In addition we are allowed on 27 different FEMA channels for coordination with FEMA, State OES, Counties etc.
Each of our HF stations use type accepted equipment. We are heading towards ALE but these units are expensive.
California Red Cross units have access to the Regional Government 800 MHz portion of the spectrum to be able to use a stand alone pair for Red Cross coordination plus access to National calling and coordination repeater pairs, and tactical channels. These channels are shared with local, county OES departments. We also maintain two portable repeaters that can be deployed to a specific area and a cache of handheld/mobile units.
EDIS Emergency Data Information Service
State OES created a digital information system which can be heard in most of the populated areas of California. Red Cross has been an active participant and many chapters have EDIS equipment. In addition we maintain a quantity of portable units that can be deployed to areas with no cell or phone service.
Each chapter maintains local agreements with area amateur clubs, ARES, RACES & ACS groups to support communications in the early part of the disaster. This may include: shelters, damage assessment, links to local government and sending information from victims to relatives saying they are OK.
This is where I think this forum will be valuable to Red Cross. Often times we need help in the Communications function to support the disaster. We need individuals who are familiar with all types of communications equipment, including telephone installation, managing hundreds of cell phones, pagers, satellite, HF, and can act as facilitators between Red Cross and local groups.
If anyone is interested in joining this elite group, which by the way pays all your travel expenses including air fare, food and lodging, please contact me for more information.