A.R.E.S.® is a registered trademark of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio

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When all else fails...

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the requirements for A.R.E.S.?
  2. Is membership required? Is anyone welcome to participate?
  3. I want to help with communications. What now?
  4. What are served agencies?
  5. Where can I find a local group?
  6. May I link or use the map images?
  7. What do I need?
  8. Do I have to participate in scheduled nets?
  9. I keep hearing about ICS and NIMS. What is this?
  10. My home is in an area which restricts or forbids antenna structures.

1. ) What are the requirements for A.R.E.S.?
Very few things are required to be a valuable ARES asset. Each person brings their own skills and knowledge to any event where communications are a vital and only means of passing information.

2. ) Is membership required? Is anyone welcome to participate? You do NOT need to be a member of the American Radio Relay League, nor do you need to be a member of any amateur radio group. We accept all hams, no matter their affiliations as long as they adhere to the A.R.E.S charter. All that is necessary is the desire to effectively serve our city, county or state emergency response agencies in times of crisis.

3. ) I want to help with communications. What now?
In the post Semptember 11 world, there has been a dramatic increase in requirements to even function as a communicator. As communicators, we set the example for readiness when our services are needed. Please check the link to the left Personal Jump 'Go' Kit. You should try to get as many of these items in a dedicated "Ready Kit." Check your ready kit monthly to ensure you would not forget any personal effects.

4. ) What are served agencies?
Ham radio operators have long been involved with many common and daily heard agencies. To only list a few examples: American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Civil Air Patrol, and any other non-governemental agency that is a recognized VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Assisting with Disasters.)

5. ) Where can I find a local group?
The American Radio Relay League has a database of active groups. Please follow this link to the ARRL web main page under Clubs

6. ) May I mirror or use the maps for Kansas Section Leadership and Emergency Coordinators?
WEB MASTERS: Recently, I have found that there are sites that mirror the maps and files created for the ARES printable maps. Not all web designers pay close attention to recent changes. I only ask that you link to the web site from where you locate your map in case changes are made - the visitors get only the latest info. You may link directly to http://ksarrl.org/ares/printit/ or any file contained therein. However, a link to http://ksarrl.org/aress/printit/ would allow people to check for the latest changes. These maps are updated and I do not alert people at any time changes are made. Questions? Please ask through the contact form on the site.

7. ) What do I need?
The ability to calmly and accurately deal with varying levels of time commitments, situational awareness, and the ability to summarize your information to take the least amount of time to complete a transmission. You can invest $400 for a decent starting station, and some people have stations too expensive to place real values.

8. ) Do I have to participate in scheduled nets?
When at all possible, you should check in to as many nets as possible. If we fail to practice, we may be doomed to failure. We are only as good as we allow ourselves to be organized and effective.

9. ) I keep hearing about ICS and NIMS. What is this?
ICS (Incident Command System) and NIMS (National Incident Management System). These self-paced training courses are ideal in preparing you to interact with the served agencies and when all really fails, you will already know the nationally implemented plan to conform all communications across all agencies and logistics support groups. These courses are designed for first responders and people involved in command and control on the scene. If you have listened to public service such as fire and EMS, you may already know more about this than you think.

It is a highly recommended for leadership to have this training to participate in any emergency involving state and federal agencies. Listed in the left sidebar are the courses that hams should complete under FEMA First Responders.

The ARRL has developed the CCE (Certification and Continuing Eduaction) which also helps each volunteer understand the ARRL Structure to use in times of crisis, with a brief overview of the ICS system under the ARRL On-Line Training link.

10. ) My home is in an area under CC&R and Homowners Association restrictions. We run in to this problem quite often, and we encourage you to share your success and frustation stories by contacting us. The ARRL has a page dedicated to this exact prohibition of antenna structures to allow basic and essential communications. We must as hams, stick together and show these very skeptics and nay-sayers but one thing; when all else fails, hams provide critical and lifesaving communications support without compensation. Make sure you are there to provide communications in your area if you want to turn a doubting peer or friend in as a fellow ham.

Update applied on Sunday, May 5, 2013 23:12