Emergency Communications Team
Principles of Operation
Scope of TVARC ECT
The Villages Amateur Radio Club (TVARC) is a community service group, active in all aspects of Amateur Radio. The Villages Amateur Radio Club, Emergency Communications Team (TVARC ECT) is the community wide amateur radio support to The Villages Department of Public Safety in times of an emergency.
This document addresses the TVARC ECT Principles of Operation as the primary organizer for Amateur Radio emergency communications when activated by The Villages Department of Public Safety.
Activation of TVARC ECT
Upon request of The Villages Public Safety Department for communication support, the TVARC ECT will assume the primary role for Amateur Radio communications in The Villages. The TVARC ECT may interface with outside Nets depending on the circumstance. The basic guideline that TVARC ECT will use is to maintain simplicity and efficiency whenever possible and to provide unedited and timely communications for the served agency. Accuracy and speed will take precedence over formal or informal traffic handling procedures. The TVARC ECT Net Control will establish; a primary net, subnet(s), and station(s) responsible for interagency traffic as needed and will operate on set of predetermined frequencies listed below. TVARC ECT members are encouraged to self activate by monitoring assigned frequencies and if possible checking into the operating net. Members will receive their assignments either during the call up process or from the NCS at the time of check in.
TVARC ECT should be familiar with these frequencies and pre-program and test their equipment. A full list of frequencies located in the TVARC ECT section on the TVARC website; www.k4vrc.com . The minimum frequencies that the TVARC ECT will use are:
Stations assigned to command posts and operation centers will notify the NCS during check in of that special status and identify who at the site is authorized to approve messages for transmission. If possible member will post the Amateur Radio Communications sign at the operating position.
TVARC ECT Standard Operation and Guidance
Experience in formal message handling is not required but would be very helpful. For those members of the TVARC ECT that are not experienced in formal message handling the “The ARRL Emergency Communication Handbook”. ISBN: 0-87259-938-8, chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 are highly recommended to understand the many functions of emergency communications. At a minimum members should review the Radiogram training located in the TVARC ECT section on the TVARC website; www.k4vrc.com.
The preferred method for message handling utilizes the ARRL Radiogram Form. It provides a consistent format and easy record tracking. The main focus is to get the message out no matter what format is used. It is up to you to assure that the unedited message was sent. If you are able to keep a log of the messages you send, just record the time/date and who it was sent to or received from.
TVARC ECT Member Guidance
Anytime there is the potential for a disaster to occur from an event such as a severe weather system, tornado, hurricane or anything else, members of the TVARC ECT should monitor the TVARC ECT Primary frequency as well as the local news and weather reports and SKYWARN if appropriate. They should take the necessary steps to assure their family and home will be secure if an activation of the ECT occurs. The call up could occur prior to a potential disaster or immediately afterward. Fill your car with gas and be sure that your emergency rations are adequate.
TVARC ECT Member “Go Kit”
A comprehensive list of recommended items called a Personal “Go Kit” is located on the TVARC ECT section on the TVARC website; www.k4vrc.com. Chances are you won't need everything on the list but there is a very good chance you will need many of the items. The circumstances you encounter will determine what you will need. It is better to be prepared to handle as many situations as possible. You may want to add other items to this list that you think would be helpful to you. You could keep it in the car or other convenient location but add the food items last.
TVARC ECT Resource Management
Resource management becomes a critical factor based on the duration of the event. Relief operators for the NCS and other assignments will be managed by a team selected by the TVARC Board of Directors. This “team” will take an overall view of the operation to determine what changes can be accomplished for greater efficiency.
Your Personal "Go Kit"
When an activation of the ECT occurs, you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your family and home will be secure during your absence. The call up could occur prior to a potential disaster or immediately afterward.
The list below contains recommended items that you should stock in your “Go Kit” We won't know what the environment will be at the assigned location. The items on this list will cover a variety of different operating environments and provide you with the best opportunity to get “on the air”. Add what ever additional items you think you will need. Do not add food items until you are ready to deploy.\
1. Copy of your Amateur Radio License, Drivers License, Village ID
2. Rig (s):
a) Mobile Radio (dual band if possible)
b) Handheld Radio (dual band if possible)
c) Back up battery(s), auto battery, cigarette lighter adapter, AC power supply
d) Antenna, roll up portable jpole, mag mount (19” will operate on 2 mtrs and 70cm), etc.
e) Coax (25' – 50'), barrel connectors and misc adapters
f) Headphone, speaker mic
g) Rig Manual
h) Compass and/or GPS
a) Lined note pad 8.5 x 11
b) Radiogram forms
c) Map of The Villages
e) duct tape, scotch tape or masking tape
f) flashlight with extra batteries
h) pencils and ball point pens
i) Rain coat
j) yellow highlighter
k) Medication, (a 3 day supply), small first aide kit containing band aides
l) Food (high energy snack), Water (the warmer it is the more you will need)
m) Frequency list and other operating information including important phone numbers
n) Amateur Radio Communications Sign
o) Bedroll/blanket and pillow
p) Insect repellent
q) sun screen
r) Toilet Paper
s) Sun Glasses and/or an extra pair of your regular glasses if you wear them.
a) Swiss Army style knife
b) Screwdrivers both Phillips and flat
d) Side Cutter
e) Crescent Wrench
f) Electrical tape
h) Extension Cord
i) Soldering iron with solder
j) Folding Chair