To become a member of Harris County ARES and receive a Harris County ARES badge you must;


There are three levels of membership based upon individual achievement level.

While not required by the ARRL to be an Basic ARES member, many of our served agencies may require you to have taken the FEMA IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, IS-800 incident command courses in order to serve even as a communications volunteer. These courses are FREE and only take an hour or two each to complete. Once completed add them to your training records in the STX Info Depot. Because both FEMA and the ARRL keep moving things around on their web-sites links to those are no longer provided. Use your favorite internet search engine and simply put in the course description and you will quickly find it.

It is also highly recommended that you create an account on the Preparing Texas web-site. As you complete any FEMA, DHS, DPS/TDEM, or ARRL training courses the certificates can be uploaded there as well. This gives our served agencies access to your training records. When creating an account use your FCC license in all capital letters and a password you remember.

Basic membership. All that is required to be a basic member is to have an amateur radio license and join ARES.

Intermediate Membership. To be considered an intermediate member once must fullfill the requirements for the Basic membership plus;

Advanced Membership. To be considered an advanced member once must fullfill the requirements for the Basic & Intermediate membership plus;

Continuing Education

Review the Harris County ARES Operations Manual. It is recommended that you get a 1" three ring binder and download the STX individual task workbook and the Harris County Operations Manual. Because this is a significant amount of information only download what applies to you. You do not need to download the Com Plans for all four units, just the one you are a member of. Please set some time aside to review the training pages. There is a lot of information here and it may be like trying to drink from a fire hydrant at first but as you check in on nets, listen to others and participate in a few exercises it will all come together for you.

ARRL Courses (fee required)

Additional FEMA Courses of interest.


National Weather Service

Texas Department of Emergency Management

Community Emergency Response Teams

American Red Cross

Practice Practice Practice

Part of the learning process and becoming comfortable with being an emergency communicator is to practice practice practice. Check in to numerous nets. Pretend that you are the net contol station (NCS) and write down all the check ins. Take notes on whatever traffic or training that was passed over the air. When the net is over send the net control station an email with your list of check-ins and notes and ask them to verify that you got it correct. In addition to participating in local V/UHF nets, if you have HF capability, check in to the Texas Traffic net on a regular basis. Even better would be to actually handle traffic on the net.

Another way to improve your skills is to participate in public service events. You will often hear people say that you can not be a good communicator until you are a good listener. A lot of what you will learn doing public service is not what you do but listening to all the traffic handled by the net and how it was handled. Go over in your mind how you might do things slightly differently for yourself. After the event is over talk to the NCS and other communication leaders for the event and discuss things you may have had questions about but over the air during the net was not the appropriate time. Everyone who is in charge of an event or the NCS has started out not knowing much either. Learn from them.

To record your volunteer hours

Notify your EC of any volunteer hours you may work shortly after you work them. Your EC files monthly reports for their units.