- A complete communications inventory, listing all two-way radio systems and any others with which a well planned and equipped Emergency Operations Center should have to communicate. This meant all the internal and neighboring public safety systems, utilities, transportation, RACES, CAP, CB, GMRS and others.
- A complete identification of deficiencies: everything you didn't have, but should have. Few jurisdictions have everything they need.
- A complete acquisition plan, which listed budget estimate, and in what fiscal year the items were to be acquired to correct the deficiencies. Obviously, such a planning document requires annual updating.
The first principle is that of planning. The RACES plan is what first comes to mind. Is there one in effect and does it reflect in general context that of the model plan in general use in the State? But planning goes further than that. At one time there was a planning document by FEMA for jurisdictions, called ECDP for Emergency Communications Development Plan. That plan had 3 parts:
Question: What skills are the most important for a Radio Officer?
Reply: The Radio Officer position is one of management skills more than that of operations or length or class of license. Although it is very helpful, a ham license is not required for a Radio Officer, except for RACES. Other than novice, the class of license is not important, either.
From the perspective of forty years of directed nets for communications volunteers in government service this is what I have learned.
The following nets usually die off for lack of interest:
[Submitted by Richard Ferguson, Assistant Emergency Coordinator, Boulder, Colorado. KA0DXM @ WA8ZIA.#NECO.CO.USA.NA]
Here are three keys to successful emergency operations:
CA State OES began the Bulletins in the early 1950's to assist agencies and radio operators to become more familiar with RACES. They were issued periodically until 1985, at which time they began to be issued weekly over voice and digital radio systems of Amateur Radio and in print. Originally intended for California, increased demand, and a 1988 request by the ARRL for national distribution, led to their eventual worldwide distribution.