CERT Communications Guideline
(Place this document in your backpack
During a major disaster accurate and clear communication
between the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and First Responders in the field, between EOC and volunteers (CERT members),
and between volunteers in the field is paramount. To address this situation a two tiered radio communication system has
been established. A series of 25 watt GMRS base stations has been strategically placed throughout the greater Florence
area which will communicate directly with the EOC and with each other over a restricted Channel 22. Anyone with a GMRS
radio can listen to this radio traffic, but cannot transmit on this restricted channel. These base stations are currently
located at Fire Station #1, Coastal Village, Florentine Estates, Greentrees Village, and Dune City.
A CERT communications grid has also been established that
divides the city into several sections with unique RFS/GMRS frequencies assigned to each. The respective base stations will
monitor the CERT frequencies in their area for communication with CERT members in the field. The base stations will then
pass information on to EOC as it is received. Thus, a system has been designed that can both provide direct information
to CERT members in the field and to provide communication links between these volunteers in the field and the EOC.
Your Role as a CERT Member
Most hand-held GMRS radios come in pairs. In an emergency
you should tune one radio to Channel 22 to monitor information from EOC. DO NOT TRANSMIT ON THIS CHANNEL, BECAUSE
IT CAN INTERFERE WITH COMMUNICATIONS ON THE RESTRICTED SIDE CHANNEL! Tune your other radio to the assigned channel
in your area. This will be your link to the EOC via one of the base stations.
Should you not be able to establish communications with one
of the base stations, try one of two changes: (1) change your communication channel to a different one in a neighboring
area. (2) If this doesn’t work move to higher ground and try again.
If you have established contact with one of the base stations
state your name, location, and provide as much information as possible about the situation in your area. If you hear
another member trying to communicate unsuccessfully with a base station, communicate to this person that you are in contact
with a base station and will act as a repeater for them.
Rules to Remember
- Listen before you talk so you do not “walk over”
someone else’ communication.
- Press the send button for a second before you speak
- Speak clearly and slowly, with the handheld unit a
few inches from your mouth and angled slightly away from you.
- Identify yourself and give your location.
- Be concise and let everyone know when you have finished
your transmission; that you will be standing by for instructions.