EmComm, Emergency Communications

What happens when it all stops working! Cell towers down, burnt, overwhelmed, no power? Repeaters fail, damaged, antenna fails, power fails etc. what Modes, Methods, Bands are available to Hams?

Systems down, now what?

The first obvious answer is VHF/UHF simplex but this is highly limited to range, topology, frequency availability and coordination during an emergency. But deployment is very easy, quick and flexible.

A highly overlooked and disregarded mode that is easily deployable, functions mostly automatically and was designed as a single frequency emergency operation mode is the “Automatic Packet Reporting System” or APRS commonly referred to as a “Vehicle Tracking System”? Based on the original “Packet Radio” designs it has evolved into so much more including weather, time, GPS locating, message handling, bulletins using radio based digipeaters and when available internet gateways allowing operation through Smart phones.

Look for more APRS information through these links:

“Automatic Packet Reporting System” or APRS

Another option for EmComm is HF “Traffic Handling” through software, one option is WinLink Global Radio Email.

Using an out of area contact on the HF bands, having them relay information to another station that may be too close for groundwave propagation on “Phone” or SSB/AM modulation could also serve as an emergency contact. I’m sure there are other modes/methods/bands and I will post them here as I am forwarded the information or find more. Please feel free to suggest your ideas or forward any information to expand this section on our website.