How to become involved in Emergency Communications

I recently received an e-mail from someone wanting to get more involved in emergency communications.   I though I’d post a portion of my response since it might be useful to anyone visiting our site:

“If you are at all interested in emergency communications, and it sounds like you are, I highly recommend getting involved with ARES.  The primary reason for that is the experience you would gain as a radio operator.  As you could imagine, in any type of emergency, a HAM radio isn’t going to do anyone any good if there isn’t someone who knows how to use it, and where to tune to get the necessary information, or call for help.

Our ARES weekly training nets are designed to teach this.   Additionally, the Utah County ARES (UCARES) participates in numerous inter-agency exercises and events to hone our skills, and to become familiar with the various agencies we would need to deal with in the event of an emergency.  It’s important to us that the various public service agencies (police, fire, EMS, hospitals etc.) know who we are, and are familiar with us, and comfortable with our capabilities.  If they don’t know us, or are unfamiliar with our capabilities, then we are of no use to them.”

I strongly encourage everyone to become more involved in their community emergency preparedness.  Wether it through CERT, RedCross, ERC, or one of the numerous other community organizations, your involvement will benefit both you, your community, and the ARES organization.