Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

What is the Radio Amateur’s responsibility for Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness?

Yeah, let’s get that answered and out of the way.

In absolutes their responsibility is “none” – zero, nada, zilch – none.

Personal Emergency Communications Preparedness, even for those of us who are ARRL members, is not a requirement.

[ Wipe Brow and Sigh here ]

That out of the way, it would be an extraordinary Radio Amateur who didn’t have some level of interest in Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness.

That interest could range from simply being glad there are ARES/RACES Groups, to having a grid-independent multi-mode station with portable personal go-packs.

What you do is completely up to your interests, resources, whims and desires.

Some years ago the Freecomm idea of active Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness without the formal structures & obligations was floated.

As a response to the increasing professionalization of existing Emcomm organizations the Freecomm idea is to share techniques, operating pricinples and ideas, without an imposed hierarchy and operating procedure.

Freecomm is most able to use innovative techniques and adaptive structure to accomplish Amateur Radio’s emergency communication desires, where Emcomm is about meeting the served agencies’ requirements in the ways & methods they dictate.

It could be argued that Freecomm is Emergency Communications for the True Patriots in our society.

Very curious what readers think of the distinction – am I making too much of the Freecomm/Emcomm difference, or is it as important as I’m seeing?

Comments welcome,



Tagged , , ,

3 thoughts on “Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

  1. KJ4ZNK - Virgil says:

    I would say that it depends on the individual’s goals; some may want the structure while others do not. Personally, I like a little structure, but not too much. Having structured Emcomm means that Emergency Management is aware of ARES and RACES as an organization, invites us to drills, and trusts us in time of need. However, getting it so organized that the volunteers feel they are in a military unit will turn many away, along with stifling innovation. As usual, the answer lies in the middle; enough freedom to innovate, but enough structure to be effective. This leaves the EC’s and DEC’s in ARES in a position of keeping organization, without over-structuring…a sometimes tough place to be! There are also some people who get into ARES and want to over-structure, and about all the individuals can do is not participate…

    KJ4ZNK – Virgil
    AEC, Grady County, Georgia

    • k9zw says:

      Virgil KJ4ZNK

      Very valid point you’ve made that there is a continuum from under/non-structured to over-structured.

      We need to remember that even in the different groups not every area runs things at the same structure & control level.

      Thank you for helping point this out!



  2. chuck humphrey n6lop says:

    Thanks Steve , I completly concure …….and go my own way

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: