RAYNET is a voluntary
organisation which was formed after the severe east
coast floods of 1953. Whilst the membership is
comprised mainly of licensed radio amateurs,
shortwave listeners have a role to play in providing
radio communications for various 'User Services' for
the benefit of the community in emergency
Nationally, RAYNET is organised on a county basis.
Essex RAYNET is further divided into areas
coincident with District, Borough and Unitary
Authority local Government boundaries. Each area or
'Group' has a local controller, a deputy and a team
of local members, all of whom can be available for
call-out at short notice.
Within each District, Essex RAYNET works very
closely with the District Emergency Planning Officer
and staff to provide reliable communications
with towns and parishes during tidal flooding alerts
and similar emergency situations. Other incidents
covered include communications with evacuation or
rest centres set up following major fires or similar
occurrences in Essex. RAYNET is able to dispatch
members to virtually any location and obtain
consistently reliable radio communications on VHF
and UHF frequencies.
Other 'User Services' able to call upon RAYNET
include the Police, Fire and Rescue Services,
Ambulance and Health Authorities the St. John
Ambulance Brigade and the British Red Cross Society.
RAYNET will often be seen supporting the latter two
organisations at sporting and charity events,
firework displays and major shows.