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Why register with you local RACES unit? Because you are needed. In our area (the Twin Counties) we have mountains over a mile high and other areas are less than 1200 feet above sea level. In the higher elevations we have "whiteout conditions" during severe snow storms. We are plagued with ice storms that create power and telephone outages that have lasted for many days.
In the decade of the 90's our Interstate system was blocked from near the NC state line to the WV line on two occasions. These blockages lasted for days and required mass evacuation from the Interstate to shelters. With our steep watershed, flooding can be a serious problem. Twice per year there is a massive influx of people into our area due to our huge flea market and fiddlers convention. During these events our population grows to many times the norm. Any of these kinds of events may create a communications crisis for our area. These and other potential disasters are why you are needed!
We are setup to provide backup communications to many of the agencies of our area with pre-installed ham stations. So even if you are a new ham and have a very limited amount of equipment you can provide a valuable service to your community. We have complete 2 meter voice and Winlink 2000 stations in about all the agencies within our area. These include such locations as fire departments, rescue squads, search and rescue teams, our hospital, the E-911 center and the Red Cross. We also have portable stations to take out for temporary shelters or to supply other needs. The Twin County area has a net that focuses on providing training for emergency communications. We have and will continue to offer emergency communications class that allow you to become certified in the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Courses, level one, two and three.
Click here or on the link on the home page to registered with us. Experience the most exciting and rewarding part of amateur radio. Being a RACES member gives you the opportunity to sharpen your operating skills and technical knowledge while volunteering your services in public-safety communications. Get involved in emergency communications now!
Amateur Radio Service Support to Public Safety Communications- From the FCC
One particularly distinctive amateur service that can be provided is known as the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). An amateur station in RACES is certified by a civil public safety organization as registered with that organization and as an FCC-licensed RACES station. RACES is supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) acting as a communications group of the government. Registered members of RACES are authorized to respond when a governmental organization requests amateur radio assistance by an authorized representative of a city, county, state, or federal government, during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies such as in a hurricane, earthquake, flood, wild-fire and so on. In emergency situations, RACES operators can only communicate with other RACES operators.
It is important to recognize that the amateur radio operators working under the auspices of RACES are certified by their local civil service agencies for this specific purpose. They serve as an extremely valuable resource because they are committed local citizens who may be relied upon in emergencies to stay and perform their duties. In addition, the certification process assures that the operators are properly trained to perform public safety functions as well as relieving the operators of legal culpability.
Some localities - for example, Arlington County, Virginia have more stringent training and certification standards than others, but the key component of the RACES program is the direct and recognized affiliation between the amateur radio operators and local authorities. In this capacity for example, RACES operators serve the county by passing critical emergency information from county officials with the County Emergency Response Team (CERT) to other RACES operators supporting other local agency officials at other locations such as emergency shelters or hospitals. Whether working in operational control networks (OPNET) or in logistics support networks (LOGNET), the RACES communications support provides a critical alternative link for local officials