Sheryl Roub, Emergency Preparedness Supervisor
Amateur Radio RACES / ARES - RACES is an organization of amateur radio operators who volunteer to provide radio communications for State and local governments in times of emergency. Created in 1952 primarily to serve in civil defense emergencies, RACES provides essential communications and warning links to supplement State and local government assets during emergencies. RACES is a special part of the amateur operation sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RACES provides emergency communications for civil preparedness purposes only. RACES is conducted by amateurs using their primary station licenses or by existing RACES stations. In the event that the President invokes the War Emergency powers, amateurs officially enrolled in the local civil preparedness group would become limited to certain frequencies, while all other amateur operations would be silenced.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.