THIS PAGE CONTAINS GENERAL OUTLINES
FOR TRAINING ON SOME OF THE BASIC DUTIES
SUCH AS EMGERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS,
TRAFFIC HANDLING, STORM SPOTTING,
HAZMAT GUIDES, AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
THESE ARE JUST SOME BASIC LEARNING MATERIALS
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL ARES GROUP FOR
TRAINING THAT PERTAINS TO YOUR LOCAL SITUATION
HAMS ARE PATRIOTIC, INDEPENDENT PEOPLE AN THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS. THE ATITUDE AMONG A FEW HAMS IS THAT " VOLUNTEERS DON'T HAVE TO TAKE ORDERS" THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE ORDERS. BUT IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, YOU MAY WANT TO DO SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF A.R.E.S/R.A.C.E.S (Page 48 of ARRL emcom study guide)
ARRL EMEGERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS STUDY GUIDE
This is one of the continuing education classes that the ARRL is providing. This is a good study guide if you are just starting in emgergency communications. If you have an established ARES group then check with them for exact training for your particular area and agencies that you serve. This document is 147 pages long, for those who want to print a hardcopy.
This material may be copied and freely distributed as long as it is used for educational purposes and not for monetary gain.
If you have questions about any of the material, you may contact Pat Lambert, W0IPL.
The one page that has seemed to have the largest impact and most pronounced need is Net Participants Guide. This PDF copy has been provided thanks to David Doan, KC6YSO.
ARRL EMCOM STUDY GUIDE
The first item that should be studied, is the ARRL is the Public Service Communications Manual. This manual contains the ARRL guidelines to doing public service in two areas. The first part will go into the ARES guidelines and suggestions. The next part will take you into the National Traffic System for handling radiograms.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMUNICATIONS MANUAL
Message handling has been a main stay for Amateur Radio since it's early days. There are some message handling guidelines that the ARRL has set forth. Other agencies such as ARMY MARS also now use the same format for handling of their messages. These are just guidelines to assist you in handling any message traffic that you may be required to pass along. The message forms can be found on the forms page of this site.
RADIOGRAM MANUAL 1
RADIOGRAM MANUAL 2
Another important function is assisting your local National Weather Service Forecast Office with storm spotting. This has helped save lives and provide valuable data for the NWS. This is one of the most common volunteer duties that amateur radio operators probably do. While it can be very rewarding and provide some spectacular views of severe weather, it can also be one of the most dangerous duties to perform. There are many things you must consider when you out storm spotting.
When you check into a weather spotting radio net that is in operation, always give your full call sign and location clearly. Net control needs to know who and where you are at all times. When you check into a weather net, or any net for that matter, remember net control is in charge. If you need to talk to some one that is not checked into the net, please take it to another frequency and advise net control that you will be changing frequencies. If you need to talk to some one that is checked into a net contact net control and ask to talk to that person. When net control acknowledges you, call the station you want to talk to and take them to another frequency. Finally we know not everyone can stay in a net for a long period of time, so when you need to leave please notify net control so they can log you out of the net. This is for your safety so that no volunteer remains stranded out in the field.
One of the first things you must always check, is to make sure you are not trapped in your spotting location. Always make sure you have another road or access to where your spotting location is located. Trees or branches blown down, mud slides or the general public can block your exit. It would not be a good thing to get blocked in with a tornado bearing down on your location. Another thing to keep in mind when selecting a spotting location is streams and rivers. A thunderstorm can drop a tremendous amount of rain in a short time. A small stream can swell to a larger river in a matter of minutes and cause a flash flood, at the least trapping you in you location, at worst sweeping you down stream. The next item you need to consider is lightning. If lightning is getting intense make sure you stay in your vehicle and away from trees, power poles and other tall objects. Always keep in mind that lightning does not always strike the tallest object, and a strike can occur miles from the storm itself, and can strike the same spot multiple times.
Another suggestion is to have a ready bag made up. This can be a tote bag, duffel bag, or whatever you have handy to carry some essential items. Some suggested items are:
State and local maps
Spare handheld radio batteries
Rain coat and/or jacket
Long term shelf life food, such as granola bars or MRE's
These are just some suggestions. If you are new to storm spotting, check with an experienced spotter on what to pack. This bag also doubles as an emergency bag if you local ARES gets activated.
Here is some reference material with more information about severe weather. This publications are courtesy of the National Weather Service.
BASIC SPOTTERS GUIDE
This is tells the basics about sever weather and how it forms.
ADVANCED STORM SPOTTERS GUIDE
This goes into greater detail about super cells and how they form.
This gives a nice description about thunderstorms, how they form and what to expect from a strong thunderstorm.
This gives you a look on how a tornado forms and it's life cycles and what to watch to see if a tornado might be forming.
NOAA WEATHER RADIO GUIDE
This will give you the information on where to listen for NOAA WEATHER RADIO broadcasts.
There are times that you may be in the area of hazardous material. While volunteers are not usually exposed directly to hazardous materials, it does pay to have a working knowledge on how to use an Emergency Response Guide book. The one posted here is the latest edition that I could find. It is 383 pages long so you probably do not want to print it out.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDE BOOK
Thanks to KC0ADP for his assistance with this page.