Ready Kits

Each member of an ARES organization must always consider that he or she will be asked to take a field assignment providing communication as a part of an emergency service response. In order to respond as quickly as possible, it is important to have a “Ready Kit”. Your ready kit should contain all necessary equipment to operate your radio station and to support yourself for assignments up to 72 hours in duration. (96 hour kits are now being recommended.)


Your radio 72-hour kit (96 hours now recommended) should have several sources of power in it, with extra battery packs and an alkaline battery pack for your HT. For mobile VHF and UHF radios, larger batteries are needed. Gel-cell or deep cycle marine batteries would be good sources of battery power. You must keep them charged and ready to go. Have more battery capacity than you think you might need. Have several methods available to connect your radios to different power sources.

It is also wise to have alternative means available to charge your batteries during the emergency. You can charge smaller batteries from other larger batteries. You can build a solar charging device. If you have access to an electrical generator, be sure to have enough fuel to keep it running when you need it.

Antennas & Coax

You can expect to need some kind of gain antenna for your HT, as well as an additional gain antenna that can be used on either your HT or your mobile rig. The extra antenna might be needed by someone else, or your first antenna might break. For VHF and UHF, you can build a J-pole from a TV twin lead, for and inexpensive and very compact antenna. Have several lengths of coax in your kit, totaling at least 50 feet and with barrel connectors to connect the lengths together.


Include staples: water, or a reliable water filtration and purification system; enough food for three days, eating utensils, a drinking cup and, if needed, a means of cooking your food. You will also need any prescription medications, spare eyeglasses, hearing aids and other personal items you might need. You should plan on having shelter and sleeping gear. Here you are only limited by the size of your kit and the thickness of your wallet. At a minimum you should plan on having a tent and sleeping bag.

Light is vitally important if you need to work at night. Make sure that you have several light sources available that will provide you with this ability. All sorts of battery-power are available and propane or gasoline fueled lanterns are also good possibilities.

Basic Deployment Equipment Checklist

First Aid Kit

Paper and pencils & pens

Message forms

Log books

Carbon paper

Area maps

Band-Aids, small & large

Band-Aids, finger & knuckle

2”x2”, 3”x3” gauze pads

Butterfly closures

Triangular bandage

Emergency dental kit

Blister care kit

Imodium & Benadryl tablets

Aspirin, Tylenol or other painkillers

Rehydration powder

Personal Kit

3 day change of clothes

3 day supply of water

(minimum 1 gallon per day)

3 day supply of food, snacks

Foul weather gear

Shelter (tent and sleeping bag)

Portable stove

Mess kit with cleaning kit

Prescription medication

Flashlight, candles, lanterns

Alarm clock

Soap or waterless cleanser


Toothbrush & other toilet articles

Waterproof matches & lighter

Throat lozenges

Sewing kit & safety pins


Dust masks

Ear plugs

Cash (not credit or ATM cards)



Water filter or purification tablets

**Remember to check/rotate your supplies. A running inventory is recommended.

Tool Kit


Wire cutters, small and large

Wire strippers – small and large

Vise grips

Screwdrivers, various sizes

Adjustable crescent wrenches

Socket & ratchet set

20 watt soldering iron and solder

60 – 80 watt iron (not gun)


AC tester

Electrical tape

Duct tape or gaffers’ tape

Safety glasses

Spare power connectors

100 ft rope

AC power bars

100 ft of extension cords

Pipe clamps, various sizes

Spare RF connectors

Spare Anderson Powerpoles

Spare 12ga zip cord

Miscellaneous wire

Record Keeping Kit

Radio Equipment Checklist for Standard Resource Functions (Also refer to ARR)

Resource CRF- S - Shadow Kit

Resource CRF- B - Base Kit

2-meter HT

2-meter mag mount antenna

2x 25ft coax

Ear phone, external speaker

Extra batteries

Battery chargers

Audio patch cords

2-meter mobile radio

20 ft portable mast

Guy wires & tripod

Base antenna (j-pole or other)

2x 25ft coax, 2x 50ft coax

Headphones, external speaker

Audio patch cords

RF Connectors

Batteries / generator

Power supply

Fluorescent or LED desk lamp

Resource CRF- H – HF

2-meter mobile radio & mic

2-meter mag mount, antenna

1x 25ft coaxial extension

RF adapters

Headphones, external speaker

Audio patch cords

RF Connectors

Batteries, chargers

GPS receiver would be handy!

HF radio for 20, 40, 80 meters

20 ft portable mast

Guy wires & tripod

Standard antennas

NVIS antenna

2x 25ft coax

2x 50ft coax

Headphones, external speaker

Audio patch cords

RF Connectors

Batteries / generator

Power supply

Fluorescent or LED desk lamp

Resource CRF- M – Mobile Kit

Resource CRF- DA & DM

Resource CRF- DT

2-meter mobile radio

Laptop w configured software

TNC or equivalent

20 ft portable mast

Guy wires & tripod

Base antenna (j-pole or other)

2x 25ft coax, 2x 50ft coax

Headphones, external speaker

Audio patch cords

RF Connectors

Batteries / generator

Power supply

12v DC to 120v AC converter

2-meter mobile radio & mic

2-meter magmount, antenna

TNC, Tinytracker or equivalent

GPS receiver

GPS to TNC cables

TNC to Radio cables

1x 25ft coax extension

RF adapters

Batteries, chargers

Ready Kit Sources – Containers

MTM Case-gard (spud boxes)

Plano Molding





Ready Kit Sources – Tools & Vehicle

Home Depot


Harbor Freight

Northern Tool + Equipment

Ready Kit Sources – Personal Supplies

Academy Sports


Sports Authority

Sportsman’s Warehouse

Bass Pro Shops


Tactical Gear Now


MRE Info

Adventure Medical Kits

Moore Medical

Ready Kit Sources – Radio & Electronic Gear

Fry’s Electronics