To get KARO ECHO ready for an emergency, we have divided the needed tasks into six main workstreams.
KaroEcho Overview: A list of goals, works in progress, and accomplishments over time
If we want to support radio communications in an emergency, we need radios, antennas, batteries, and more. The Physical Infrastructure workstream is dedicated to deciding where to build city-owned radio stations, how volunteers will access them in an emergency, how the stations will be maintained, and the installation of such hardware/firmware as decided.
Operational Infrastructure -- Operations
Operational radio stations are useless without a plan for how to get messages from place to place, this includes training and procedures. Technical workstream is dedicated to internal frequency coordination, traffic routes, message formats, how radio nets are run, and related.
KARO-ECHO is only as good as the radio operators who volunteer to participate. The Recruitment/Outreach workstream is dedicated to bringing in new and old volunteers, education and outreach, and public relations.
Most people can figure out how to operate a radio, but if everyone starts doing their own thing in an emergency it is going to be chaos. The TRAINING work stream is dedicated to training volunteers on how to format messages, how to pass traffic on an emergency net, how to access city-owned radio stations in an emergency, and how to get an amateur radio license.
Coordination of Frequencies and Nets
There are a number of emergency communications organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, of which KARO-ECHO is one. The Coordination workstream is dedicated to working with other organizations, such as NALCO ARES-RACES, WCoCo County ARES/RACES, State ACS, the Red Cross, CERT, and other disaster services to coordinate frequencies, share teachings, plan cross-area drills, Mutual Assistance Teams (MAT), coordinate local GMRS/FRS interface with ham radio, be able to both give and receive mutual Aid when the need arises.
Creating a practical ham/GMRS/FRS interface structure through the implementation of Neighborhood Communication Hubs, message centers, message center managers, and Communication Hub Coordinators.
You can read more about what we're trying to do and what we have already accomplished on the Overview page.