Who we are

The Amatuer Radio Emergency Service, (ARES) is a part of the field organization of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators. The League represents Amateur Radio interests to regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to Amateur Radio enthusiasts and supports a number of educational programs throughout the country. ARRL is a non-profit organization and has a membership of approximately 156,000.

The ARRL has 120 full- and part-time staff members. The field organizaton of the ARRL is broken down into fifteen (15) Divisions which are further broken down into a total of seventy-one (71) administrative sections. Each division has a Director, and Vice Directors as appropriate. Each section has a Manager, who then appoints other assistants and coordinators to assist them in fullfiling their role. One of those positions is the Section Emergency Coordinator who is responsible for all emergency communictioans and ARES within their section.

The sections are then divided down into even smaller areas called districts. The SEC appoints District Emergency Coordinators who are responsible for their particular district. Districts are generally further divided down by counties, or in the case of Harris County (TX) which is its own district, units spectificly targeting a geographic area or task. Each County, or unit will have an Emergency Coordinator and assistants who are responsible for emergency communications for that unit.

Amateur Radio During and After Disasters

Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized communication networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected by the disaster. Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and other infrastructure-dependent systems.

Amateur Radio Operators Help Local Officials

Many radio amateurs are active as communications volunteers with local public safety organizations. In addition, in some disasters, radio frequencies are not coordinated among relief officials and Amateur Radio operators step in to coordinate communication when radio towers and other elements in the communications infrastructure are damaged.

Major Amateur Radio Emergency Organizations

Amateur Radio operators have informal and formal groups to coordinate communication during emergencies. At the local level, hams may participate in multiple local emergency organizations, or organize local "traffic nets."At the state level, hams are often involved with state emergency management operations. In addition, hams operate at the national level through the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), which is coordinated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), which is coordinated through the American Radio Relay League and its field volunteers.

Nationally Amateur Radio Is Recognized as a Resource by National Relief Organizations. Many national organizations have formal agreements with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) through ARES / RACES including:

Locally Harris County ARES cooperates hand in hand with a number of local govermentental agencies, hospitals and non-governmental agencies including: