THE EMCOMM COMPREHENSIVE EQUIPMENT AND PERSONAL GEAR CHECKLIST
Updated: 12 JAN 04
This is a COMPREHENSIVE list of equipment, supplies, and personal gear for EMCOMM personnel and/or ARCTs to carry during emergency or public service activities. Use it as a guide from which to pick and choose and make your own list(s) based upon your own requirements.
Please note: There isnít a lot of actual radio and other communications equipment listed. (Too many choices, opinions, like/dislikes, personal preferences, etc.) The assumption is that hams already know about all that stuff. The focus here is to get you thinking about all the other gear you might need!
Whether a "Type V" ARCT or a full-blown "TYPE I" ARCT*, All EMCOMM operators and teams responding to a field assignment ("field" includes indoor settings) should maintain a state of readiness with enough supplies and gear to sustain them for at least 72 hours. This applies to field or "go kits" carried on foot or via modes of transportation other than your own vehicle, your own mobile unit(s), and also for home and/or work. Your inventory of gear will vary based upon what service you are registered in, where you live, local climatalogic patterns, etc.
Consider keeping a "ready-kit" handy that is stocked with essential items that are common to any/all assignments. Large "Rubbermaid" type storage containers are handy to keep other/optional items that can be quickly retrieved and packed as needed. Many responders maintain a "winter inventory" and a "summer inventory". Other find it more advantageous to keep the "ready-gear" in the trunk of their car, or in a water/dust proof container in their station wagon, van, truck or RV.
Not everyone on a team needs to carry "one of everything". In "true team fashion" a coordinated team may assign certain individuals to ALWAYS bring a certain item. For example not everyone has, nor should bring, a generator; when only one may be needed to support a field EMCOMM station. Someone else might be assigned to bring a portable shelter (sunshade, tent, etc.). But this only works if you have team members that you can depend on!
* ICS-ARCT INFO at: www.emcomm.org/ARCT/index.html
"ALWAYS TAKE" ITEMS:
1.1 ID Card(s) for any and all agencies with which you are registered. (American Red Cross, local or state RACES, SAR, etc.)
1.2 Copy of your FCC Amateur Radio License. Copies all FCC licenses (e.g.- "club" calls) you are authorized to use should be carried.
1.3 Personal prescription and OTC medications. Carry list of all medications you take, plus name/address of doctor(s) and pharmacist.
1.4 Eyeglasses (+ spare pair), sun glasses. Safety glasses or goggles.
1.5 Appropriate clothing, headgear, sturdy shoes/boots, Ďkerchief or scarf. (If Ďkerchief is ORANGE or other bright color, it can double as a signal flag.)
1.6 Water. One gallon per day per person,
1.7 Small notepad, pen(s), pencils, spiral logbook/clipboard, RADIOGRAM forms.
1.8 Flashlight(s) (a "Snake Light or "Mag-lite" plus a pocket pen-lite is good).
1.9 Watch or small clock. (With an alarm is ideal).
1.10 Respiratory (dust) masks.
1.11 First-aid kit. (See section eight below)
1.12 Food for three days. "MREs" are OK but expensive. Carefully chosen grocery store items are just as good. Consider cracker and cookie "snack-packs", serving-size canned tuna/chicken/Vienna sausages/potted meat/SPAM, pudding, fruit, bag of "GORP" or other trail mix. Jerky is good (if your teeth are also good). And there is no better food value for 10Ę...than an egg! If time permits, boil a few and stow them in your pack. Condiment packets, (salt, pepper mustard, mayo, catsup, honey, etc.) are FREE at fast-food joints. (You probably should buy a meal before you fill your pockets!)
1.13 Proper "in vogue" fashion accessories. Cap, vest, jacket, name badge, etc.
1.14 Your OWN "ready book", include a copy of your local EMCOMM team plan, roster, telephone numbers, frequencies, and other reference items.
1.15 Maps. (Road, "topos", nautical charts, aeronautical.)
1.16 Magnifying/reading glass. A battery powered LIGHTED magnifier is terrific for map reading, splinter removing, electronic work.
1.17 Day pack, "fanny" pack, or knapsack.
PERSONAL AND COMFORT ITEMS:
2.1 Toilet paper. (A partial roll, flattened, in plastic bag fits well
in pack or pocket. Add a few extra assorted-size baggies).
2.2 Feminine sanitary napkins. (Use for wound dressings in emergency).
2.3 Paper towels or handi-wipes. (PLEASE...none with "baby-room scent!)
2.4 OTC analgesic(s) of choice. (Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen.) PLUS, antacids, anti-histamines, vitamins.
2.5 Lip balm, sunscreen, hand lotion, nail clippers, emery board, toothpicks. Stim-U-Dents (at pharmacies) better than a toothbrush!
2.6 Eyewash of choice (Visine, Murine, etc.)
2.7 Snacks, breath mints, "energy bars" or candy. (If youíre not allergic to peanuts, Snickers bars are best since they have protein, fat and carbohydrates. (IF YOU ARE OVER FORTY ... a bag of prunes may be VERY helpful!)
2.8 Small jar/baggie of instant coffee, tea bags, bouillon cubes, or cocoa mix.
2.9 Small pocket/pen knife. Also a knife, fork, spoon, cup and plate.
2.10 Insect repellant of choice.
2.11 Personal protection items. You can determine what this means. Some are available at your local pharmacy and others are at local sporting goods stores. Use DISCRETION in this area. Refrain from doing anything immoral or illegal when on assignment. Your supervisor surely wouldnít want to have to send you home to mama!
2.12 Carry some ready cash and loose change.
RADIO AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT GEAR:
(Very applicable to Type I ARCTS)
3.1 VHF/UHF Handie-Talkie (For short-range tactical communications). Extra alkaline battery (if at all possible) for above, and/or spare CHARGED Ni-Cad battery and charger.
3.2 VHF/UHF Mobile/portable (25 watt or higher) transceiver. Appropriate antenna, mast, and feed line for above. 12v battery, charger and/or power supply for above.
3.3 Headphones for ALL transceivers.
3.4 Desk microphone(s).
3.5 HF all band, multi-mode transceiver. QRP capable rigs are best.
12v battery, charger and/or power supply for above. Appropriate NVIS antenna, mast, feed line, and ATU ("tuner").
3.6 SWR meter
3.7 Morse key(s), keyer(s).
3.8 Spare fuses for ALL rigs other gear.
3.9 Assortment of patch cords & adapters (BNC to PL259 etc.)
3.10 Ample (extra) coax cable, connectors, adapters, and other wire.
3.11 Tool Kit (Screwdrivers, pliers, dikes, wrenches, hammers.)
3.12 Electrical tape, and DUCT TAPE.
3.13 Cans/bags of assorted WIRE NUTS. Solder lugs and crimper. Also, a supply of nails, nuts, bolts, screws...and other assorted hardware items, including hose clamps, glue, gasket cement, silicone, etc.
3.14 12 and/or 120-volt soldering iron and solder.
3.15 Volt-ohm meter. Other test equipment.
3.16 Generator(s) and spare fuel in safe containers. Siphoning hose.
3.17 HD extension cords, junction boxes, adequate 110 vac lighting.
3.18 Gas or kerosene lanterns and extra fuel.
3.19 Folding table(s), chairs, and/or stools.
3.20 Supply of rope, cordage, and tent stakes. (Canít have too much!)
3.21 2-4 lb. "single-jack" (hammer), shovel, pick, hatchet, axe, splitting maul, saw.
3.22 Power drill, power saw(s), air compressor, propane torch, welder.
3.23 50-100 ft. garden hose with nozzle.
3.24 Fire extinguisher(s). Coffee cans filled with baking soda are inexpensive. (Throw handfuls of the soda at base of small fires).
3.25 Water bucket(s). (Galvanized, plastic, collapsible. etc.)
3.26 Garden or other pump-type sprayer. Keep filled with water for fire protection.
3.27 Gasoline powered water pump with adequate suction and outlet hose.
3.28 Lightweight ladder
3.29 Appropriate "signage". Carry materials to make and post new signs. (Cardboard, poster board, BIG waterproof markers, pushpins, tape, ruler, etc.)
3.30 Roll(s) of yellow CAUTION tape.
3.31 FCC Rule Book, Public Service Communications Manual, ARRL Net Directory, ARRL Repeater Directory.
3.32 Pocket Calculator
3.33 Camera(s) + extra film and/or floppy discs and/or video tape.
3.34 Tape measure (50 or 100 ft.)
3.35 Field telephones and as many miles of "twisted pair" (wire) that you can scrounge. As many sets as you need and can acquire. Military/Signal Corps field units are best.
3.26 Courier transmittal envelopes and/or tubes (that a can be sealed and/or locked).
3.27 Bicycle(s), Mo-Ped(s) and/or ATV(s). Include tire and other repair parts/kits.
3.28 Ice chest(s) or other field refrigeration units...appropriate to the need.
CLOTHING AND OTHER PROTECTIVE GEAR:
4.1 Rain suit, poncho, chaps, "flood boots", large garbage bags and plastic "drop cloths". (Use to make poncho, or pack and/or gear covers.)
4.2 Cold weather clothing. (Best to "layer it" as you dress.) Gloves. ("Neoprene dipped" work gloves are inexpensive...and work great!)
4.3 Work gloves and boots. (Useful in all settings).
4.4 Hard-hat and safety goggles or face shield.
4.5 Respiratory protection.
4.6 Blanket(s) and/or light tarp(s).
4.5 Small (or large) tent.
4.6 Multi-blade pocket knife
4.7 Sleeping bag & pillow(s)
4.8 Extra warm socks and underwear.
5.1 Mess kit (include cleaning supplies such as dishpan, soap, towels, scrubbers, etc).
5.2 Coffee pot, skillet, utensils, and other cookware.
5.3 Cook stove and fuel, and/or fire grate.
5.4 Kitchen matches in waterproof container.
5.5 Roll of aluminum foil.
FIELD AND SURVIVAL GEAR (Items not listed in other sections):
6.1 "Buffalo gas and flint". (Pocket-size butane lighter)
6.2 Waterproof matches, or kitchen matches in waterproof container.
6.3 Candle or small candles. (The "canít blow Ďem out" birthday candles are an excellent choice.)
6.4 Logger/surveyor flagging tape and black waterproof marker. (To "sign" a trail.)
6.5 Baggie or small can of flour. (Use to mark a trail.)
6.6 Sheath knife. (Camillus 5" blade U.S.A.F. Pilotís Knife is good.)
6.7 Signaling Mirror.
6.8 Compass. (Recommend Silva or other good quality sighting model.)
6.9 Signal (aerial) flares. (FIRE HAZARD) BE CAREFUL!
6.10 Signaling whistle (as loud as possible!)
6.11 Side arm. (Be LEGAL and do not carry unless you know how to safely use it!)
6.12 Water filter/purifier, chemical water treatment, or container to boil water.
6.13 Pocket GPS receiver.
6.14 Handie-Talkie and rollup J-pole antenna and cord to support.
6.15 Hiking staff. A hardwood broom or mop handle makes a dandy
"stick". (May keep you from falling and breaking something, and may come in handy to fend off unwanted four-legged, two legged,
or even no-legged visitors! Sharpen the bottom end a bit, drill a hole near the top and add a leather or rope loop. Personalize it with a wood-burning tool and stain if you wish.) Use tape or rubber bands on it for tracking. (Measuring stride.)
6.16 Binoculars or monocular (more compact).
6.17 Respirator (filter) or large bandanna & water. (Very important in fire season!)
6.18 Water canteen.
6.19 6 ft. tape measure.
6.20 Pocket saw. Piece of hacksaw blade will often suffice.
6.21 Piano wire. (Snare wire)
6.22 Fishing line, hooks, split shot, etc.
6.23 Snowshoes or cross-country skies.
6.24 Ice crampons.
6.25 Climbing harness/belt, carabineers, Figure 8 descender, other climbing gear.
6.26 Knee protective pads. (For cave work.)
6.27 Backpack and belt-packs as you prefer.
6.28 Bible, prayer book, poetry book, or whatever devotional material you enjoy.
VEHICLE RELATED STUFF:
7.1 Jumper cables.
7.2 Tow-strap or chain.
7.3 : Visual emergency warning and
signaling devices, such as non-incendiary (electronic) devices or
fusees / flares. NOTE: When using flares always use EXTREME
7.4 Carry extra gasoline, oil, and coolant.
7.5 Binoculars. (Get the best you can afford).
7.6 "Hi-Lift" Jack. (42" recommended).
7.7 Vehicle extrication/winching equipment. (Snatch blocks, cables, hooks, etc., are NOT RECOMMENDED unless you have received training and safety instruction!)
7.8 Old tarp and/or coveralls. (For crawling around under your rig.)
FIRST AID AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES:
8.1 Disposable gloves, face mask, eye protection.
8.2 A Basic FIRST AID KIT can be assembled for little expense. Start with a 3-lb. coffee can or other suitable air-tight container. Suggested items include:
4 - Pressure dressings for larger wounds. Sterile 4x4ís, "ABDs", feminine pads, and roller bandages. May be made from old clean sheets, or unbleached muslin, etc.
4 - Pressure dressings for smaller wounds. Sterile 2x2ís or 3x3ís and narrower (2-3" wide) roller bandages.
1 - roll of 1" plastic, paper, or cloth adhesive tape.
1 - Baggie of assorted adhesive compresses (Band-Aids)
1 - Baggie of cotton tipped applicators (Q-Tips)
1 - Baggie of antiseptic swabs or wipes. (Providine/iodine is good.)
1 - Baggie of alcohol pads.
1 - Small plastic bottle of liquid soap or antiseptic hand wipes.
4 - Triangle bandages. (Make from unbleached muslin by cutting a "right triangle" measuring 40" on the two equal sides. Folded, they become Cravats.
1 - Baggie with large safety pins, bandage scissors, and tweezers.
1 - Baggie of powdered GATORADE. (For electrolyte replacement.)
NOTE: All the baggies can "double" for making ice bags.
1 - Small towel.
1 - Plastic sheet. (To cover/protect patient in rain/snow storm.)
1 - American Red Cross (or other good) FIRST AID BOOK.
8.3 2 (or more) "Crash Blankets." Old warm blankets that might be discarded anyway. Can be purchased at thrift shops, surplus stores, etc. These are often "sacrificed" (not retrieved) after a patient is transported to hospital.
8.4 STURDY folding cot. GENUINE G. I. Army Cots are good.
8.5 Stretcher. Know how to use safely. DO NOT do a "Hollywood" transport! (One or two bearers on the ends.) A proper four-person carry is performed with one person on each end, and one person mid-way on each side. The patient is secured to the stretcher and transported (usually) feet first, with ALL four bearers facing forward, and NOT walking in cadence.
MISCELLANEOUS ADVICE (Just for fun):
9.1 If you carry a "Snake-bite Kit" you will probably not encounter a snake.
9.2 To avoid encountering a bear...buy a bear tag. (And if you should see one, back away slowly and NEVER get between mama and cub.)
9.3 Donít eat yellow snow.
9.4 If you get lost...attempt to defecate. Someone will walk up an say "hello"...as soon as you relax.
"Keep yer batteries charged...yer hubs locked, and...yer powder dry!"
- O. M. Wilson