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The Indian Spring
Communication Plan

The guidance and direction for the Communications Plan comes from the FEMA: CERT Emergency Communications {pages 6 to 9} and the Palm Beach County: CERT Communication SOG{page 1: Policy}.

A communications plan is a document that defines communications roles and establishes protocols for different groups during an emergency. Each community or jurisdiction will have its own communications plan.

CERTs also have a communications plan. The CERT Communications Plan is a function of the jurisdictional communications plan and includes details such as how CERT volunteers are contacted during an activation and what radio channels they have available for communication. NCA will provide the Communications Plan for Indian Spring

Jurisdiction is derived from two authorities:

The Community that forms the CERT-
CERTs are formed by members of a neighborhood or workplace who want to be better prepared for the hazards that threaten their communities. The best source of help in an emergency or disaster is the paid or volunteer professional responder. But, if they are not available to address immediate life-saving needs or to protect property, CERT members can help. CERTs are not intended to replace a community's response capability, but rather, to serve as an important supplement to it.
FEMA: Starting & Maintaining a CERT Program. pages 1&2

The County that serves the CERT-
Each CERT shall have their own Communication Plan for internal communications with team members. Changes in individual CERT procedures may be required if the team is dependent on commercial systems (e.g., cellular, landline, internet) at the time of activation due to possible damage to the communications infrastructure.

Information received from reporting teams will help the EOC establish and maintain a common operating picture of the incident. CERT communications will provide up-to-date information to assist in formulating responses from the EOC, EOAs, law enforcement, fire rescue, and other responding agencies.
Palm Beach County: CERT Communication SOG, Jan 2016, page 1

II. CERT Communications Architecture
Indian Spring CERTs are organized as Single Resources as defined in the ICS-200b NIMS training. They are organized to be self-activating, as defined under the standard jurisdictional authority, or capable of extending their communications and support service if Directly Tasked by the County Emergency Operations Center.

The CERT architecture in Indian Spring is different than most other CERTs in Palm Beach County.

Indian Spring has a Master HOA/POA CERT, like the other county CERTs.

However, Indian Spring is subdivided into 24 tenent neighborhoods, each with its own independent CERT.

The neighborhood CERTs have subordinate Contact Teams that work outside in their neighborhoods,

performing tasks as trained in their CERT Basic Training. The Master CERT has no Contact Teams working outside.

The Indian Spring Master CERT is sponsored by the Indian Spring CERT Committee, a committee of the Board of Directors of the Indian Spring Management Association (ISMA).

For the most part, the independent neighboor hood CERTs are likewise sponsored by their CERT Committee, which is a fubction of their HOA/POA Board of Directors.

III. CERT Communications Infrastructure

Contact within the Indian Spring CERT Architecture During non-emergencies, when phone and cell service is available, the 911 service provides connectivity for residents and CERT volunteers to police, fire, rescue and other emergency service agencies.

During an emergency, where telephone and cell phone service is ineffective or failed, the communication is throught the Indian Spring CERT chain of communications to the Indian Spring Communications Center and to the County Emergency Operations Center.

Between the Indian Spring Incident Command Post and the County Emergency Operations Center are a series of
Directed Nets are established by Palm Beach County. These primary and secondary frequencies are prescribed by the current County IS-205 form in accordance with Incident Command Structure(ICS), ARES and FCC procedures. These nets controlled by a Net Controller over VHF and UHF nets who are licensed Amateur Radio operators trained by ARES in Emergency Communications (EmComm) procedures.

The Indian Spring Communications Center has an array of radios, frequencies and a number methods to communicate to the County Emergency Operations Center, the Police and Fire/Rescue Command Centers, the Red Cross, Hospitals and other emergency service organizations.

Between neighborhood CERTs and between neighborhood CERTs and the Indian Spring Master CERT, a directed net is established upon CERT activation to pass information vertically and horizontally between and among the CERTs. This net operates on GMRS-Personal Radio Service radios on an assigned primary frequency with secondary frequencies as determined by the Net Controller.

Within a CERT
, the Contact Teams and their CERT Incident Command Post communicate on FRS-Personal Radio Service radios on an assigned frequency.

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