Here are three keys to successful emergency operations:
- Adequate training for emergency operations. This would include good procedures developed through practice.
- A good working relationship with the served agencies. If the hams do not have a close working relationship before the emergency, they will either not be utilized at all during the emergency, or utilized poorly. Perhaps the best reason for a focused group rather than an umbrella group is that a dedicated group is what the served agencies generally want! They are the "customer" for the ham radio emergency service and they need to be satisfied.
- Good coordination between the ham groups. If each ham group acts like its own kingdom, not deigning to speak to other ham groups, the emergency response will not be coordinated well. One key aspect of most agencies is a lack of shared frequencies; that is, one emergency agency may not be able to talk to another emergency agency. The hams need to be able, if needed, to provide the communications "glue" between many different agencies, governmental and non-governmental. Politics on the part of the hams or the agencies, often stand in the way of essential cooperation.