Field Resource Book

Building your own Field Resource Book

If you are deployed to an emergency without the Internet available, or if your computer gives up, you will need to have an old-fashioned resource list on paper.  You need to build your own resource book, so that it applies to you and your station and you are intimately familiar with it. Take it with you when you are deployed in an emergency.

Note that the value of a resource book is two-fold: 

  1. The process of building the book forces you to visualize various scenarios, decide how you would handle them, and decide what you might need in your resource book. (That’s why we don’t just build a book for you.)
  2. The book itself may be your most valuable single resource during a deployment.

The following suggested list is a starting point; your resource book is yours, so feel free to add or leave out items listed below. If you have suggestions to add to this list please let us know.

Start Here: ARRL Resources

Download the ARES Field Resource Manual (PDF-92 pgs, free). ARRL says,

This manual is intended to serve as a quick trainer and field resource guide for the emergency communicator. It is a reference for amateurs deployed in the field for emergency services work, primarily through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES). It provides basic program information, forms, operating aids and templates to be customized for the local area to include reference information such as important phone numbers, emergency frequencies, maps, organizational details and more.

The Field Resource Manual is also available from the ARRL Store as a spiral-bound book ($12.95,) and a Kindle version ($7.99) is also available.

Check out the ARRL website for more information for your manual:

Jefferson County Local Information:

Then check out the Jefferson County EOC Reference Library for local information, maps and forms to include.

Additional contents to think about:

Start with a large three-ring binder and plenty of dividers (i.e. A – Z).  Organize your material so you can create a workable table of contents.  Here are some ideas you may want to include:

  • Title page with your identification and emergency contact information
  • Table of contents
  • Checklists for deployment
    • Personal gear checklist
    • Radio/Station checklist (I use 4 categories)
      • Radio setup including all connectors
      • Antenna setup & accessories
      • Power system& accessories
      • Spare parts/tools/meters
    • Manual/Instructions for transceiver & any other complex equipment
  • Contact information:
    • Names/Callsigns/Phone numbers of other RACES members
    • Local emergency services emergency numbers AND “backline” phone numbers
    • Names/Callsigns to contact adjacent jurisdictions
    • Repeater book, or list of all repeaters within range
    • Other frequencies & net schedules
    • EOC/FEMA contact numbers, names, frequencies
    • Amateur Band charts & frequency plans
    • Scanner frequency lists
  • Emergency Services emergency plan
  • Forms
    • ICS Forms & instructions
    • NTS Forms & instructions
    • Q-codes and prosigns
    • RST/RSQ definitions
  • Local Jefferson County WA information:
  • Applicable Rules and Regulations