Wow - I followed the link to http://www.iportableus.com/
Their cases look nice, until you see the large gap all the way around the end panels. If you are building a "go kit" for ARES, the need for a water-tight seal is critical. From past experience, whenever I have been involved in an ARES operation the weather has been terrible. Which should not be a surprise, since bad weather is usually a major factor in what triggered the ARES operation in the first place. I was stationed in North Dakota during the great flood of 1997, caused by a combination of snow melt and spring rain. I assisted Pembina County DES during the flood itself, then later was sent down to Grand Forks to help the Salvation Army with their recovery efforts.
How much money are you going to invest in an HF/VHF/UHF go-kit station? By the time you get done purchasing the radio, tuner, power supply, and iportable case, you will be looking at $1,500 at least. In a typical scenario involving flooding, it is raining and there are water puddles everywhere. So to protect your expensive radio equipment, you will have to stick it inside a large garbage bag to keep it dry while transporting it between the house and the vehicle, and then from the vehicle to your assigned location. Do you think people at the shelter or the EOC will be impressed with your radio equipment when you walk in carrying a garbage bag?
The Gator brand equipment cases, such as the 4U model, have cam-lock latches that hold the front and rear covers on. Inside they have a standard 19-inch wide rack frame for mounting equipment. They are commonly used by traveling bands to hold their amplifiers and mixing boards. They are available with rubber shock mounts suspending the internal frame. They serve both to transport the equipment, as well as a means to operate the equipment from within a protective housing. When the front and back covers are closed up they do a good job of keeping the moisture out. They are not 100% waterproof, so don't leave your gear sitting out in the weather unprotected for a long period of time. But they will keep the contents dry during the move between house/vehicle/building. Once inside the building, you remove the front and rear covers, pull out the power cord from the back side and connect the coaxial cable(s) for the external antenna(s).
As mentioned with the Hardigg cases, there is a limit on the size of case you can use before it exceeds what one person can comfortably carry. The Hardigg cases are great for protecting the equipment during transport. I prefer the Gator case approach because it both protects the equipment and allows you to operate the equipment from within the case. Both the Hardigg and Gator equipment cases are expensive – but worth it in the long term. If done right, the Gator 4U case will allow you to use your rig at home everyday – but with the option of being swiftly packed up and transported to wherever it is needed. There are other manufacturers of equipment cases similar to the Gator brand. Further research will provide other options if the Gator is not to your liking. Hardigg also makes rack-mount cases with an internal shock-mounted frame similar to the Gator design.
For a low cost approach, consider the various cases made by MTM. The SPUD-2 and SPUD-7 can be used for VHF/UHF radio kits (SPUD-2) or larger HF radio kits (SPUD-7). The secret is to mount all the equipment to an internal frame that can be slid into the case. A power cord “pig tail” and a similar coaxial cable “pig tail” run from the back of the equipment and hang out the front of the case during use. When not in use, the pig tails are tucked inside the case and the lid closed. This way no holes are needed in the case itself, which preserves the weather seal. If it is hot weather, such as during western wildfire season, the entire radio kit can be slid out of the case for added air flow. If the case is ever damaged by rough handling during transport, replacement is simply a matter of sliding the radio kit out and then into the replacement case. No remounting of equipment or hardware is necessary due to everything being attached to the internal frame. I learned about this “orange box” design approach after seeing several examples built by Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, for the Salvation Army SATERN program. He put a lot of time and effort into designing a radio go-kit that works!
The alternative is to be a fair-weather ham. Show up only for Field Day in June, when the weather is usually sunny and warm. If clouds appear, quickly pack up your expensive radio equipment and bug-out for the house. These are the guys you wish would remove their ARES patches, because you know that when you need help the most – they will disappear.