Emergency Communications 101

Emergency Communications 101

Learning Outcomes  
Outline Training on how to manage, maintain, and configure systems to provide community emergency alerts using Open Source Software
Skill Advanced
Prerequisites None
Time required 2 - 6 Hours per module
Description How to operate an over the air FM Radio Station with CAP Alerts.
Challenge Certificate upon passing grade of 80% of computer administered test.

• Understanding the basics of Open Source Software

• Evaluating Open Source Software for emergency alerting needs

• Installing and configuring an appropriate Open Source Software for emergency alerting

• Setting up a user-friendly interface for emergency alerting

• Integrating Open Source Software with existing alerting systems

• Building a system for real-time alerting

• Developing a test plan to ensure system reliability

• Evaluating and monitoring system performance

• Troubleshooting and resolving system issues

• Developing a plan for maintaining and updating the system

Module 1 Communication Breakdown

Telecom - Mobile and wire line phones

HAM Radio and long range HF Communications

DX scanning and reception

Satellite Communications; Xplornet, Iridium, InReach and Starlink

VHF UHF Terrestrial radio repeaters

Handy Talkie\Portable radio operation - Full Duplex\Half Duplex\Simplex

2 Way Radio communication etiquette

Interactive Exercise

Use Handie Talkies to communicate with group effectively


Hurricane Fiona

Nova Scotia Shooter

Quebec Ice Storm

Nation Wide Data Outage

Module 2 Comms

Module 3 Energy

AC/DC Explained

Backup and Alternative Power

Battery Technology \ Super Capacitors

USB powered devices and Power over Ethernet (POE)

Jackery, portable power stations and power banks

AC Gas powered Generator\Inverter

Alt Power; Solar,Wind and Other

Interactive Exercise

Block Diagram

Module 4 Networking and IT Management

Introductory Networking

Communications Protocols TCP/IP

IP Addresses

Tools; Ping SSH, SCP, Whois

Domain Name Service (DNS)

Mail and Web services

GPS time Server


Routers and switches

Point to Point long range microwave wireless bridge

Interactive Exercise

Recover from compromised router

Rebuild sample network

Hook up a network printer


USB Open Source Utilities

CLI Cheat Sheet

Module 5 Cyber Security

Hacking your network

Virus Malware Ransomware protection strategy

Wireless Router Security

SSH Keys and 2 factor authentication


Archive and restore backups

Interactive Exercise

Configure Firewall

Find lost password

Create ISO from corrupted storage and recover data


Block Diagram

USB Data Tools

Module 6 CAP Alert Player for Radio and Television

Learning Outcomes  
Outline How to manage, maintain and configure systems to provide community emergency alerts using Open Source Software.
Skill Beginner
Description Manage and operate a CAP Alert Player for broadcast.
Challenge Certificate upon passing grade of 80% of computer administered test.


Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Fundamentals for broadcast

Broadcast Intrusive (BI) Alerts and non mandatory advisories

Open Source Alert Player application web dashboard

Monitoring Canadian Pelmorex TCP/IP Heart Beats with Alert Player


Specify alerting location Geocode (SGC)

Audio and Video Settings

On Board Text to Speech (TTS)

POLLY TTS machine learning languages using Artificial Intelligence

Set languages with Indigenous Alerts

Methods of injecting Alerts into the broadcast chain

Workflow for alerts, with and without attachments, onboard TTS and fallback modes

Self Generated Alert Tests

Issue internal test CAP alerts;

Simple English (Male and Female) onboard TTS

Simple English (Male and Female) with Polly Voices

Video overlay with audio and visual attachment


Support for translated menus and help screens

Custom language sets (Indigenous)

POLLY TTS Languages


Open Source licencing on recycled bare metal hardware, low cost Raspberry Pi computers and virtual environments

Interactive Exercise

Find and locate a SGC Code for Canada

View active Polygons on Alert Hub

Examine Valid CAP message


GitHub Source Code

Alert Player Support Site

Module 7 Radio Station in a Box (RIAB)

Licencing and Regulatory

LPFM vs Hi Power

RF Propagation - Antennae Types

Safety Code 6 harmful RF

Selecting Frequency and Spectrum AM/FM/DAB

RF Interference and Over Modulation

Key Components and uses

  • Mixer

  • Microphones

  • Headphone Amplifier

  • Speaker Monitors

  • BARIX Exstreamer

  • STL (Studio Transmitter Link)

Transmitter operation

LIVE Broadcasting

Monitoring Off Air Feed

CAP Alerting

Online Streaming

Station duties and daily operation

Logging and Monitoring compliance



RIAB Operating Manual

Module 8 Field Repairs and Troubleshooting

Shorts and Voltage

Using a multimeter

Soldering iron

USB Ventoy Boot Stick

RJ45 Crimp Tool

Interactive Exercise

Diagnose broken equipment and replace fuse

Solder wires together with soldering iron

Diagnose short circuit with multi meter


American Radio Relay League (ARRL)


Bush Antenna with RG6

Pringles can extended wifi antennae

HF Antenna with copper wire and ABS Insulator rings

Cross Over Patch cable RJ45



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