RACES is activated when the Town of Huntington opens the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). As per the Town of Huntington Emergency Preparedness Plan (Rev 2/6/2003), RACES operators will be part of the staffing of the EOC 12-24 hours before a Level II Partial Activation and 12 hours or less before a Level I Full Activation. The Town requests communications from “…amateur radio personnel…provide radio links between the EOC and other key facilities.”
Radio Officer (RO)
Steve Hines N2PQJ
A proper fixed station at your home QTH is required for reliable communications. VHF is line of sight for local contacts. Install a roof mounted omni-directional vertical antenna as high as possible. A VHF radio with a minimum power of 35-50 watts is recommended. Handheld radios can be used to receive repeater transmissions, but are not reliable for simplex and should not be used as primary equipment. Net Control stations use a second radio for HF, which also can have VHF/UHF. We use 10 meters for local communications. New York State RACES nets are on 75 meters , net controllers should have this capability. HF Vertical antennas can be used in limited space. Many operators have wires and use them with good results.
Our digital net uses Fldigi software to send forms. You will need a PC in your shack with a digital interface (Signalink, Rigblaster). We also use Winlink Express to send and receive email via Telnet, 2 meters local packet and HF long range.
Don't forget that battery backup is a must. Have a plan if your station is knocked 'off the grid'.
In summary, here is an equipment list: