Emergency Communications

Objectives of the RARC Emergency Communications Program are to:

  • Inform members and the general public about emergency radio communications and provide instructions on private use of Amateur radio equipment during emergencies
  • Train and prepare members on emergency communication practices so they can be better prepared to volunteer and participate in local emergency programs
  • Organize the club to provide Amateur radio support as a unit when requested to do so during an emergency

Information and Education on Emergency Communications and Preparedness

General background on emergency communications – Offer introductory sessions on emergency management and communications for interested individuals who are unfamiliar with and want to learn more about the topic. Presentations will be similarly structured like the ESS and VVC introductory courses with the objective to stimulate interest in becoming involved as an Amateur radio operator with a radio club or an emergency programs organization.

Promoting awareness of emergency communications and preparedness – The message would be incorporated in RARC outreach initiatives and public events such as display booths at local community events, and club events such as seminars. The annual Emergency Communications Display and Swap Meet (name to be changed) has set the cornerstone for developing a venue to deliver that message on a large scale.

Information about emergency communications and management - This would be a compilation of reference materials that are publicly available from local emergency communications organizations and could be of tactical use such as:

  • List of emergency frequencies (as created and used by VECTOR)
  • List of local repeaters and frequencies (from BCARCC)
  • Operational structure of local emergency programs (REMO, NSEM)
  • Coordinates of local emergency management organizations

Information about RARC emergency communications – Compilation of reference materials on RARC that would be useful or necessary in the event of an emergency and should include:

  • Call-out list of club members with necessary contact info
  • Database of members’ skills, experience, training, activation availability, etc.
  • List of emergency communications assets and operational procedures
    • Activating station VE7GOG
    • Deploying communications trailer (e.g. hitching, set up)
    • Deploying radio go-kit
    • Using power generators
  • Copies of operation manuals for communications assets (some already compiled)
  • Record of operation capabilities of equipment and locations (some info already on file)

Activation grab-and-go list – List of personal items to prepare and bring along in case of a sudden call-out for activation or for participation at an event.

Radio communication deployment list – List of radio equipment, accessories and related items to bring for participating in events such as Vancouver Sun Run.

Handbook for emergency communications members – Compilation of info to use as a handy reference for members involved in emergency communications. Publication can also be modified and adapted for use by other local emergency communications organizations. This task may be outsourced to another party for content and publication development.

Training on Emergency Communications Topics

Participating in a directed net – Introduction and training on formal net control operations for those who do not have any radio net operations experience. This is to prepare operators for participation in emergency radio communications, which is usually carried out in a form of a directed net control environment if more than two radio operators are involved.

Net control operator – Prepared radio operators for running a directed net when formal, disciplined radio operation procedures are required, such as for event communications and handling emergency radio traffic. This would follow procedures from ARES/ARRL handbook.

Sending radio messages – Primer on sending formal radio message using standard NTS forms.

Sending radiograms – Instructions on how to send radiogram message using required equipment.

Public sessions on use of Amateur radio for emergency preparedness – Offer a series of presentations on incorporating Amateur radio activities into emergency preparedness planning with topics like:

  • Using Amateur radio to access emergency communication traffic
  • Participating in emergency programs as an Amateur radio operator
  • Providing message relay services as an Amateur radio operator
  • Building a personal Amateur radio go-kit
  • Joining an Amateur radio organization that is most suitable for you

Organization for Emergency Communications Support

Call-Out Procedure – Re-establish call out procedure to activate and engage members in the event of required support during an emergency. The last time a call-out for activation occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 when Richmond Emergency Management contacted key RARC members to provide radio communications for organizations involved with accommodating unexpected airline passengers redirected to YVR. This procedure is for internal use within the club as there are presently no operational ties between RARC and the City.

Distribution of information – Facilitate membership access to emergency management information from EMBC and local emergency management organizations.

Database of participating members – Establish database of skills, experience, training, activation availability, etc.

Maintenance of asset capability – Inventory club assets for emergency communications, identify their capabilities and establish process for testing and reporting state of readiness. Should constantly update coverage/accessibility of local repeaters in the Richmond area as reference for eventual field deployment.

Improve emergency communications capabilities – Upgrade RARC communications capabilities to transmit or send messages through radiograms and WinLink.

Participation in BCWARN – Explore and assess feasibility of RARC getting involved with BCWARN and similarly related emergency communications capabilities.


Emergency Communications Program for RARC
Proposal to Club Membership by Urey Chan, VE7URE
- edited Apr. 30, 2018 (document name: ECP-whtpaper3a)

Communications Assets
Club station VE7GOG at Parks Canada Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
Communications trailer

Portable radio grab-and-go kit

Repreater VE7RMD, 147.140 MHz locatred at City of Richmond Public Works Yard

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Updated December 4, 2018