Emergency Radio Capabilities

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians Emergency Operation Center has many ways to communicate in the event of a disaster or emergency. As communications are often overloaded and fail during a disaster, intercommunications and redundancy are necessary.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has licensed several business-band frequencies and has an analog radio repeater that will be used as our EOC network to communicate in a disaster. This system undergoes monthly tests on the first Thursday of each month throughout the year. The Public Works department also has a separate analog radio repeater system and channel that they use for day-to-day operations, and in the event of an emergency or disaster, they can tune to the EOC Net channel.

Our Public Safety Officers have a digital repeater radio system that allows for secure communications for day-to-day operations and ability to utilize the analog EOC network as well, ensuring inter-communications.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has an agreement with a vendor, Mobile Relay, a radio communications company that can transmit radio communications across many of the most populated areas of the state of California. This system can transmit radio communications well off the reservation. As a result, our transportation and school utilize this system to communicate their day-to-day operations and allows them to communicate with each other when they leave the reservation for student pick up/drop-off’s in the neighboring cities of Banning & Beaumont, out of town field trips, and many other locations throughout Southern California.

Further enablement of communications in a disaster, Morongo’s Disaster Preparedness Department also utilizes this system through Mobile Relay with the twelve other tribes located in Riverside County. This system undergoes monthly tests on the second Wednesday of the month with a communications request of check-ins from each tribe. Such testing enables Morongo to communicate as far away as the city of Indio, to parts of San Bernardino County, and shortly, to the mountain areas of Anza. If the Mobile Relay system was to go down. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians worked with the San Gorgonio Pass Amateur Radio Club (SPARC), to test its amateur radio communications between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The tests reassured the success of a backup emergency communications system between the tribes if they needed each other’s assistance during a major emergency or disaster as cell phone services can become useless even during minor incidents. As such, alternative communications become a necessity, and amateur radios are often the only means of communicating during these incidents. Each of the four Southern California Tribes that participate in the radio communication testing, face significant threats that they are continuously preparing for, however; amateur radio operations require licensing and equipment operation knowledge that is not always available on reservations.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians also has communications within the operational area (County) via the Riverside County disaster net radio system. This system undergoes monthly tests on the second Wednesday of each month throughout the year. Also, Morongo can monitor and transmit, if necessary, to Police and Fire operations, inner-operational frequencies/channels, as well as many amateur radio frequencies on several bands, and also FRS/GMRS, and CB bands used by the public.

In addition to the amateur radio effort, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians utilizes its own Reservation Disaster Radio station, which is an implementation of A low-power radio broadcast station (89.1 FM), to transmit to its residence important Emergency/Disaster information. The station can be heard reservation wide when it is turned on, and worldwide when it is attached to Morongo’s web page (WWW.Morongo.org) on the internet. Morongo also uses its Cable TV system, which has an access channel that can be used to broadcast important Emergency/Disaster information.