WESTCHESTER COUNTY ARES/RACES
Information for Members
The minimum required equipment for effective ARES/RACES participation
is a 2 meter transceiver capable of operation on WB2ZII/R (147.06) and other
area 2 meter repeaters. This means you must have a PL (CTCSS) tone
encoder. All recent 2 meter equipment includes this feature.
To be effective in the field, you need to be able to transport your
transceiver, so an HT and/or mobile rig are a must. In either case,
you need to be able to operate your rig in somebody else's vehicle
(a served agency's car or truck). You will need a power source,
preferably both batteries and a cigarette lighter plug adaptor.
Additionally, alligator clip battery leads may be needed on occasions
when a vehicle lacks a cigarette lighter. Be sure in these cases that
the vehicle has a 12V battery and get the polarity right -- some government
vehicles, especially those used by military units, have positive ground
and/or 24V batteries.
Additional optional equipment that is frequently used by ARES/RACES
includes 440 MHz and 220 MHz. It helps to have 440 capability, and of course
many rigs today are dual-band 2m/440.
Also important but generally not required to be portable includes
HF coverage of 40 and 80 meters SSB for state-wide and regional communications.
10 meter SSB is also used in a manner similar to that of 2 meters.
Being able to set up a portable emergency-powered HF station is something
that we all practice each June during Field Day.
The ability to use 1200-baud packet is a plus. The County communications van
is equipped with a packet station as is the EOC. Some members have portable
and/or mobile packet stations with lap- or palm-top computers.
Amateur TV has also been experimented with by some members.
Current Callup List is dated February
The current ARES/RACES callup list is dated February 2010. If you are aware of
any errors or have not received yours, please let Tom /
know about them. (And, don't worry, the callup list is confidential and
will not be posted here!) Make sure to make copies of the callup list
to keep in your car, at school or work, and at home.
How the Callup List Works
The callup list is divided into approximately 25 alphabetical groups
arranged roughly geographically. Each group has about 5 members in it.
Group "A" (pronounced ALPHA) consists of the "Net Starters" who are
generally the people who get the call to start a callup. The Net Starters
list is made available to the various served agencies. Groups "B(ravo)"
through "Z(ulu)" cover various Westchester County communities along with
members who live in Putnam Co., Rockland Co., NYC and Connecticut and
work in Westchester.
An activation of ARES or RACES starts basically the same way: a member of
group "A" is contacted by somebody (in the case of RACES, by the County
government) and, after determining the scope of the operation and the
number of radio operators needed, may simply contact the few people who
are needed, or, may initiate a larger-scale callup.
For a large-scale callup, the routine is:
- Group "A" member contacts others in group "A" and selects an initial
Net Control Station.
- NCS makes a callup on the 147.060 repeater to get anyone monitoring to:
Anybody hearing of the callup by any means and irrespective
of their position in their call list group should, if possible,
activate their group. It is better to have a person get called more
than once than not at all.
Once the initial batch of phone volunteers get started, the NCS
then begins activating the two-tone and DTMF
pagers. Even if you don't own a
WECA pager, the distinctive series of tone pairs will alert you to
an ongoing callup if you happen to be monitoring the machine. Also,
you can monitor for the group DTMF paging tones with most rigs
that support DTMF code squelch or selective calling (SELCAL),
or with TAPR's DTMF Accessory Squelch.
- Volunteer to serve if you are willing and able to. Do not feel
bad about not being able to volunteer for any reason. The NCS will
state what the situation is, estimated number of members needed,
when and duration if known. Do not travel anywhere until the NCS specifically
instructs you to do so. Take the next few minutes getting your
together, monitoring the net, and helping make phone calls.
- Volunteer to help with the telephone callup list. Please make sure
to do this! It is very difficult to notify over 100 people without
a good number of volunteers to start the phone chain going.
How to activate your group:
- If you learn of a callup that involves your group (some callups
are localized and may only activate a group in a particular locality),
make sure you have the following information (See the "fill in the blanks"
Emergency Activation Script that
the NCS is working from, and which is included with the roster):
- ARES or RACES?
- Is it an ARES or RACES callup? A small number of people are only
members of one or the other group. There are also legal
ramifications of a RACES callup (see FCC rules).
- Requesting Agency
- Which organization or agency has requested our services? Two of
the most likely examples are Westchester County O.E.M. and Red Cross.
- Nature of Activity
- This is a brief description of the reason we have been activated.
- Name of location where the incident took place.
DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE LOCATION
unless instructed to do so by NCS, RACES Radio Officer, ARES EC, or a
- The city, village, or town.
- Number of Members
- The estimated number of ARES/RACES communicators needed.
- Starting Time and Duration
- The expected starting time and
duration of a response. In some cases, the group will be activated
several hours or even days in advance of an anticipated need, for example,
if severe weather is forecast. For a long-running operation,
members will be scheduled in shifts.
- Date of the callup list.
- It helps tremendously if your callup list matches the Net Control
Station's. If it doesn't, please inform NCS.
Our Internet Mailing List
An Internet mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org, is used for general ARES/RACES
announcements to supplement group
communications. Confidential information should not be posted to this list.
Please be aware that there are a number of ARES/RACES members who are not
on this mailing list so do not expect that a mailing will reach everyone.
To subscribe to the list, send email to
email@example.com containing the following text:
Your subscription request will be forwarded to the list maintainer who
will add you in a few days.
Try to use the following as a guide to improve your ability to perform
as an ARES/RACES member. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please
let the author
know of your ideas for improvements to this list.
- Using Your 2 Meter Radio
- Operating on the Repeater
- Operating Simplex
- (Re)programming frequencies, PL tones, splits, etc.
- Cross-band repeat
- Portable/Quick Assembly Antennas
- Roll-Up J-Pole for 2 Meters
- Portable 2 Meter Beam
- 1/4 Wave Ground Plane
- Emergency Power
- Operator Skills
- Participating in Directed Nets
- NTS Traffic Handling
- Participating in Public Service Events and Drills
- Developing a Jump Bag Inventory
- Personal Emergency Preparedness
- Radiological Monitoring
- American Red Cross Disaster Assessment
- Hazardous Materials Response
- Mass Casualty Incident Response
- Reading/Home Study
- Packet Radio
- Net Control
- Radio Direction Finding
- Map Reading, Navigation, Orienteering
last updated Tuesday, February 15, 2011