Emergency communications

The provision of emergency communications is one of the fastest growing areas of amateur radio around the world.

Amateur radio is so useful to emergency communications because it does not depend on any infrastructure.

That means amateur radio does not rely on the electrical power grid or any cabled network.

Although mobile phones and the internet have wireless capability, they are still dependent on fixed masts and cabling which can be severely disrupted by a natural or man-made disaster; so while very useful in an emergency, mobiles and the internet cannot be relied upon completely.

When the phone lines are down and the electricity is off, it is still possible to communicate worldwide with amateur radio using only battery power.

This versatility has saved many lives over decades of amateur radio emergency service.

Amateur radio still gets through when everything else has failed.

RAYNET Reunification

RAYNET was formed in 1953 following the East Coast floods, when radio amateurs provided emergency communications, and was administered by the RSGB.

In the early 90s for various reasons a split occurred in RAYNET with some groups remaining with the RSGB, some forming a new organisation and some operating independently.

Since 2013 the RSGB’s Emergency Communications Committee has been working towards bringing the Raynet groups back under one organisation.  After a long period of consultation a memorandum of agreement between the RSGB and RAYNET-UK, the re-unified Raynet, was signed.  This sets out their new, complimentary roles and co-operative relationship.  This can be viewed here RSGB RAYNET-UK Agreement 2016.

In essence, the new unified organisation, RAYNET-UK, is an affiliated Special Interest Group of the Society.  In turn, only RAYNET-UK have the task of providing the special support which groups need, such as specific insurance and photo ID.  Only groups in RAYNET-UK are able to use the title RAYNET.

The RSGB has now ceased providing RAYNET specific services, e.g. insurance. Many RAYNET groups are affilliated to the RSGB as Clubs.

Last edit to this page:  31 January 2018