capacity, capability, skill, and other characteristics. This makes the resource-ordering and dispatch process within and across jurisdictions, and among all levels of governments, NGOs, and the private sector, more efficient and ensures that needed resources are received.NIMS/ICS PERSONNEL are paid and volunteer staff who meet required qualification and certification standards necessary to perform assigned missions and tasks.
    Personnel Qualifications is a term used to denote incidents that require responders to hold credentials under the National Credentialing Program.North Carolina appears to be progressing in this very direction.
    When participants have completed this training, it is important to keep them involved and practiced in their skills. Trainers should offer periodic refresher sessions to reinforce the basic training. CERT teams can sponsor events such as drills, picnics, neighborhood clean up, and disaster education fairs which will keep them involved and trained.FEMA supports CERT by conducting or sponsoring TTT's for members of the fire, medical, and emergency management community. The objectives of the TTT are to prepare attendees to promote this training in their community, conduct TTT's at their location, conduct training sessions for neighborhood, business and industry, and government groups, and organize teams with which first responders can interface following a major disaster.
    in Oct 2012

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