An Action Plan for an Extended Communications Failure


How this web page came about and why you should make the effort to prepare.

Table of Contents


This manual is about Communications after a GRID DOWN event. We are not talking about RACES, ARES Traffic Handling or typical Ham Radio Emergency Services. It is about using communications to help yourself, your family and your community during a disaster.

For the purposes of this document, I want to differentiate between emergency and disaster communications. Emergency communications like Races, ARES, Red Cross, and FEMA communications are highly structured. You usually have to take some courses on message handling, the Incident Command System and things of that nature.

But disaster communications are more informal, with communications between individuals for their own benefit. Perhaps a fitting description would be tactical communications. It is very unstructured. It "just happens".

Here is a bit of background about how this document came to be.

I have been involved in emergency communications of one sort or another for many years. As an air traffic controller, as a hospital administrator with disaster communications responsibilities, I did search and rescue in Maine for many years and also was a communications asset for the National Red Cross. And of course I was very involved with amateur emergency communications in Maine and now in Arizona.

It was in my capacity with the National Red Cross that I was involved with Katrina. Their ECRV or Emergency