Being prepared as a communications responder involves a wide range of considerations, what radio equipment, tools, power sources, along with clothing, personal gear, and then food and water. Having a go-kit planned and assembled ahead of time will raise your level of preparedness, along with having you ready to go when that call-out happens. There are a number of incidents, be it natural (Earthquake, Wildfire, Storms, and currently in the forefront a Pandemic) or man-made (Attacks, Mass Casualties, Search and Rescue, Aircraft Crash) or finally just a plain scheduled event (Marathon, Parade, Sports Event, or even Field Day).

So you should assemble a go-kit, what is a go-kit? It is a pre-staged collection of equipment and personal gear that you would need to perform your trained duties if called-out to an event or incident. The kit should be tailored to your needs, your typical assignment and be workable for a typical call out timeframe, let’s say 72 hours.

Most kits should be broken into a Basic day pack set of items, a 24 Hour and long term needs (again 72 hours, for this discussion).

Here is a recommended layout:

Day Pack:

  • Amateur Radio, Handheld (Dual Band Recommended)
  • Speaker Microphone 
  • Spare Battery for Radio
  • Charger and Cord - Radio and Phone, Charger Block
  • Charger Block (1200 mAH minimum)
  • Antenna Adapter - SMA to N, SMA to SO-239
  • Flashlight and Spare Batteries
  • Pen, Paper, Sharpie, Gaffers Tape
  • Multi-Tool (eg. Leatherman) or Pocket Knife
  • Whistle
  • ANSI Type II Reflective Vest
  • 1L of Water
  • Small Bag of Snacks
  • Pre-packaged First Aid Kit
  • Light Sticks

Clothing & PPE:

  • Ear Plugs, 2 Sets Disposable
  • Leather Gloves or Equivalent (Construction Quality)
  • Safety Glasses (With Prescription if Required)
  • Hat
  • Mask
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Jacket or Windbreaker 

Personal Items:

  • Government Identification Group Credentials / ID
  • Group or Organization Credentials / ID
  • Uniform or Logo Gear (eg. RACES, ARES, CERT, Red Cross)  
  • Personal Medication(s)
  • Cash $40 in Small Bills 
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sunscreen (SPF-35 or Greater)

24 Hour Additons:

  • Blanket
  • Cup/Canteen & Silverware
  • Towel and Washcloth
  • Rain Gear
  • 2 Large (33gal) Trash Bags
  • Assorted Ziplock Bags
  • 12 - 18 Cable Ties (Assorted Sizes)
  • 2 Lengths of 3MM Utility Cord (50 Feet Each) 
  • Toilet Paper
  • Additional 1L of Water

72 Hour Additions:

  • Additional Medication(s)
  • 3 Extra Shirts (Polo or Button Down)
  • 3 Extra T-Shirts
  • 3 pairs of Underwear
  • 3 Pairs of Socks
  • Extra Pair of Pants
  • Shower Sandals
  • Soap & Shampoo
  • Shaving Kit
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash
  • Q-Tips
  • Comb
  • Sewing kit
  • Spare batteries for flashlight