Amateur radio nets are intended to facilitate orderly communications. The procedures might vary depending on what kinds of net that it is and the net control is operating the net. A swap net will have different procedures to check in and share information than will an emergency response or training net.
But no matter what type of net, no matter what type of information you are sharing, you need to be ready with the following information. Ideally the net control station or anyone else on the net will not have any questions. The details may vary, but these questions should be answered within your announcement: Who, What, When and Where.
For instance you would probably never check in to the swap net and list an item for sale without giving the information about what the item is, its condition, how much you would like for the item, and how and when any potential buyer can reach you to complete the purchase.
But often you will hear announcements during nets that the operator giving out the information does not have the details on an event. It’s nice to know share that a local radio club is having a flea market, but without the date, time and location, the information is not worth much. Take a few minutes before the net to get the details to share.
During a SKYWARN net, it is very important that you take a moment to collect your thoughts and be ready to report when Net Control has acknowledge you, then give the following information:
- Who you are.
- What you are seeing. (with appropriate details for the event)
- Where you are seeing it.
- When you saw it.
It is not practical to give examples on every scenario you might encounter so take a moment to make sure you have all the information before keying the mic.