The Marion County Sheriff website information about MERT is:
“The MERT Program is designed to provide communications support to areas such as Shelters, Healthcare Facilities, Point of Distributions, and more during times of disasters. They assist with moving valuable communications between agencies and locations about storm information, resource needs and requests.”
“The MERT Program combines many types of radio and communications devices into one program providing numerous sources of information and communication.”
So, what does all that mean? Basically, if you are not a member, you can’t participate in what MERT controls, which is about everything in Marion County. The most important part of MERT for you to remember is MERT is the organization that controls HAM radio traffic into and out of the EOC.
If you have information that the county agencies need to know about, like a bridge out, highway blocked, etc. you can try to connect using KK4DFC D-Star repeater, or the CERT VHF repeater at KG4CLL. These all have NCS operators, but their primary responsibilities are for MERT and CERT traffic, so be patient.
Your best bet to get information into the EOC is through ARES. ARES and MERT have direct connections.
BUT, no matter how you communicate, YOU MUST USE THE PROPER PHONETIC ALPHABET AND THE ICS213 FORM MESSAGE LAYOUT!