RACES / ARES Ready Kit

Emergency Communication Ready Kit

Preparation for emergency response requires a scenario to plan against. The degree of preparation depends on the severity of the emergency. The amount and type of equipment required will be determined by:

  • Expected duration of emergency.
  • Geographic area affected.
  • Availability of utilities (electricity, natural gas, water, etc.).
  • Methods of communication (telephone, cell phone, public service).
  • Time of year (temperature considerations).
  • Time of day (natural light or artificial light).
  • Weather (current and forecasted).

While a disaster may require assembling a large amount of equipment, it may not be practical to have all equipment pre-packaged and ready to go. Identifying the equipment needs and how they will be assembled, however, will expedite deployment.

Basic Kit

The items on this checklist should be ready to go for a minor communication emergency. When looking at battery powered equipment, consider equipment that uses 'AA' batteries to minimize the different types of batteries you may need to keep with you.

The scenario is to provide local communication services using a handheld for less than 24 hours and utilities are available. Your assignment may locate you inside or outside a building, traveling in a vehicle other than your own, or being a "shadow" to another individual.

____ Dual Band Handheld____ Speaker-Mike / Headset____ Radio Manual
____ AC Adapter____ Battery Charger____ Lighter Adapter
____ Spare Fuses____ Spare Battery Pack____ 6 ft. Extension Cord
____ Gain Antenna for HT____ Mag Mount Antenna____ Wax Paper (for Mag Mount)
Coax &
____ 3 ft. Length____ BNC Female - SO-239____ BNC Male - SO-239
____ Double PL-259____ Double SO-239____ UHF Right Angle
____ Frequency List____ Area Map____ Activation Plan
____ Phone List____  ____  
____ Photo ID____ Reflective Vest____ ARES Hat
____ Safety Glasses____ Ear Plugs/Muffs____ Dust Mask
____ Sunglasses________
____ Tissue Paper____ Moist Towellette____ Pain Reliever
____ Prescriptions____ First Aid Supplies____ Watch
____ Cash (small bills & coins)____ Cell Phone____ Credit Card
____ Water / Juice____ Snacks____ Seasonal Clothing
____ Flashlight & Batteries____ Multi-purpose Tool____ GPS / Compass
____ Electrical Tape____ Duct Tape____ C-Clamp
____ Notepad____ Clipboard____ Post-It Notes
____ Pens____ Pencils____ Sharpener
____ Ink Marker____ Magnifier____ Eraser
____ Paper Clips____ Rubber Bands____ Envelopes

High Power Basic Kit

The items on this checklist should be added to the Basic Kit when communication using a handheld will not be enough transmitting power. The additional equipment here is intended to set up a mobile unit and portable antenna.


____ Dual Band Mobile____ Speaker-Mike / Headset____ Radio Manual
____ AC Power Supply____ Spare Fuses____ Ext. Cord 12 ga x 25 ft.
____ Gain Antenna____ Antenna Mount____
Coax &
____ 3 ft. length (2)____ 10 ft. length____ 25 ft. length
____ BNC Female - PL-259____ BNC Female - SO-239____ NMO - SO-239
____ BNC Male - PL-259____ BNC Male - SO-239____ N Male - SO-239

Disaster Kit

The items on this checklist should be added to the Basic Kit and High Power Basic Kit when communication is expected to be over multiple days, in a rough operating environment, or without commercial utilities.

Radio &
____ Back-Up Radio / HT____ Radio Manual____
____ Gel Cell Batteries____ Spare Fuses____
____ Adjustable wrench____ Pliers____ Wire Cutters
____ Needle Nose Pliers____ Channel-Lock Plier____ Screwdrivers
____ Soldering Iron & Solder____ Utility Lamp (12VDC)____ Cable Ties
____ Multimeter____ SWR Bridge____ Plastic Sheeting
____ Toothbrush & Paste____ Soap____ Shampoo
____ Shaver____ Deoderant____
____ Work Gloves____ Hat____ Coat
____ Boots____ Underwear / Socks____
____ Blanket____ Sleeping Bag____ Tent
____ Trash Bags____ Food / Water____ Sterno