Chautauqua County ARES
Emergency Communication Plan

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Andrew O’Brien,  K3UK
Emergency Coordinator
Chautauqua County ARES or
This plan is an on-going project and currently is in draft form awaiting member input.


Permission is hereby granted for unlimited whole or partial reproduction and distribution of this document
in any format desired, provided acknowledgment is made to K3UK and Chautauqua County ARES
ARES is a registered trademark of the American Radio Relay League, used by permission..
Acknowledgment and thanks are issued to KI4IIB , Okaloosa ARES, WPA ARES,  the ARRL  .  and Al WB7SWW former
Chautauqua County ARES EC


Table of Contents

Video presentation by  SEC

The Role of ARES and RACES

Structure of ARES
Administration and Organization .....
    Leadership and Organizational Structure
    Chain of Command:
    Chautauqua County ARES  Assistant ECs
    Mutual Aide Assistance Plan (MAAP).
    Status Alert Levels
    Chautauqua County ARES local simplex maps
    Net protocol

    Frequency usage
    Chautauqua County Digital Traffic System
Membership Requirements.
    Identification cards
    Membership application
    Training requirements

    Member Core Competencies

    Required certifications and training
    Annual membership renewal

appendix A: Glossary
appendix B: Deployment teams
appendix C: Shelters
appendix D: Digital Commuications Plan

                        Approved modes

                        HF Digital Communication in to and out of Chautauqua County:
Packet Radio
                        Automatic Link Establishment (ALE)
                               STANDARD MODES FOR HF KEYBOARD CHAT: OLIVIA 8/500 AND 16/500
                                STANDARD MODES FOR HF BULLETINS: MT63-1000 AND MT63-500
                                NET CONTROL STATION PROCEDURES
                                FORMAL VHF/UHF NET PROCEDURES
                                TRANSMISSION OF BINARY FILES OR LARGE FILES
                        VHF/UHF Digital Communication in to and out of Chautauqua County:
                        FLEXnet in WNY

appendix E: Relay points
appendix F: Repeaters/Simplex frequencies

appendix G: What to do in an emergency

appendix H: Initial Action Sheet

appendix I:  Basic Deployment Checklist
appendix J:  Extended Deployment Checklist
appendix K:  NTS Radiograms
appendix L: ARES Prinnciples of Disaster Communications
appendix M:  RACES SOP
appendix N: Local Sittuation Reporting forms
appendix O: ARES membership roster and map


Structure of ARES

Leadership and Organizational Structure
ARES is part of the American Radio Relay League, the ARRL, and as such, all ARES officials are field officials of the ARRL. The  CC ARES chain of command is


Chain of Command:

Emergency Coordinator
The Emergency Coordinator (EC)  for a county ARES group is in charge of ARES operations in the county. ARES operators in the county report to the EC  , and the EC  reports in turn to the SM and or regional District Emergency Coordinator . The EC is ultimately responsible for the planning, training and operations of the ARES group.  Andy , K3UK , is the Emergency Coordinator for Chautauqua, NY

Assistant Emergency Coordinators and other staff
Assistant Emergency Coordinators are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of the county EC. They are assigned specific support roles within the organization. If you see a need you might be able to fill, contact your EC to see whether an AEC appointment might be right for you!  Currently we have assigned roles for digital assistant coordinators,s training coordinator, public relations officers, county-wide  NCS,  and simplex local -area NCS.

Chautauqua County Emergency Management Service (EMS)
When ARES members operate in support of government agencies or government-managed emergency operations, the federally mandated National Incident Management System (NIMS) requires that each member have only one supervisor. This concept is known as Unity of Command and is required for organizations to be NIMS-compliant.  When government agencies are requesting assistance, RACES is most likely the amateur radio service that is activated. Therefore, when operating in support of an RACES activated mission, ARES members typically are functioning as RACES members and are subject to RACES requirements and procedures.

The following applies to ARES activated missions (not RACES)

Chautauqua ARES operates in support of any emergency or public service  operation that requires timely, accurate and fail safe communications. In Chautauqua County.

Chautauqua ARES can be activated independently by ARES members, or through an ARRL official by request of a served agency. Generally, ARES members will have advance notification of activations, but not always. Respond as soon as practically possible to activations, since ARES is activated for situations in which life and property depend on constant and reliable communications.  Amateur radio operators who encounter a situation that may constitute the need to activate ARES in Chautauqua County, can alert ARES via submission of a Local Situation Report (LSR) or via direct contact with the ARES chain of command. 

Served Agencies
ARES does not operate in a vacuum; ARES operators are not first responders, and so almost always provide communications in support of another group – the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Sky Warn to name a few. These groups are called Served Agencies.

Status Levels
These status levels are used by Chautauqua ARES.

Monitoring – Condition Green. ARES operators are encouraged to monitor for potential emergency situations, report as needed, and continue training and exercise. This status may be used for localized bad weather where other hams may require assistance or condition reports.  It may also be used  as a lower level alert warning of a serious emergency that may materialize in 48 hours or more.  The alert notification will specify recommended frequencies to monitor
Standby – Condition Yellow. ARES operators are notified that their services may be needed in less than 48 hours. Members should prepare and are are requested to secure property and prepare for deployment. The alert notification will specify recommended frequencies to monitor
Full Operation – Condition Red. ARES operators are in place and operating.  Frequencies already in use will be listed on the live APRS deployment  map.

Chautauqua County ARES districts

Chautauqua County ARES is divided in to five  simplex "local areas"  each with an  assigned local-are assistant EC.  The goal is that "simplex" communication within the local areas can be achieved and communications procedures that do not relay on repeaters or digipeaters can be established.  A "relay plan" will also be established wheres a message originating from one local area is relayed by the neighboring area to a more distant area.  A communications "chain" for the county.
Description: subdistrict map

Local- Simplex District Assistant EC (pending appoinment by EC)

District 1  -  
District 2  -  
District 3  -  
District 4    
District 5-    

Mutual Aide Assistance Plan (MAAP).  Chautauqua County ARES may be activated to provide assistance to the neighboring ARES group outside of the county.  Under this scenario, Chautauqua County ARES will operate under control of the host ARES group and follow their chain of command structure. See  for details

Activation Methods
The Chautauqua ARES EC will generally activate via the following methods, often ALL methods are utilized for maximum impact.

ARES operators should monitor e-mail and local repeaters, mainly 146.88/146.94 (linked) , 146.625, 444.350/442.750 (linked)  and 146.52 simplex. Upon activation, ARES operators should contact the EC as soon as possible, by any means possible to receive operating instructions, pre-incident briefings, and any further instructions.  See repeater chart for details.

Local Training Nets

Radio Nets consist of several stations operating on the same frequency from one or more locations.  There is ONE station that is designated as the “Net Control Station” (NCS), and this station has full control of what happens on the frequency occupied by the other stations of the net.  ARES Nets are the backbone of communication during emergencies and public service events . The Net Control Station (NCS) supervises and routes radio traffic during emergencies, allowing the smooth and orderly flow of information.

VHF/UHF  (Voice)

6M/UHF Net : First Friday of the month at 8PM VHF Net :(see repeater list for details of the many linked repeaters that provide the backbone for this net)
VHF :              Third Friday of month at 8PM, 146.88 and 146.94

HF Nets  (Voice)

The suggested HF monitoring frequency for Chautauqua County ARES  is 3991.5 kHz LSB.  A Monthly HF Net is held The first Saturday of each month at 2PM  local time.
Phone and Digital  HF-capable stations are strongly encouraged to monitor calling frequencies and traffic nets, and to stand ready to offer assistance should traffic relay requests go unanswered. In the absence of a functioning net, HF operators are encouraged to relay priority and emergency traffic to the best of their ability. 

Voice Net Protocol - How to Check In:

When joining a net  (“checking in”) , the following protocol should be used. When the net control station calls for check ins, wait for a pause, key up and give the NCS callsign, unkey and listen to be sure your not doubling with another station, then key up and give your callsign and traffic listing. If you have no traffic, then  say “No Traffic” .  If you have "traffic" No other information is necessary, just your callsign and traffic listing.

After stations have been checked in they will be acknowledged by the net control station in the order they checked into the net. Once checked in, stations should not make any transmissions unless directed so by the NCS or at a net callup. If a station needs to make contact with another station on the net, he must ask for permission from the NCS to make a “direct contact” with that station.  If this contact will be lengthy, then these stations should request permission from the NCS to move off the net frequency, and then report back in when rejoining the net. Stations should not leave the net frequency once they have checked in, unless they notify the NCS that they are/must leave the net, or are directed to change to another frequency by the NCS.

Net operations should be orderly and professional. There should be no unnecessary transitions, formal messages are usually passed in written format for accuracy.  At no time should rumor or “unconfirmed information” be discussed or passed over the net frequency.

At the discretion of the NCS, he/she may declare the net “Closed” or “Open” as discussed below. The NCS still has responsibility for operations of the net on the occupied frequency.  If the net will run for several hours, more than one NCS is needed. A schedule of NCS stations will  be made to include duration of duty for each NCS. When the NCS position is changed, then the transfer of NCS duties will  include a list of all stations currently checked into the net and any traffic listed for the net, and the status of that traffic at the time of the transfer of NCS duties. The oncoming NCS should inform his/her relief of the status of the incident for which the net has been established if this is known at that time.

Digital Nets

2M Digital Net Every Wednesday evening at 8.30PM on 146.94 and 146.88 repeaters.  This net transmits via  voice (FM)  , PSK31, MT63, Packet  and Olivia.  Check in procedures to be announced.

(HF) Every Saturday (except the FIRST Saturday or the month)  at 2:00 PM 3582 USB   Olivia    (8/500 Olivia, 1000 Hz center frequency, MT63 may also be used for bulletins,).  Please see detailed net check-in procedures for digital modes in appendix D of this manual

ARES Operator Requirements:

ARES operators serve their community in times of need. They
some times work  long hours in conditions that are often stressful and unpleasant, with little sleep. Usually, their only reward is the knowledge of the good they have done for their community, and a few kind words. ARES operators are amateur radio operators of the highest caliber, professionalism, and dedication to their community.

While courtesy is encouraged at all times for all amateur radio operators, it is absolutely vital during emergency operations. While the general public is not our intended audience, many non-hams listen through other means (scanners, etc). Our audience extends far beyond the confines of our radios. In that light:
● Professional conduct shall be maintained at all times.
● Confidential information, unless vital to operations, should not be passed over the air. If there is any doubt about the confidentiality of information, contact net control and inquire further.
During emergency nets, stress builds quickly. If any personal conflicts arise which interfere with ARES operations, conflicting individuals will be removed  from their positions until such time as the conflicts are resolved. The Chautauqua EC will have complete jurisdiction in these situations.
● At NO time during formal operations will any station operators  be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs..

Off air, ARES members are free to behave in the many ways the U.S.  constitution allows.  However, while freedom of speech is surely treasured by all our members. ,  Chautauqua County ARES expects members to treat all radio amateurs with respect and to refrain from public attacks/insults  of ARES officials , ARES members ,  the ARRL and its members.  Constructive criticism and polite disagreement may be appropriate but should be confined to appropriate, private ,  settings .  The EC reserves the right to expel members if behavior is not consistent with this requirement.

Certification/Membership Requirements

You should be aware that involvement in Chautauqua County ARES  requires some commitment. . However,  we  rely on volunteers we have considerable flexibility about  the schedule of events you can participate in. Most of the events are training related and many are operated throughout the month allowing   participation from home of from your vehicle.  You should anticipate a minimum  two hours per month.  As a member you will be expected to participate and at least maintain the minimum requirements (see below.).  You will be required to keep a log of your participation and submit that log when renewing your membership.

Chautauqua County ARES membership is granted upon receipt of a formal written application and review of qualifications. Each applicant will receive formal notice of their application status.   
Chautauqua County ARES believes that membership should be open to a wide array of hams regardless of experience or abilities , we are happy to train the new ham.  While denial of membership is very rare, Chautauqua County ARES reserves the right to deny membership when the applicants membership is considered not to be in the best interest of

ARES or the ARRL . Any individual NOT accepted will be provided a written explanation.  Individuals will not be denied membership based on gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Each accepted new member will be granted Trainee status until the required certifications and training has been completed . Trainees will be able to participate in almost all activities, some duties may not be assigned until the required training has been completed . The EC reserves the right to waive the training requirements if the applicant is recognized as possessing alternative education and skills.  Some served agencies may impose additional requirements for ARES to participate in events , the EC will be responsibility for ensuring compliance..

Chautauqua County ARES membership renewal  . Formal membership expires January 31st of each year.  The EC will renew credentials based upon an updated application form and review of annual training/participation requirements. The annual renewal will also help maintain  an accurate database of addresses, phone numbers, and available equipment.   A renewal form can be completed on-line or you mail send via radio or US Postal service

Chautauqua County ARES membership renewal

Name : .....................
Callsign ...................
QTH: .....................
Zip code ................
Email address.................
Home phone cell phone............
License class.....................
Dates of nets checked in (list six) ..................................
List training message numbers received in nets ........................................
Number of call outs participated in........................................................
Other ARES activities .........................................................................

As a training excercise, you can actually send your annual application via radio during a net in NTS format


Core Competencies:
The ARES operator will be trained to be competent in the following  basic skills

Each ARES members shall..

To achieve the above referened comptencies Chautauqua County ARES has the following established training and on-going membership requirement

Required certifications and training

Please Note: Due to the transitional nature of Chautauqua County ARES  in 2010-2011 ,    FULL membership status is granted to any individual on the membership  2010 roster in.  However, each member will be required to show evidence that they have met the  above training requirements prior to renewal of their credentials in 2012.  New member as of February 1 2011  are assigned Trainee status until they have completed the following

Required training and education for new members

       ●Completion of FEMA's free, online independent study NIMS course:  IS-100 and IS-700  . NIMS stands for the National Incident Management System. It's a federally mandated training system that enables disparate agencies with little or no common background to         operate on the same emergency scene in close conjunction with little notice or mutual training. It is designed to maintain interoperability before, during and after large events - like ice storms, blizzards, earth quakes,  or tornado activity (all of which  occur in Chautauqua         County .

       ● Participation in  at least six  Chautauqua County ARES training nets   and completion of any assigned training tasks issued during the six nets  .  The trainee will be required to submit a trainee log outlining the completion of this requirement.  Each regularly  assigned NCS station  is provided a local training manual which includes announcements and bulletins designed to be sent over-the-air via a net .  The nature of these announcements and bulletins  is such that they will be educational to the trainee regardless of the interval in which the trainees   checks in.  Someone checking in to six nets in twelve   months would find the transmitted information as useful as the ham that participated in six nets in six weeks.  There are approximately 10 ARES per month,  so there is plenty of opportunity to meet the six net minimum requirement
        ● Successful creation and transmission of at least one training message via an ARES Net.  This requirement will be documented on the  trainee  log. ARES leadership will provide individualized education to each trainee .

Annual requirements for existing members.

Trainee and Full membership status will be granted only to those with a valid amateur radio license consistent with FCC requirements. Anyone having their FCC license revoked or suspended will be removed from the active roster.  Auxiliary membership status may be granted to individuals performing none-transmitting roles such as SWLs, scanner enthusiasts, weather spotters,  and other volunteer assets.
Upon completion of the training, Full membership status will be granted by the EC and announced to the membership. Full membership is required for any individual wishing to serve as training  NCS or as ARES assistant ECs. Regular training sessions are held to assist operators in attaining these goals. Lack of certifications should not discourage any volunteer from offering to help at any time.

Optional certifications:
        ● ARRL Emergency Communications Classes
        ● IS-200

        ● FEMA IS-800: National Response Plan (NRP), An Introduction
        ● ICS-300: Intermediate ICS or equivalent

Chautauqua County ARES members are encouraged to complete the above optional certifications.


Each member of ARES is issued photo-ID that is required to be work when transmitting from the scene of an ARES activated event. The ID badge will be issued by the EC after an application for membership has been submitted and reasonable verification of the applicant’s identification has been submitted in person to the EC or a District Assistant EC. A valid NY or PA drivers license or valid RACES photo ID are acceptable forms of identification for this purpose.  Please note:  Several federal regulations provide stringent requirements for access to some incident sites or agency facilities.  Current ARES identification may NOT meet these requirements, RACES identification will usually meet the Federal requirements.

Appendix A: Glossary (under construction)
AEC – Assistant Emergency Coordinator
ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service
ARC 4496 – Risk assessment guidelines used by county officials in evaluating shelters
ARRL – American Radio Relay League
DEC – District Emergency Coordinator
EC – Emergency Coordinator, usually in reference to the ARES field official.
EOC – Emergency Operations Center.
FCC – Federal Communications Commission
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
MAAP= Mutual Aide Assistance Plan
NCS – Net Control Station
NIMS – National Incident Management System
RACES- Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
SDAC- Sub District Assistant Coordinator

Appendix B: Deployment Teams
Deployment teams can go quickly to distant locations to help in ARES operations. They can provide relief operators to let exhausted local operators to get some rest. CC ARES will maintain at least one such team ready to respond to a call within two hours or less of notification.  This important aspect of our plan will be developed over 2011 with full  implementation established by August 2011. 


Appendix C: Shelters
Insert  Chautauqua County warming or cooling shelter info.


Appendix D:  Digital Plan

Digital amateur radio modes are an important part of emergency and public service operation.  Many digital modes provide an ability to transfer highly accurate data that is essential to the provider agency .  Additionally digital modes provide the ability to send  short urgent messages under conditions that would not permit reception via voice and CW modes.  Digital modes, under certain specific FCC rules, also allow for automated unattended operation, such operations may be essential for ARES events.  To ensure a high level of competency in digital operations ,
Chautauqua County ARES  has identified the following as the approved digital modes

Packet  (1200 or 300 baud)
Olivia    (
8/500 Olivia, 1000 Hz center frequency)

Winmor (500 or 1600)

MT63   (
1000 Hz, 64 bit long interleave)

Other digital modes are not officially excluded, however the above are the primary training targets for 2011  .

Chautauqua County ARES has assigned Digital Coordinators who will be establishing a detailed digital communication plan during 2011 . When this plan is completed, the local ARES member shall have an easy answer to the often asked question "I have information that needs to be sent via digital modes, what is the most reliable and efficient way to send it ? ".  

The following  is simply a brief description of current digital processes utilized by  Chautauqua County ARES , this will gradually change during the next year

HF Digital Communication in to and out of Chautauqua County:
WINMOR/WL2K :Chautauqua County ARES operates a 24 hour Winlink 2000 station on varying HF frequencies .  The station K3UK-5 in Fredonia, NY provides robust error free email communication to the world wide WLK2 system.  This system utilizes direct radio wave communication and Internet communication.  The system does have back-up facilities in the event of a regional or international Internet failure.  Since HF Communication on a small county level can be difficult at times, Chautauqua County ARES members may also want to use other regional W2LK HF assets that are often quite easy to contact from our area.  Namely KB3GDG in the Pittsburgh area or VA3LKI in Ontario.  Please see details for these and ALL other HF WL2K stations at  
Please contact K3UK or our digital coordinators for assistance in utilizing W2LK software.  Several related trainings are provided by Chautauqua County ARES  during the year.

Packet radio:  Packet radio can provide reliable HF communications.  Packet radio is widely used on HF via the international APRS system,  many USA HF packet nodes are also active via Network 105 ( ).  Please contact K3UK or our digital coordinators for assistance in utilizing HF packet. Chautauqua County ARES during the year.

NBEMS/FLARQ:    The WPA ARES team has been a pioneering ARES group in this regard.  Several Chautauqua County ARES members have participated in the training nets operated by WPA ARES and are now poised to widen the use of these methods  in Chautauqua County .  With a free suite of applications that operate under Linux or Windows  NBEMS and FLARQ via Fldigi is the one vital piece of digital mode software that Chautauqua County ARES recommends .  This software will be used frequently for digital operations training.  Please contact K3UK or our digital coordinators for assistance in utilizing  this application.  Additionally, Chautauqua County ARES  members may wish to use the paNBEMS  net for further education.  -paNBEMS Traffic/Ragchew Net starts at 10:00 AM local time every Sunday morning with Net Control call on 3.5835 MHz USB using 8/500 Olivia, 1000 Hz center waterfall frequency. After any traffic is passed on the net, the net may  proceed by sending an MT63 1k long (1000 Hz, 64 bit long interleave) bulletin broadcast message, experiment with different modes or NBEMS alpha products. Time and band conditions permitting,  may switch to 7.0735 USB, Olivia 8/500 for propagation testing and to bring in additional stations. Chautauqua County ARES members may also want to consult the WPA ARES digital standards statement at for further knowledge development.
HF ALE:  Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) is a data and voice communication  linking system widely used by the military , FEMA, and other goverment agencies.  Amateur radio also utliizes ALE but not widely.  ALE has the ability to easily establish communication and even call up nets autimatcally.  Chautauqua County ARES intends to use ALE and hopefully increase its use among local memebrs.  Please contact K3UK for further information.

Digital Net Check-in procedures.  Chautauqua County ARES follows the digital mode guidlines established by David Kleber, KB3FXI - and paNBEMS.  Thanks is extended to KB3FXI  and paNBEMS for permission to use their material in this document.

Version 1.0
23 Jan 2011
David Kleber, KB3FXI - paNBEMS
Chautauqua County ARES   NETS
Chautauqua County ARES   NETS the purpose of testing and training in the use of digital sound card modes for use in emergency communications in sending both short formal messages and detailed logistical data.
The primary goals of the
PURPOSE OF Chautauqua County ARES   digital nets are to hone our skills in digital radio emergency communications and gain a sufficient number of qualified Amateur Radio station operators to support served agencies in times of communications outages, local or regional emergencies and disaster situations.
Our Net Operation standards have been adopted based upon extensive on the air experimentation
with different modes of operation and net protocols.

The goals of our digital sound card emergency communications nets are to:
• Build participation
• Practice net discipline
• Accurately move information as quickly and efficiently as possible
• Coordinate between in state and out of state net liaisons
• Meet the needs and wants of our potential served agencies to the best of our ability
• Distribute information relevant to emergency communications to our net participants

The standard mode for short messages/files and keyboard to keyboard chat over HF/SSB is Olivia. When conditions are adequate, we will use Olivia with 8 tones within a 500 Hz bandwidth at the start of the HF nets. If conditions are poor or deteriorate, we will use 16 tones within a 500 Hz bandwidth.

MT63-1000 or MT63-500, depending on band conditions, will be used for the transmission of larger messages on our HF nets.

NCS, and net participants, should use FLWRAP, whenever possible, for the transmission of spreadsheet data or other large files.
Flwrap will be used to ensure data integrity under the following circumstances:
o When transmitting critical data where any error is not acceptable.
o When transmitting data such as spreadsheets where any error could result in file
o Whenever directed to by the Served Agency.

NCS and net members should use Flmsg for formal message handling in either the ICS-213,
NTS/Radiogram or Blank form tabs, but plain text messages should be accepted by NCS and
other members of the net.

The standard HF digital emcomm frequency for Chautauqua County  is 3.583.5 MHz with 3.592 and 7.072 MHz as backup frequencies. These frequencies are dial frequencies for the HFtransceiver VFO in USB mode with a center waterfall frequency of 1000 Hz.
The VFO dial and waterfall frequency of 1000 Hz is critical to the smooth transition between the Olivia and MT63 1k long modes with stations utilizing RSID and should be followed at all times.
The initial mode for the HF net will be 8/500 or 16/500 Olivia, depending upon band conditions. When changing modes to MT63-1000 to pass high-speed traffic, NCS will announce the changein mode and then transmit a carrier tone at 1000 Hz in the waterfall for 20 seconds. Stations will then change modes and should already be centered at 1000 Hz waterfall frequency. MT63 500 Hz long will only be used under heavy static crash conditions, such as those that may exist in the summer months during heavy electrical storm activity, and the center waterfall frequency is 750 Hz. In rare cases - and only under extremely poor band conditions - NCS may switch to 8/250 Olivia. If the switch to 16/500 or 8/250 Olivia is necessary, all traffic should be as short as possible and limited to priority or emergency messages.

It is very important for all participating stations checking in to the digital nets to follow the direction of net control at all times and only use break in procedures for legitimate authorized or confirmed priority or emergency traffic. While general check-ins with or without out traffic are often encouraged, please remember to pause a few seconds to give priority to stations checking in with traffic when NCS calls for general check-ins.

Important additional information :
• Stations should enter a hard return (keyboard enter key) prior to and following their call sign, county and statement of traffic. This separates the station’s check in information from the random characters (diddle) at the receiving stations, including NCS.
• DO NOT check in with extraneous text, general macros or character leaders prior to your text. Here is an example of an improper check in:
(i.e. “…………. Net Control de KB3UK, good evening from Allegheny County, I have no traffic for the net tonight. Back to you, N2ZK NCS de KB3UK kn”).
Check in time goes from about 6 seconds when checking in properly to almost 30 seconds in the improper example above. In the example above, the proper check in should have been:  KB3UK, Fredonia
• Whenever possible, prepare your message by typing it ahead of time and prior to transmitting in order to speed up the net keyboard to keyboard operations.
• CS may need to change procedures during a net to accommodate changing
conditions or situations. PLEASE follow the direction of the Net Control Station.

Priorities of NCS (in order of importance) are:
1. Maintain net discipline to the best of your ability
2. Select the proper modes of operation according to band conditions and traffic volume
3. Identify and acknowledge, to the net, one or more designated stations who will act as
relay through the duration of the net session
4. Effective management of emergency and priority traffic
5. Check in and log net liaison stations
6. Check in and logging of stations by location
7. Direct the traffic handling of routine traffic
8. Direct the transmission of informational bulletins of interest to the net
9. Encourage participation in the net by calling any stations with our without traffic,
conditions permitting
10. Adapt Net procedures according to conditions and situations, giving clear direction to the net participants
During drills and actual activations, Net Control Station operations should not be combined with
station operations at key locations such as Emergency Operations Center or Official Relay
Stations and should have backup emergency power capabilities.

Whenever possible, NCS should call for early check-ins 30 minutes prior to the net. From the early check ins, NCS should also request that one or more of the early check ins act as designated net relays, assuming that they will be available at their station for the duration of the net. Upon the start of each net, NCS will call for stations with Emergency or Priority traffic only. Depending upon the anticipated number of check-ins or band conditions, the Net Control Station (NCS) may decide to first ask for check-ins from stations with traffic only, followed by stations with traffic, and then check-ins by ARES Region or other geographical criteria as established by NCS. Participating stations should closely follow NCS instructions. NCS will advise all stations checking in to transmit only their call sign, county (or if out of state, their general location), and statement of traffic. The statement of traffic will consist of the number of messages and the call sign of the station, or general location (i.e. county or location)
to which the traffic is directed.

For example, if KC2MUY  is checking in and has one piece of traffic for AA2AD, KC2MUY  will check in as follows:
KC2MUY, Dunkirk, 1- AA2AD

If KC2MUY  had one message for AA2AD and one general message for  all operators Chautaqua  County, she would check in as follows:
KC2MUY  Dunkirk , 2- AA2D, Chautauqua

It is recommended that NCS record check-ins via paper log in to ensure they maintain this data in the event of a computer crash or short power interruption, which could lead to the loss of any
electronically logged data. In the instance of an actual emergency activation, NCS may prioritize check-ins from stations in specific affected areas or facilities .
After listening for check-ins, NCS will acknowledge stations checked in and may ask for relays. Whenever possible, NCS will specifically designate one or more relay stations, prior to net start, to help prevent doubling when calling for relays. Participating net stations NOT designated as relays, should not respond to NCS calls for relays from NCS designated relays. NCS may ask for any stations to relay. Do not respond to relay requests unless you have solid copy on both NCS
and the other station. Should a station need to get the attention of NCS for a break-in, the station should transmit a 1000 Hz carrier tone for 5 seconds by using the “Tune” button at the upper right hand corner of
the FLDIGI screen. This procedure should be reserved for stations breaking in with emergency or priority traffic only. The 1000 Hz “Tune” tone may be transmitted over (on top of) an existing
Olivia or MT63 transmission without negative affect to receiving stations, but breaking stations using this procedure should attempt to transmit the tone, starting immediately, or just prior to, the end of the current transmitting stations transmission.

The standard mode for use over FM repeaters or on FM VHF/UHF simplex channels is MT63- 2000 with long interleave.

On VHF/UHF we will use the same procedures that we use for voice nets because we are allowed to intermingle digital and voice communications. The Chautaqua County ARES Emergency Coordinator has designated  the 148.88/146.94 linked repeater as repater for ARES digital operations.  146.52 is the simplex frequency for digital mode nets on VHF.

Transmission of binary files such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets is to be discouraged because of the large size of these files and our limited bandwidth. Instead, we should convert
Word files to text format and Excel spreadsheets to Comma Separated Values (CSV) text format. NCS should move stations with large data files designated to another specific station on the net,
off the primary net waterfall frequency (i.e. up 1500 Hz) so as to not disrupt the net with excessively long data transmissions.

The Chautaqua County ARES  Net Control operations will continue to expand and change as we learn more.Although at times decisions and changes will have to be made, it is hoped that we can arrive at
these standards through consensus and open-minded constructive discussion, and that thesedecisions can be validated through on-the-air testing. The best way to participate in the standardsetting
process is to join the paNBEMS working group and get involved with the mailing list and on the air testing, both on HF and at the local level


Please see  and for  inportant detail on use of applications to send formal files under emegency condition.  See also for detail infomation about use of Fldigi for emergency communications

VHF/UHF Digital Communication in to and out of Chautauqua County:

2M Digital Net Every Wednesday evening at 8.30PM on 146.94 and 146.88 repeaters.  This net transmits via  voice (FM)  , PSK31, MT63, Packet  and Olivia using methods outlined above.

:Chautauqua County ARES  digital coordinators  operate Winlink 2000 stations.  This system provides the ability to use VHF and UHF packet radio to interface with the world-wideWL2K system. Please contact our digital coordinatos for assitance in utilizing WL2K via VHF/UHF packet.

APRS-Tracking and Messaging: Chautauqua County RACES operates  APRS stations from WCA Hospital and occasionally from the EOC in Mayville NY.  Chautauqua County ARES intends to broaden the scope of  2M APRS in Chautauqua County witht he goal of having digipeater operations in key locations that can relay mobile traffic.  APRS messaging can be used to relay  position and status, imprtant emcomm infomration   Please contact our digital coordinator for assitance in utilizing 2M APRS .  Members may also wish to review the APRS messaging software at You can view a live APRS map of Chautauqua County at  (zoom in to the desired area)
Flex-Net Packet:  Chautauqua County RACES operates a Flex Net Node.  See for information.  RACES in this area has used Flex Nodes considerably.  ARES will be evaluating use of this packet radio system during 2011.  A current east coast node list can be found at
WNY nodes area

WNY Region:

K2HE    0-8    145.05                  WNY  Stockton, Chautauqua County, NY

KB2WRM  0-15   145.59                  WNY  Knapps Creek, Cattaraugus Cty, NY

KC2DND  0-6    145.01                  WNY  Aurora, Erie County, NY

N2UON   0=15   145.95                  WNY  Dayton, Cattaraugus County, NY

N2YDF   0-6    145.01                  WNY  Buffalo, Erie County, NY

WA2CAM  0-8    145.05                  WNY  Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY

The following is a flow chart that illustrates the above network of digital systems that ARES may use.

Description: digital chart

Appendix E – Relay Points
The objective of this section is to compile a list of known relay points in Chautauqua County using mobile or handheld antennas and power levels of no more than 60 watts.
When the exercise was conducted, each point on the left-hand side of the chart transmitted for a set amount of time. All stations listened, then called back to Net Control, and reported whether they could hear the transmitting station.

Description: relay points chart
(current data is hypothetical and for illustration purposes only.  An updated chart with real data is a 2011 ARES project)

NCS was at the Brooks Hospital,
P1 Silver Creek
P2 Fredonia (5W handie-talkie)
P3 Mayville
P4 South Dayton
P5 Intersection of 380 and route 60
P6 WCA Hospital]
P7 Kennedy
P8 Frewsburg
P9 Falconer
P10 Steamburg Reservation
P11 CCAFMA Clubhouse (50W fixed)
P12 N2TIF residence (100W? fixed)
P13 AC2JC residence by fixed)

To determine whether (for instance) P6 and P9 can communicate two-way, do the following:
(1) Locate the first station on the left side of the chart. In that station's row, look for the second station's column. If that square is green, then Station 2 can hear it.
(2) Locate the second station on the top side of the chart. In Station 2's column, find Station 1's row. If that square is green, then Station 1 can hear Station 2.
(3) If both squares are green, then two-way simplex communication is possible at 25-60 watt power ranges, using standard mobile whips and better. Exceptions are noted in point lists. If a square is black, stations were unavailable or unresponsive when called, and accurate data has not been collected.

Appendix F – Repeaters
This section is intended to provide a quick-reference section for local repeaters. Data may not be current, and should be verified at the earliest possible opportunity. Keep in mind that in a disaster, many repeaters may be unavailable.
Local Area Repeater Stations
updated December 4, 2010
Chautauqua County and surrounding area is fortunate enough to have several very efficient repeater system.   A repeater system is a amateur radio station that usually is located at a high elevation and provides communication
over a wide area.  These repeaters are often monitored at times of emergencies and are formally used by RACES/ARES,  at times.  If you would like to assist ARES/RACES , and have a particular interest in repeater operations, please contact the ARES Emergency Coordinator, Andy K3UK

The following are useful repeater system for you to try

  RACES Funded  Repeaters




RACES Funded Repeater

CCAFMA Club Repeater (net Wednesdays 9PM




RACES Funded Repeater

CCAFMA Club Repeater




RACES Funded Repeater

NCARC Club Repeater (net Tuesdays 7.30PM)


    Chautauqua County/Southern Tier Linked System





PL tone



Gerry, NY





Mayville, NY





Sherman, NT





Sherman, NY





Limestone, NY





Limestone, NY





Fredonia, NY





Perryburg , NY





Bradford, PA



The following are other local and regional repeaters  useful for ARES members





PL Tone




Warren PA


Net Mondays 9PM



Beamus Point













CCRA club









Union City, PA


Union City Wireless Association



Union City, PA




Warren PA















Corry, PA




Corry, PA





Union City, PA




Warren PA




Corry, PA


Please report any errors or updates to K3UK

Apendix G  What to do first in case of an Emergency:


1. Check that you and your family are safe and secure before you respond as an ARES Volunteer.


2. Check that your property is safe and secure before you respond as an ARES Volunteer.


3. Monitor 146.625 or 146.880 Repeaters


4. Follow the instructions you receive from the ARES officials in charge on the above frequencies.


5. Contact your local Emergency Coordinator, or his/her designee, for further instructions.

 Appendix H  Initial Action Checklist

The net control station and/or ARES officials on the designated emergency net will provide additional instructions, including information on frequencies used for other resource and tactical nets. Normally, a resource net will enroll volunteers and provide information on how you can assist.


·         Be prepared to operate. Check all equipment and connections.

·        Check in with your assigned contact. Deploy to assignment with “Ready” kit.

·        Obtain tactical call sign (if used) for your location/assignment.

·        Initiate personal event log.

·        Enter assigned frequency(s) on log sheet and on emergency/frequency plan.

·        Use log form to record messages handled.

·        Use a formal message form when a precise record is required.

·        Use tactical call sign (if used) for your location, and observe FCC’s 10-minute ID Rule.

·        Monitor your assigned frequency at all times. Notify NCS if you have to leave.

Appendix I Basic Deployment Equipment Checklist

[  ] 2 meter mobile or hand held

[  ] Radio Manual

[  ] 2 meter mag mount antenna and coax

[  ] Earphones

[  ] Paper and pencil

[  ] ARES ID card

[  ] Extra batteries for hand held

[  ] Appropriate clothing

[ ] Food and water

The majority of these items should be kept in a “Ready Kit.” Just pick it up on your way out the door for deployment. Make sure any spare hand held batteries are fully charged!

Appendix J  Extended Deployment (72 hours) Equipment Checklist
Suggested but not limited to:

[  ] 3 day change of clothes      [  ] 3 days food/water     [  ] Extra coax

[  ] Foul weather gear              [  ] First Aid Kit             [  ] Snacks

[  ] Toilet articles                     [  ] Shelter (tent, lentos) [  ] Prescriptions                       

[  ] Cooking gear                     [  ] Aspirin or similar     [  ] Batteries

[  ] Extra radios, packet           [  ] Toolbox                   [  ] Alarm clock

[  ] Waterproof matches          [  ] Candles                     [  ] Power supplies        

 [  ] Flashlight                          [  ] Microphones            [  ] VOM

[  ] Patch cords                        [  ] Electrical/Duct tape  [  ] Safety glasses

[  ] Antennas & mounts           [  ] Log books                [  ] RF Connectors/adapters

[  ] SWR meter VHF/HF         [  ] Message forms

POWER: Your 72 hour kit should have several sources of power in it, with extra battery packs and an alkaline battery pack for your handheld. For mobile VHF and UHF radios, larger batteries are needed. Gell-cell or deep-cycle marine batteries are good sources of battery power, and you must keep them charged and ready to go.  It is also wise to have alternate means available to charge your batteries during the emergency.  You can charge smaller batteries from other larger batteries.  You can build a solar charging device. If you’re lucky, you may have access to a power generator that can be used in place of the normal electrical lines. Have more battery capacity than you think you might need.  Have several methods available to connect your radios different power sources.

GAIN ANTENNAS: You can expect to need some kind of gain antenna for your handheld, as well as an additional gain antenna that can be used on either your handheld or your mobile rig.  The extra antenna might be needed by someone else, or your first antenna might break.  For VHF and UHF, you can build a J-pole from TV twin lead for an inexpensive and very compact antenna.  Have several lengths of coax in your kit, totaling at least 50 feet, and barrel connectors to connect them together.

PERSONAL: Include staples, water, or reliable water filtration and purification system; enough food for three days; eating utensils, and drinking cup and, if needed, a means of cooking your food. Shelter is also important. Here, you are only limited by the size of your kit and the thickness of your wallet.  Some hams plan to use their RV’s as shelter, conditions permitting.  Other disaster conditions bay make the use of an RV impossible, so you should have several different plans for shelter. Light is important psychologically during an emergency. Make sure that you have several light sources available. Various battery-powered lights are available, and lanterns that use propane or other fuel are also good possibilities.

 Appendix K :  NTS Radiograms

  1. Number--every radiogram should have a number. Keep a sheet with a consecutive list of numbers, beginning at 1, by your radio. When a radiogram is written, complete all parts of the preamble except the number. When you send the radiogram, assign a number to it from the number sheet, crossing out numbers on the sheet as they are used and making a notation, after the number, of the station to whom the radiogram was sent and the date. Most traffic handlers start with number 1at the beginning of each year.
  2. Precedence--every radiogram has a precedence, and it is normally "Routine" (R). It is a separate part of the preamble and is transmitted as such, not as part of the number. Other precedence’s are "Priority" (P), "Emergency" --never abbreviated, and "Welfare" (W).
  3. Handling Instructions (HX)--are used when the writer of the radiogram requires special instructions in how to the handle the radiogram.
  4. Station of Origin--is the call sign of the radio station from which the radiogram was first sent by Amateur Radio, and is included so that handling stations will be able to communicate with the originator if something interferes with the prompt handling or delivery of the message.
  5. Check--is the number of words and numerals in the text of the radiogram. Handling stations should agree on the check before the message is considered handled.
  6. Place of Origin--is the name of the town from which the radiogram started, not necessarily the location of the radio station of origin. The preamble of a radiogram written in Dayton, Ohio might read as follows: NR 457 R W1INF 21 DAYTON OHIO 2057Z JUNE 11. If a message is sent to your station by mail or not written in person, the preamble should show the place the radiogram came from. If the radiogram came to Dayton by mail from Auburn, Maine, the preamble would read: NR 457 R W1INF 21AUBURN MAINE 2057Z JUNE 11.
  7. Time Field--is the time the radiogram is received at the station that it sent. Standard practice is to use Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). This part of the preamble is optional with the originating station.
  8. Date--the month and the day (not the year) that the radiogram was filed at the originating station.
  9. Address--is the complete name, street and number, city and state to whom the radiogram is going--stress this when accepting a radiogram. The phone number should be part of the address. In transmitting the message by CW, the signal AA is used to separate parts of the address, and the address is followed by BT or "break" before the text is started. Addresses with the words east, west, etc, should be spelled out in full. Don't use suffixes "th," "nd"etc (example: 19 W 19th St should be 19 West 19 St.
  10. Text--consists of words in the radiogram. No abbreviations should be used. The text follows the address and is set off from the signature by another BT.
  11. Signature--is usually the name of the person originating the message. The signature follows the BT or "break" at the end of the text. The abbreviation "sig" is not transmitted. After the signature, say "end" or transmit AR. If more is to follow, say "more." On CW, use the prosign B. If there's no more, say "no more." On CW use the prosign "N."

An example of an ARRL RADIOGRAM is shown on the Precedence’s page




EMERGENCY- Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of person, this is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities.  This includes official messages of welfare agencies during emergencies requesting supplies, materials, or instruction vital to relief efforts for stricken populace in emergency areas. On CW and digital modes, this designation will always be spelled out.

PRIORITY – Abbreviated as P on CW and digital modes. This classification is for important messages having specific time limit, official messages not covered in the emergency category, press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency.

WELFARE – Abbreviated as W on CW and digital modes. This classification refers to an inquiry about the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area, or to an advisory from the disaster area that indicates all is well.  Welfare traffic is handled only after all Emergency and Priority traffic is cleared. The Red Cross equivalent to an incoming Welfare message is DWI (Disaster Welfare Inquiry).

ROUTINE – Abbreviated as R on CW and digital modes. Most traffic in normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with higher-precedence traffic.

ARRL Message Handling Instructions

Handling instructions (HX) convey special instructions to operators handling and delivering the message. The instruction is inserted in the message Preamble between the Precedence and the Station of Origin. Its use is optional with the originating stations, but once inserted it is mandatory with all relaying stations.



HXA                    (Followed by number.) Collect landline delivery authorized by addressee within _____ miles. (If no number, authorization is unlimited.)

HXB                    (Followed by number.) Cancel message if not delivered within_____ hours of filing time, service originating station.

HXC                    Report date and time of delivery (TOD) to originating station.

HXD                    Report to originating station the identity of station from which received, plus date and time. Report identity of station to which relayed, plus date and time, or if delivered report date, time and method of delivery.

HXE                    Delivering station get reply from addressee, originate message back.

HXF                     (Followed by number.) Hold delivery until  _______ (date).

HXG                    Delivery by mail or landline toll call not required. If toll or other expense involved, cancel message and service originating station.

ARRL Radiogram Abbreviated Text

The letters ARL are inserted in the preamble in the check and in the text before spelled out numbers, which represent texts from this list. Note that some ARL texts include insertion of numerals and text. Example: NR 1 R W1AW ARL 5 NEWINGTON CONN. DEC 25 DONALD R. SMITH 164 EAST SIXTH AVE NORTH RIVER CITY MO PHONE 73-3968 ARL FIFTY ARL SIXTY ONE BT DIANA . For additional information about traffic handling, consult The ARRL Operating Manual, published by ARRL, or the NTS Methods and Practices Guidelines, .

Group One—For Possible “Relief Emergency” Use

ONE: Everyone safe here. Please don't worry.

TWO: Coming home as soon as possible.

THREE: Am in _____ hospital. Receiving excellent care and recovering fine.

FOUR: Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster reports.

FIVE: Am moving to new location. Send no further mail or communication. Will inform you of new address when relocated.

SIX: Will contact you as soon as possible.

SEVEN: Please reply by Amateur Radio through the amateur delivering this  message. This is a free public service.

EIGHT:  Need additional _____ mobile or portable equipment for immediate emergency use.

NINE:  Additional _____ radio operators needed to assist with emergency at this location.

TEN: Please contact _____. Advise to standby and provide further emergency information, instructions or assistance.

ELEVEN: Establish Amateur Radio emergency communications with _____ on _____ MHz.

TWELVE: Anxious to hear from you. No word in some time. Please contact me as soon as possible.

THIRTEEN: Medical emergency situation exits here.

FOURTEEN: Situation here becoming critical. Losses and damage from ____ increasing.

FIFTEEN: Please advise your condition and what help is needed.

SIXTEEN: Property damage very severe in this area.

SEVENTEEN:  REACT communications services also available. Establish REACT communication with _____ on channel _____.

EIGHTEEN: Please contact me as soon as possible at _____.

NINETEEN: Request health and welfare report on _____ . (State name, address and telephone number.)

TWENTY: Temporarily stranded. Will need some assistance. Please contact me at _____.

TWENTY ONE: Search and Rescue assistance is needed by local authorities here. Advise availability.

TWENTY TWO: Need accurate information on the extent and type of conditions now existing at your location. Please furnish this information and reply without delay.

TWENTY THREE: Report at once the accessibility and best way to reach your location.

TWENTY FOUR: Evacuation of residents from this area urgently needed. Advise plans for help.

TWENTY FIVE: Furnish as soon as possible the weather conditions at your location.

TWENTY SIX: Help and care for evacuation of sick and injured from this location needed at once.

Emergency/priority messages originating from official sources must carry the signature of the originating official.

Group Two—Routine Messages

FORTY SIX: Greetings on your birthday and best wishes for many more to come.

FORTY SEVEN: Reference your message number _____ to _____ delivered on _____ at _____ UTC.

FIFTY: Greetings by Amateur Radio.

FIFTY ONE: Greetings by Amateur Radio. This message is sent as a free public service by ham radio operators at _____. Am having a wonderful time.

FIFTY TWO: Really enjoyed being with you. Looking forward to getting together again.

FIFTY THREE: Received your _____. It’s appreciated; many thanks.

FIFTY FOUR: Many thanks for your good wishes.

FIFTY FIVE: Good news is always welcome. Very delighted to hear about yours.

FIFTY SIX: Congratulations on your _____, a most worthy and deserved achievement.

FIFTY SEVEN: Wish we could be together.

FIFTY EIGHT: Have a wonderful time. Let us know when you return.

FIFTY NINE: Congratulations on the new arrival. Hope mother and child are well.

*SIXTY: Wishing you the best of everything on _____.

SIXTY ONE: Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

*SIXTY TWO: Greetings and best wishes to you for a pleasant _____ holiday season.

SIXTY THREE: Victory or defeat, our best wishes are with you. Hope you win.

SIXTY FOUR: Arrived safely at _____.

SIXTY FIVE: Arriving _____ on _____. Please arrange to meet me there.

SIXTY SIX: DX QSLs are on hand for you at the _____ QSL Bureau. Send _____ self addressed envelopes.

SIXTY SEVEN: Your message number _____ undeliverable because of _____. Please advise.

SIXTY EIGHT: Sorry to hear you are ill. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

SIXTY NINE: Welcome to the _____. We are glad to have you with us and hope you will enjoy the fun and fellowship of the organization.

* Can be used for all holidays.


ARRL Recommended Precedences

Please observe the following ARRL provisions for PRECEDENCES in connection with written message traffic. These provisions are designed to increase the efficiency of our service both in normal times and in emergency.

EMERGENCY--Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities. This includes official messages of welfare agencies during emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital to relief of stricken populace in emergency areas. During normal times, it will be very rare. On CW/RTTY, this designation will always be spelled out. When in doubt, do not use it.

PRIORITY--Use abbreviation P on CW/RTTY. This classification is for a) important messages having a specific time limit b) official messages not covered in the emergency category c) press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency d) notice of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or official.

WELFARE--This classification, abbreviated as W on CW/RTTY, refers to either an inquiry as to the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area or an advisory from the disaster area that indicates all is well. Welfare traffic is handled only after all emergency and priority traffic is cleared. The Red Cross equivalent to an incoming Welfare message is DWI (Disaster Welfare Inquiry).

ROUTINE--Most traffic in normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine (R on CW/RTTY) should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with higher precedence traffic.

Note--the precedence always follows the message number. For example, a message number may be 207R on CW and “Two Zero Seven Routine” on phone.

Appendix L : ARES Principles of Disaster Communication

(from ARRL)
It is impossible to state exact rules that will cover every situation that arises. The good amateur faced with a disaster situation may, however, benefit greatly from certain rules of thumb. These rules are, or should be, part of his/her training in his/her ARES group. They are presented here and should be reviewed by all amateurs, even those not active in disaster communications preparation.

1. Keep the QRM level down. In a disaster, many of the most crucial stations will be weak in signal strength. It is most essential that all other stations remain silent unless they are called upon. If you're not sure you should transmit  -- don't. Our amateur bands are very congested. If you want to help, study the situation by listening. Don't transmit unless you are sure you can help by doing so. Don't ever break into a disaster net just to inform the control station you are there if needed.

2. Monitor established disaster frequencies. Many localities and some geographical areas have established disaster frequencies where someone is always (or nearly always) monitoring for possible calls. When you are not otherwise engaged, it is helpful simply to sit and listen on such frequencies, some of which are used for general ragchewing as well as disaster preparedness drilling. On CW, SOS is universally recognized, but has some legal aspects that should be considered where the need is not truly crucial. On voice, one can use "Mayday" (universal, the phone equivalent of SOS) or, to break into a net or conversation with the word "emergency."

3. Avoid spreading rumors. During and after a disaster situation, especially on the phone bands, you may hear almost anything. Unfortunately, much misinformation is transmitted. Rumors are started by expansion, deletion, amplification or modification of words, exaggeration or interpretation. All addressed transmissions should be officially authenticated as to their source. These transmissions should be repeated word for word, if at all, and only when specifically authorized. In a disaster emergency situation, with everyone's nerves on edge, it is little short of criminal to make a statement on the air without foundation in authenticated fact.

4. Authenticate all messages. Every message which purports to be of an official nature should be written and signed. Whenever possible, amateurs should avoid initiating disaster or emergency traffic themselves. We do the communicating; the agency officials we serve supply the content of the communications.

5. Strive for efficiency. Whatever happens in an emergency, you will find hysteria and some amateurs who are activated by the thought that they must be "sleepless heroes." Instead of operating your own station full time at the expense of your health and efficiency, it is much better to serve a shift at one of the best-located and best-equipped stations. This station will be suitable for the work at hand, and manned by relief shifts of the best-qualified operators. This reduces interference and secures well-operated stations.

6. Select the mode and band to suit the need. It is a characteristic of all amateurs to believe that their favorite mode and band is superior to all others. For certain specific purposes and distances, this may be true. However, the merits of a particular band or mode in a communications emergency should be evaluated impartially with a view to the appropriate use of bands and modes. There is, of course, no alternative to using what happens to be available, but there are ways to optimize available communications.

Appendix M : RACES

ARES members are encouraged to also join RACES.  A very useful RACES document on operating procedures can be found at
For local RACES information please contact N2LRG at

Appendix N:  Local Situation Report forms.   To be inserted here

Appendix O:  ARES Mebership Roster