Amateur Radio Emergency Services

Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) is the function of the Amateur Radio Relay League Field Organization which coordinates ham radio responses as communicators in disaster situations and public service events. Local ARES units are formed at the county level led by an appointed volunteer Emergency Coordinator.

Getting Started

A ham radio license is required for ARES membership, as is a registration form listing contact information and band / mode capabilities. This form is available from the Emergency Coordinator. There are no fees or dues; nor is club membership required.

Forsyth Amateur Radio Emergency Service Club

All hams may participate by volunteering their time and the use of their radio equipment for ARES activities. Currently almost all of our local activities use VHF/UHF FM; so hams with any class of license can participate.

Local Sponsorship

Locally, ARES is sponsored by the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club which allows the use of the club’s repeaters and some of the club’s equipment for ARES needs.

Primary Disaster Service Partners

Our primary disaster service partners are the American Red Cross and Winston Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management. We participate in training exercises with them, and in communications emergencies can be activated to serve in their responses. When activated we will provide backup communications in Red Cross shelters when they are opened and may provide Emergency Management with additional communications support as well as eyes in the field.