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Old 01-21-2008, 01:26 AM
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Seldom Seen Seldom Seen is offline
Hard Core 4+
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Highlands Ranch
Posts: 564
Default T8

Notes on the T8 section - Emergency and Public Service Communications

When the FCC declares a communications emergency, they will state what special conditions and rules are to be followed

during the emergency.

Usually emergencies are the only time hams can communicate with stations operating in other radio services; this requires

FCC authorization. Hams not helping with the emergency must avoid using the emergency frequencies.

If you hear someone call for help, immediately stop your conversation and take the emergency call. Assume it is for real

and act accordingly.

Tactical call signs such as "command post" or "weather center" are used in emergencies to make communications more

efficient and to help coordinate communications

If calling for help on voice, "mayday" is used; on CW, "SOS" is used. It is considered an emergency if human life or

property is threatened

False emergency calls are illegal; you could have your license revoked, be fined, or go to jail

Emergency communications always have top priority; the rules on what frequencies you can use, etc., can be disregarded in

a true emergency

Preparing for emergencies; check your emergency equipment twice per year, make sure you can use it in a power failure,

participate in emergency drills

RACES is restricted to serving local, state, and federal government emergency management agencies

- before you participate in RACES, you must register with the responsible civil defense organization

ARES supports non-goverment agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and National Weather Service

- before you can participate in ARES, you must have a ham radio license

Emergency power - car or truck batteries, bicycle generators, or portable solar panels

Avoid casual chatter when operating a station for public service to avoid interfering with important traffic

It is illegal to allow a reporter to use your ham radio to make a news report

Personal information concerning victims should not be transmitted during emergencies

If you are participating in an emergency net, once you check in, don't transmit until the net control station requests it

Net control stations must have strong clear signals

If someone breaks in with an emergency, the net control station should stop all net activity and handle the emergency

If there is a big emergency and there is no net control station, start the emergency net yourself and ask for check-ins

When passing emergency messages, you must include the name of the person originating the message

If sending sensitive emergency traffic, use a non-voice mode like CW or packet radio to prevent casual listeners from


The preamble of a message contains the info needed to track the message; this includes the message number, type of

message, handling instructions, length-of-message information (the "check"), the call sign of the station where the message

started, and when and where the message originated

Usually such messages are kept to 25 words or less
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