Nothing will fail until you need it most!
JLRG encourages Amateur Radio Operators to be ready to respond!
What will you need in order to respond as a professional communicator?
What will you bring?
What will you leave?
What will you forget?
How long will you be deployed? Will food be provided or, are you responsible for it?
The answers to these questions will determine what and how much to pack. In general, you should prepare to be self-sufficient.
- A few days?
- A couple of weeks?
FORMS AND MANUALS
What about the forms and documents you'll need? For this area, the ARES
ICS-205 is officially maintained at the PBDARES
site. JLRG also maintains an EmComm library.
Will you know how to operate the radio at your deployment site? JLRG
maintains documents repository with information on antenna, ICS forms, transceiver manuals, etc. One of
the more important sections here will be the trasceiver operation. Locally, Palm Beach County has
deployed the Yaesu FT-8800.
You should also bring a copy of the manual for your personal radio.
It's a great idea to make paper copies of the forms. Additionally, if you
will be providing a portable computer at the deployment site, you may opt to
place key documents on a flash drive to carry with you.
How about power? Bringing your own? Can you recharge it? Will you be able to interoperate
with other power sources onsite? Keep in mind the standard connector for ARES deployments
is Anderson PowerPole. If you haven't already, it's a great idea to go ahead and
adopt your power supplies and radio connections to the 30A PowerPole connectors.
Providing your own battery? Keep in mind lead-acid batteries produce a potentially
explosive gas while charging. It's best to use an alternative battery type such as AGM or LiFePO or LiPo.
Keep in mind that Lithium batteries can be ruined by over discharging and require specialized charging
circuits to balance the internal cells. We recommend AGM which are designed as a deep cycle battery.
Solar/PV? Great idea, but keep in mind you'll need to calculate the panel output vs battery size vs duty-cycle
(rate-of-consumption.) Recharging your HT battery is a lot different than recharging a pair of deep-cycle AGMs.
Also, will you be in a location where you can get to a generally southern-facing sky to maximize the PV production?
How many panels will you need? What's the weight Where will you need to transport them to on-scene? You'll need to
size your battery and reserve capacity such that you will have enough to get through the late afternoon, evening
and early morning before the sun returns to "charging power."
There will be multiple agencies coming together to respond to a large disaster. A system has been
developed that helps to get everyone speaking the same language and working in the same fashion in order to
foster a more effective team. That's the Incident Command System (ICS.) Are you trained? You need to
complete some basic ICS training including the
IS-700a, IS-100b, IS-800b and IS-200b.