Emergency Response Protocol
Emergency communication Nets are typically activated after a “self-announcing” event, including:
- Power outage
- Industrial accident
Before checking in or activating a net, ensure the safety of yourself and your family!
Net Activation Procedure
After a self-announcing event do the following:
- On the BeCERTAINN repeater, using GMRS channel 22R, announce your presence by stating your call sign and asking, “are there other stations monitoring?"
- The first user on frequency is acting Net Control
- If another station responds, then assume they are the Net Control station
- If there is no response or the repeater appears to be non-operational, then repeat your call on GMRS channel 22 direct simplex. Note: Because the repeater may be disrupted during a disaster, we recommend NOT using any receive PL since simplex operation may be necessary.
- If multiple stations are on frequency, then determine among those present who will be Net Control.
- The Net Controller should record: (1) the call signs and (2) location of other stations, and (3) ask if there is any emergency or priority traffic. The aim of this procedure is to establish situational awareness. For example, during a power failure the controller may also ask whether each of the stations has power or not at their location. These can be recorded on ICS FORM 211.
- If there is a major event with obvious damage, such as wildfire or earthquake, deploy the resource inventory sheet.
- Net Control may be transferred as needed. To transfer, agree who will assume Net Control duty, and simply announce the change to the net. As soon as convenient or possible, the following information should be transferred to the new Net Control operator: (1) the list of stations checking in, (2) situation reports and (3) resource inventory. Since it may be difficult to actually transfer this information in a real emergency, it is a good idea to identify someone to act as backup Net Control and keep a parallel log of the above information. For example, if the previous Net Control operator maintained situation reports and inventories, then they would make a good backup and should continue to log information.
In the event of an actual emergency, the key piece of identifying information, called a tactical-ID, will be your neighborhood or CERT Group name, and your specific function in that neighborhood. While your call-sign need only be given once every 15 minutes, your tactical-ID should be given at the start of every transmission. This will help net-control log and track your communications.