Limited Disaster Situation:
The normal infrastructure is partially available, amateur radio repeaters are available, what is not available is electrical power, land line and cell phones, the internet is not available.
SCHEART Linked Repeater System: a system which links many repeaters together so amateur radio operators can communicate statewide on VHF or UHF frequencies. Assumption is that these repeaters will have an independent fuel source.
Local Repeaters: many repeaters spread out across the state that can be used as “hops” to pass message traffic locally or regionally. Assumption is that these repeaters will have an independent fuel source.
All capabilities listed in a severe disaster situation are also available.
Severe Disaster Situation:
The normal infrastructure is not available, this includes electrical power, land line, cell phone and the internet all not available, no diesel fuel or gas of any kind for repeaters.
ARRL National Traffic System: a system to pass message traffic locally, regionally or nationally.
Winlink HF: the email system amateur radio operators can use to pass message traffic in a digital format, nationally
Winlink FM: the email system amateur radio operators can use to pass message traffic in a digital format, locally
Simplex Communication: this is one amateur radio operator communicating directly to
another operator that is within radio range of each other.
Cross Band: amateur radio operators can use a UHF frequency that penetrates metal buildings best to communicate to a second radio in their vehicle that will then repeat the transmission on a VHF frequency at a higher wattage to a more distant station.
Digital Voice Communication: Several types are available to the amateur radio operator with DMR being the most well know. While not encrypted, it does provide a higher level of security because the public can not listen to a digital conversation with a simple scanner.
Radio Message Board: An application that allows amateur radio operators to hold conversations in the form of posted messages. The newest one being JS8Call. This application would be used to coordinate the activity of several amateur radio operators. locally, regionally or nationally.
Note 1: The information here does not replace or supersede the tactical communications plan. This page is simply a summary of the tools an ARES volunteer amateur radio operator brings to the table. In the event of an actual activation the tactical communications plan would be followed as close as possible.
Note 2: Not all amateur radio operators have all of the capabilities listed here. The ARES Emergency Coordinator for your county will know the best fit for your needs.