brad54 wrote:... One of the first people evacuated was our ham radio coordinator. While we had other trained operators, the state of confusion etc. shut down any of the well rehearsed communications with the Stake Center. We might as well have tossed the radios back in a drawer and locked them up. Spotty cell phone and land line communications were all we had. Our lesson learned was to geographically diversify the radios and create redundancy systems.
Several key priesthood leaders worked outside of the community and when evacuations were announced they were trapped outside their ward with poor communication to know what was happening to their members etc. They were basically reduced to pacing the floor of the Stake Center. The chain of command to know the status of members was severely compromised. ...
You may want to work with local civil emergency planners to help get your radio operators and priesthood leadership into a disaster area. Setting up an ICS system, and having your people trained in ICS-100/200 (from the FEMA web site) will help you integrate with civil leaders. You may look into ARES or CERT to help you better work with civil leaders.
That said, I am a BIG fan of cell phones for emergency communication. Everyone has one, everyone knows how to use one, and they are portable. You do have to do some planning. You need a directory of numbers, a way to charge them, and signal.