RAYNET are Radio Amateurs, licensed by OFCOM, and are able to provide flexible radio communications in emergency situations, when normal systems of communication have failed, or perhaps when a more localised system is required, to avoid overloading the normal networks.Our members are all volunteers, and give up their free time to train and provide these services, using local events to practise as well as providing safety coverage.

RAYNET can be called on by 'User Services' - these are primarily the Emergency Services, such as Police, Fire and Ambulance services, but extends to the volunteer services as well, St. John (St. Andrews in Scotland), British Red Cross. Local authority Emergency Planning Officers and other utilities are also included.

We also provide communications for local community events, such as marathon runs, cycle rides/races etc.  Being a rural county, some areas do not have great mobile phone coverage, the undulating nature of the ground leaves many dips and hollows that little or no reception.  This is where RAYNET can help, by putting an operator into the area, and others setting up repeater networks that can link-in the poor reception areas into our networks linking back to a control point wherever it's required.

Different situations means that some normal radio set-up's do not work particularly well, which is why Radio Amateurs usually have range of options available to them.  Some frequency bands (70cms/2m) usually work well for local working withing a small radius, however long distance working is sometimes required, where we can use alternative bands (4m/6m/10).  The ability to use different bands gives us that flexibilty to find a solution when normal methods fail.

One of Kent's major risks is flooding.  Consider for a moment what it would be like if flooding were to cause other issues, such as widespread and prolonged power outages.  Mobile phone cells usually have a battery back-up which could last for up to 24hrs, depending on usage, but after that??   And how many people now use cordless phones at home??  The cordless system uses a base station that is usually powered from a 240v socket, so when the power goes, you lose your cordless signal and cannot use your phone-line, unless you have one of the old style phones that plugs directly into the phone extention socket.    Even then, the telephone exchange uses power to keep it's networks running, backed up with generators.  How long would the generators run for, if they even managed to start?

Our modern world relies heavily on communications and technology, which in turn relies on a stable electrical supply, consider what it would be like if those were to suddenly disappear....