Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)

Amateur Radio has been involved with Public Service and emergency communications since 1913. One of the purposes included in Part 97 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is:

“Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.”

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) (pronounced “air-rees”) has developed as a part of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Organization since 1935. ARES functions as a commuications group to government agencies as well as other non-profit groups, such as the Red Cross. There are four levels of ARES organization–national, section, district and local. 

ARES consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. 

ARES Membership Requirements

Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

The Winona Amateur Radio Club has provided support to Winona County/City of Winona Emergency Managemnt for many years.  Members are active in the Skywarn spotter program and also have volunteered to assist in many unique ways during search and rescue events.