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RACES info from ARRL:

4.1 What is RACES?

RACES, administered by local, county and state emergency management agencies, and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States government. It is a part of the Amateur Radio Service that provides radio communications for civil-preparedness purposes only, during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies. These emergencies are not limited to war-related activities, but can include natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes.

As defined in the rules, RACES is a radio communication service, conducted by volunteer licensed amateurs, designed to provide emergency communications to local or state civil-preparedness agencies. It is important to note that RACES operation is authorized by emergency management officials only, and this operation is strictly limited to official civil-preparedness activity in the event of an emergency-communications situation.

4.2 Operating Procedure

Amateurs operating in a local RACES organization must be officially enrolled in the local civil-preparedness agency having jurisdiction. RACES operation is conducted by amateurs using their own primary station licenses and by existing RACES stations.

The FCC no longer issues new RACES (WC prefix) station call signs. Operator privileges in RACES are dependent upon, and identical to, those for the class of license held in the Amateur Radio Service. All of the authorized frequencies and emissions allocated to the Amateur Radio Service are also available to RACES on a shared basis.

While RACES was originally based on potential use for wartime, it has evolved over the years, as has the meaning of civil defense (which is also called civil preparedness), to encompass all types of emergencies.

While operating in a RACES capacity, RACES stations and amateurs registered in the local RACES organization may not communicate with amateurs not operating in a RACES capacity. Such restrictions do not apply when such stations are operating in a non-RACES--such as ARES--amateur capacity. Only civil-preparedness communications can be transmitted.

Test and drills are permitted only for a maximum of one hour per week. All test and drill messages must be clearly so identified. With the approval of the chief officer for emergency planning and applicable state, Commonwealth, district or territory, however, such tests and drills may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours no more than twice in any calendar year.

4.3 ARES and RACES

Although RACES and ARES are separate entities, the ARRL advocates dual membership and cooperative efforts between both groups whenever possible for an ARES group whose members are all enrolled in and certified by RACES to operate in an emergency with great flexibility. Using the same operators and the same frequencies, an ARES group also enrolled as RACES can "switch hats" from ARES to RACES and RACES to ARES to meet the requirements of the situation as it develops. For example, during a "nondeclared emergency," ARES can operate under ARES, but when an emergency or disaster is officially declared by a state or federal authority, the operation can become RACES with no change in personnel or frequencies.



RACES Documents:

What is RACES Presentation

Cherokee County RACES MOU

Cherokee RACES Registration Form

   


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