The History of Raynet.

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 situations.

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.

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Essex RAYNET is affiliated to the Radio Amateur Emergency Network