|From time to time, situations will occur that require the rapid dissemination of information, but do not require the activation of a full ARES Resource Net. Such situations could include a major winter weather system, accident, or what happened in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. During such times, the frequency may become crowded with many operators trying to find out, or to provide, information on the situation. At that time, rumors and inaccurate information have a way of getting out of control. In addition, the crowded frequency makes it hard for stations with emergency or priority traffic to get in.At that time, the DEC, an EC, AEC, or an ARES Net Control Op will establish an ARES Information Net.1. The net will follow Formal net procedures (Directed Net).
2. The Net Control will not take formal check-ins, but will take a list of those requesting or having pertinent information.
3. Net Control will then prioritize and contact each station in turn to get their request or information. Every attempt will be made to ensure that ACCURATE information is being passed and that a RELIABLE source is being used. The net WILL NOT REPEAT NEWS MEDIA OR SCANNER REPORTS AS VERIFIED INFORMATION. IF THERE IS NO VERIFIED SOURCE FOR THE INFORMATION (“I heard some guy on another repeater say…”, “Channel XX says…”, “I heard the XYZ PD on the scanner say…”) IT WILL BE LABELED AS UN VERIFIED RUMOR AND TREATED AS SUCH UNTIL VERIFIED BY AN AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE. The basic rule of thumb is, if the operator reporting information is not an eye witness to an event, or has not received the information from an authoritative source (Incident Commander, Public Information Officer, etc.) then the information is to be considered a rumor.
4. There will be frequent stand-bys for stations with Emergency or Priority Traffic.
At some time in the process, the net may, at the discretion of the Net Control Op, go to a Stand By net status. Operators may engage in casual conversations, but will be asked to leave frequent breaks to allow for emergency or priority station or for the Net Control to reactivate a formal net if needed. The Net Control will also be prepared to escalate to an ARES Resource Net if directed to do so by the DEC or an EC or AEC.