Emergency vs. Disaster

An emergency is something like a car crash or a house fire. Emergency Services agencies like the Fire Department or EMS practice for and are able to handle “Emergencies” Alberta has the new Alberta First Responder Radio Communications System (AFRRCS) system for communications between agencies and to handle Emergency situations.

A disaster is something like the Edmonton Tornado, The Pine Lake Tornado, the Fort McMurray Fire or the floods in High River where Emergency Services get overwhelmed or Infrastructure gets overwhelmed and outside assistance is needed. If the Cellular system goes down or towers are wiped out the AFRRCS system may not be able to provide the communications needed to cope with the Disaster. This is where ARES can help. We are a group of volunteers with out own equipment who practice to communicate with nothing but our radios. We can do short range communications, and if needed we have portable repeaters to extend that short range. If we need long range communications, we have HF radios that can communicate to other provinces, or states to get that communications out. We can use voice or we can send email, all via volunteer owned and operated radio to get communications out of the disaster area to the people or agencies that are needed to be communicated to.