• Em Comm Schools

    Giving schools tools to communicate

  • Em Comm Schools

    Plug in to emergency communication

  • Em Comm Schools

    Keep in touch when it matters most

Currently on hiatus… program development will resume later in 2018.

Amateur Radio

Amateur radio operators are licensed by the FCC to broadcast on specific frequencies. In a disaster, normal means of communication may become unavailable. Amateur radio is self-sufficient, and with proper setup, has its own emergency power supply.

Emergency Communication

Emergency Communication represents the orderly and directed communication required during significant events. Emergency Managers at the local, county, and state levels coordinate directed communication to ensure efficiency and safety.

Severe Weather Awareness

Knowing the immediate threat presented by severe weather enables school administrators to make urgent decisions for the safety and well-being of their students. By monitoring the severe weather reports made by trained spotters over amateur radio, schools can have a front line of defense on approaching threats.

EmComm School Envoy

School administrators and staff that take initiative to learn about amateur radio, emergency communication, and severe weather awareness, and to integrate these concepts into their school's emergency plans, can become EmComm School Envoys, representing the best-prepared schools, ready for any disaster or emergency.


The latest ARRL QST magazine had an article by Tom Gallagher about FirstNet. This was my email to them in response:

"It’s strange that the June 2017 QST arrived in my Inbox just as I was finishing a documentary about United Airlines 93. Tom Gallagher’s article about FirstNet, a nation-wide distributed broadband network called for following the 9/11 Commission report, was a primary story.

"As I am finishing up graduate school towards a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership, I am preparing a grad project that touches on this topic: EmComm Schools.

"Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications should be adopted by public school districts to outfit each and every school, urban or rural, with strategic emergency power, staff training and FCC licensing, and equipment to stay connected in any disaster. The concept is outlined on a Website: https://emcommschools.org/

"'We must focus on the problem we are seeking to solve, not on the solutions we have at hand,' Gallagher wrote in his QST article. We must ensure we have consistent and reliable communication—everywhere—to protect the lives and safety of every American. Schools represent a critical infrastructure found in every community, and could be a cornerstone to integrating emergency communications into each and every region of the nation. Children are the generation we need to protect the most. Let’s give them the critical tools they need to communicate when they need it most."


One project I'm doing for my graduate degree: EmComm Schools

Still very much a concept more than a thing, I'm hoping to create a resource directory for three realms to come together and build connections:

  • Schools
  • Amateur Radio
  • Emergency Communication

Registration will soon be available on the website that will include a detailed profile, based on your involvement.

I'd like to eventually offer an EmComm School Envoy certificate to schools that have trained staff to use amateur radios, received proper licensing, and perhaps use grants or sponsors to provide radios and equipment. The school staff can use the radios to MONITOR storm reports being made by spotters in the field to best prepare for the students' safety. Schools can have instant access to weather conditions, and be aware of what those conditions mean. A tornado reported over radio to the National Weather Service can take minutes for outdoor civil sirens to sound. A NOAA Weather Radio is crucial to get the most up-to-date warnings from the NWS. But hearing first hand reports can save minutes of valuable preparation time. Those minutes can save lives. (Weather is just one potential disaster where minutes matter.)

And once the disaster is over, the school's radio could be their first link out of the ruins of their school. Strategic Emergency Power in the right place at the right time.
Who should get involved?

  • School principals
  • School facility managers
  • Science teachers (there's an after-school club in there somewhere, I know it!)
  • County and city emergency managers
  • Radio clubs
  • Storm spotters
  • Government
  • Parents
  • Students (anyone can get an FCC license!)

Provided by Oz Technology Company in cooperation with Zulu International, LLC.

In pursuit of a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership at the College of Education and Human Development | University of Minnesota.


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EmComm Schools is a pilot program to increase communication capabilities in rural communities. Amateur radio serves as the last line of communication in emergencies. Not many years ago, a major tornado tore apart a community, and an elementary school was directly in its path. By arming schools with the skills and equipment to make emergency radio broadcasts during catastrophic events, the life and safety of young students can be protected. School staff can monitor weather reports made by severe storm spotters in the field, and have first hand knowledge of the approaching threat. After the path of destruction moves past, the radio can be the first link to the community and rescue personnel.

Many schools have improved their disaster preparedness by installing and ensuring safe places for students when needed. To be effective, school administrators need to move their students into safety in a timely manner. EmComm Schools can help them do that.

School principals are encourange to implement emergency communications into their school contingency plans. EmComm Schools provides direction, tools, and coordination between emergency management, radio clubs, and school administrators to develop communication and safety plans that incorporate amateur radio.


EmComm Schools is a concept-in-progress. There are many questions to be asked, and twice as many answers to be found. Discussions about EmComm Schools and related programs, organizations, and opportunities are preliminary, and nothing is official. Please contact net.control@emcommschools.org if you have suggestions, questions, or conceerns.

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