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72-Hour Emcomms Kit

This guide is a recommended items list to set up an Emcomms Station and keep you relatively comfortable for at least 72-hours. Feel free to add or remove items as necessary.



  • Copy of Amateur Radio License

  • ARES / RACES / REACT Identification Card, if appropriate




  • Warm jacket

  • Sturdy work shoes or boots

  • Extra socks and underwear

  • Extra pants and shirts

  • Rain suit

  • Hat with wide brim

  • Work gloves

  • Reflective vest (Deployment Vest)




  • Blanket or sleeping bag

  • Folding cot or plastic tarp for ground cover



Basic 72-Hour Disaster Kit



Miscellaneous Items

  • Spare eyeglasses or contacts and solution

  • Cash, including small bills and coins for public phones, etc.

  • Fanny-pack/Back-pack

  • Space Blanket

  • Small refillable water bottle

  • Large trash bags

  • Flashlight w/extra batteries (white LED type preferred)

  • 100 feet of 550 Paracord (the good stuff is the 7 strand MIL-C-5040H Type III)




  • Swiss army knife and/or Leatherman-type multi tool

  • Screwdrivers, Phillips and flat

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Vise Grips

  • Diagonal cutter

  • Crescent adjustable wrench

  • Hammer

  • Electrical tape

  • VOM multimeter

  • Duct tape

  • Crimper and wire stripper

  • Soldering Iron w/solder

  • Assorted adapters, connectors, nails, screws



VHF/UHF Radio Equipment

  • VHF / UHF radio

    • HandiTalkie (dual band if possible)

    • Spare battery packs (charged) or AA-cell battery adapter with extra batteries

    • Speaker-mic

  • or

    • Mobile Radio (dual band if possible)

    • Switching power supply (A/C)

    • 50 feet extension cord

    • Multi-outlet power strip

  • Headset



Operating Station Equipment

  • Notebook or paper pad

  • Pens and pencils, including a larger marker pen

  • Clip board

  • Watch

  • Maps (BRYAN’S Sectional Map)

  • Blank message forms

  • Printed list of local frequencies

  • Printed list of ITU Phonetics

  • Printed list of Q-Signals

  • Printed list of QN Signals

  • Printed list of ARL Codes

  • Printed list of Emergency Phone Numbers

  • Paperweights, to keep all the forms and other papers from blowing around.



Computer Equipment

  • Laptop for digital and email (optional)

  • Laptop computer pre-loaded with ham programs, etc

  • Laptop power supply and cord

  • Power strip (surge protected)

  • Optional UPS Backup

  • USB or desk lamp

  • Connection cables from laptop to rig

  • Interface unit (ex: Signalink, RadioBoss, RigBlaster, etc.)



Optional items

  • Nut Driver set

  • Folding set of Allen/Torx wrenches

  • 50Ft Roll of Zip Cord

  • Transistor radio

  • Binoculars

  • Scanner



HF Radio Items

  • HF rig (12V dc preferred) with:

  • Antenna tuner with built-in SWR meter

  • Microphone

  • Key or paddle

  • Head phones

  • Headset adapter (Heil)

  • Footswitch

  • External speaker



Antennas, Tuner and Coax

  • 50 ft and 100ft rolls of RG8X or better

  • NVIS antenna: (NOT a mobile vertical)

  • 75m dipole w/ ladder line or 130 ft of wire or equivalent

  • Insulators

  • 3 Masts, 8 ft or more, preferably non-conductive

  • Guy rope

  • Pegs for guy lines

  • Lead weight and 50 ft light line for tossing over tree branches

  • Bright marking tape to warn passers-by of guys and lines.

  • 2M directional antenna w/tripod, mast, guy rope and pegs (Optional)

  • Vertical 1/4 wave or larger mag-mount / ground plane antenna, dual band 2M / 440

  • BNC or SMA to PL259 adapters if needed

  • UHF-UHF barrel adapters


Power Source

  • 12V gel cell 75 A/H with charger

  • Vehicle with 12V battery and gas

  • 20-30 amp switching power supply

  • 50 ft extension cord

  • Multi-outlet power strip



Portable shack:

  • Canopy or shelter tent

  • Folding table and chair

  • Portable light



For public service events

  • Cooler with snacks and drinks

  • Folding table & chair

  • Umbrella (sun or rain)




In addition to a First Aid Kit, you should also consider having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on hand in your emcomms deployment kit and know how to use it.

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