is the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators.
For Emergency Radio Communications
What needs to be done to have equipment ready in the time of an emergency? Generally, if your equipment is being used on a regular basis for your amateur use, it is likely ready for an emergency. Here are a few things that you can do to be prepared and to maintain your equipment for your normal use at the same time.
Use supporting structures for your antennas that will survive adverse weather conditions such as wind and ice. Keep materials on hand to repair your antenna and supporting structures in the event of damage. Items to keep in stock might include sufficient antenna feed line, tubular mast to support wire and / or vertical antennas, T-posts used for fencing or other suitable anchorage for your antenna support.
Maintain a deep cycle marine type of battery in case the power goes out. If your equipment requires high voltage supplies, then a generator in operating condition would be a good idea.
A good junk box can yield many useful things, if you have thought about what you keep in it. Extra microphones, keys, coax connectors, wire lugs and nuts, etc.
A battery operated flashlight with spare batteries changed out to avoid losing charge in prolonged storage is always nice when the lights go out. A propane or gas camping lantern with extra socks or at least a good supply of candles is better than "feeling" your way around.
If you have a handheld radio, then extra batteries should be maintained to prolong its use. An adapter to connect it to an automotive battery is a good item to have on hand. If you don't use it much, do you have the manual and can you program frequencies and tones into it?
If you have a mobile radio or portable setup, be sure to maintain the vehicle battery and connections. A battery isolator and additional battery to power the radio is very desirable. Maintain the vehicle so that it is mobile! Maintain the antenna and feed line on the mobile antenna. Keep tools of the type and quantity necessary to maintain your radio in the vehicle.
If you intend to travel to the aid of others, you should have a "jump kit" stocked and ready to go with you. It should include personal hygiene items, a change of clothes, bottled water and food that will store over time. Consider your needs and remember that you are going to help others, not to become dependant on them to help you.
If you have a cell telephone, make sure that you have an automotive battery adapter to power and recharge it. If the cell system is not working when you leave, it may well come back on before your return home.
Some links for more
information on emergency communications readiness and "go kits":