from Survival Blog:
I’ve been a Ham for almost 20 years and held an Extra class for about the last 15 years. I’ve been involved in public safety communications for over 10 years and developed communications plans for a large number of public safety as well as public service events. I’ve developed numerous emergency response exercises, including exercises specifically designed to test and evaluate communications procedures, plans, and systems. I’ve written prior articles for SurvivalBlog on the different communications systems that are available and how to obtain your Amateur Radio license. This article will step you through developing and exercising a communications plan for your preparedness group.
First, your group should identify “trigger points”, which are events that will cause you to start moving personnel and equipment to a predetermined location or checking equipment, like generators, topping off rechargeable batteries, et cetera. Most SHTF events will have some warning signs. You should identify levels, such as perhaps a “prepare” level at which time you:
- begin to assemble any items that may need to be moved to your group’s primary location, making sure your vehicles and any spare cans are full of fuel,
- pull all the cash you can out of your bank account,
- test various communications methods, and so forth.
There could be a secondary level before you go into full blown activation. The best way to list/show these is a simple table with three columns, headed with a level name. Underneath each, provide a description of the trigger events and actions that need to be taken. You can add an additional column that would include a code word or phrase to indicate the level. A phrase that could be passed in a normal conversation is much better than a single code word, i.e., “We’re having a cookout at Bill’s tonight” can be part of a conversation and is less likely to be understood as a “secret message” than a code word like “wolverine”.
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