It just occurred to me that I have never heard of a real, major disaster drill being conducted anywhere in the USA. If a WMD attack or a major earthquake causes 10,000 serious injuries somewheree in the USA, how will this be handled? Obviously there will be a major need for helicopters and large transport aircraft to bring in medical teams and supplies, and to transport injured people out of the area.

In order for this to occur in a timely manner, it has to be pre-planned and pre-practiced. A obvious list of primary radio freqs would include - 154.28, 153.83, 155.34, 155.28, 155.37, 155.475, 123.1, 121.50, 156.80, ?40.50, ?41.50, 168.625, 168.65, ?311.0, ?321.0, 126.2, 866.0125, 866.5125, 867.0125, 867.5125, 868.0125, CB channels, 146.52, 168.55, ?167.4625, 168.35, 163.10, ?52.00.

I really worry that the first military aircraft to arrive in New York City will try to call FDNY on 154.43. Since FDNY probably only has about a dozen portable radios that transmit on 154.25, then you can see that 154.25 is not a good freq to use to try to hail FDNY units (assuming that the 154.25 repeaters are broken). Everyone will hear the military aircraft calling, but no one will be able to reply to them.

Probably a good procedure would be to have the first aircraft to arrive over the scene to immediately switch to 121.50. From there, air traffic controllers could prevent mid air collisions, damage reports could be broadcast, and the arrival of other rescue aircraft could be coordinated.

Peter S - USA - 02 Sept 2000


A reply - from [email protected]

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) would be activated. Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) would be brought in (transport usually done by the military) to provide emergency medical care. Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORTs) would be brought in to handle the dead. Special teams would come in to handle WMD situations, in addition to the above. The NDMS does drill a couple of times a year (as far as major exercises go) and each of the individual teams drill locally as part of their local community's disaster plans.

As far as communications, the Feds have designated a series of 406-420 MHz frequencies for the above teams to use. The Feds have finally designated a series of HF frequencies for use under the SHARES (SHAred RESources) for these teams (there was an HF commo exercise of sorts on Friday). I don't believe any of the Federal response plans (at least, as far as what NDMS teams fall under) call for interoperability when it comes to communications.

More info on NDMS can be found at

02 Sept 00



Hosted by