EmComm - Emergency Communications
In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail.
Unlike commercial systems, Amateur radio is not as dependent on terrestrial facilities that can fail. It is dispersed throughout a community without "choke points" such as cellular telephone sites that can be overloaded.
Amateur radio operators are experienced in improvising antennas and power sources and most equipment today can be powered by an automobile battery. Annual "Field Days" are held in many countries to practice these emergency improvisational skills. Amateur radio operators can use hundreds of frequencies and can quickly establish networks tying disparate agencies together to enhance interoperability.
Radio amateurs in whole world has formed local organisations for EMCOMM.
One of these organisations is DARES - Dutch Amateur Radio Emergency Services.
DARES consists of a group of radio amateurs and shortwave listeners who offer their knowledge and radio equipment during a disaster or major incident. The organisation is built upon the 25 safety regions defined by Dutch authorities. DARES deelnemers worden getraind om te werken volgens uitgewerkte procedures (om chaos te vermijden) en pas na certificering worden ze ingezet. De certificering is niet levenslang geldig en moet regelmatig vernieuwd worden. Hoof doel is om de berichten vanaf de plaats van incident over te brengen. Deze berichten worden op dit moment op twee manieren doorgegeve. Met spraak en via e-mail die over de ether verzonden wordt.
DARES is recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs and Royal Relations and is a non-profit Foundation.