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CERT Communications

Information in this section is derived from:
FEMA - Citizen Corps: CERT Emergency Communication
FCC - CFR Part 95 - Personal Radio Service
FCC- CFR Part 97 - Amateur Radio Service
ARRL - Amateur Radio Emergency Service(ARES) Manual
FCC- ARRL: Introduction to Emergency Communication (EC-001)

This section describes three forms of communication that may be used during an emergency, disaster or for training:


TELEPHONE LANDLINE
This is the primary means of communications while the phone lines are still working.

The Communications Section of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) has lists of phone numbers of organizations that may provide information or support over the phone.

It will also indicate when it is appropriate to contact them and what services they provide.


AMATEUR RADIO
Amateur radio has long been an emergency backup to failure of conventional communications. The FCC has delegated the job of licensing and managing the amateur radio bands and frequencies to the American Radio Relay League(ARRL).

ARRL has developed the Amateur Radio Emergency Service(ARES) to provide emergency
communications (EmCom) in support of, or to back-up, conventional government emergency communications frequencies. Specially trained and certified amateur radio operators in your CERT can communicate with county emergency operations, other CERTs and other volunteer organizations, such as Red Cross, on the ARES EmComm networks.

The local ARES teams can also provide radio and network training, drills and exercise support and other amateur services such as "Wellness message" delivery during disasters and emergencies. These capabilities are available through a Served Agency Agreement between your CERT and the local ARES chapter.

The Communications Section of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) has lists networks and contact frequencies of organizations that may provide information or support over the phone.

It will also indicate when it is appropriate to contact them and what services they provide.


PERSONAL RADIO SERVICE (GMRS)
FCC has authorized the use of GMRS radios for local emergency communications networks during declaired disasters and emergencies and for training in preparation for disaster and emergency situations.

The FCC Wireless Communications Bureau terms for the establishment and use of these radios, within the scope of FCC - CFR Part 95 - Personal Radio Service, on local emergency communications nets are provided in the Communications Section of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).





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