What is ARES

Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (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. Since 1935, ARES has provided radio communications in North America and around the world in times of need.

In these modern times of cellular phones and the Internet, we take instant communications for granted. We forget how fragile our communications systems are. We forget that only one critical piece of communications infrastructure has to fail or become overloaded to render it unusable in times of emergency!

What does ARES do?

ARES provides emergency radio communications:

  • When the ice storm of 2011 Threatened Delaware County
  • When the city of Houston, Texas was flooded in 2001, knocking out telephone service and emergency power
  • When Hurricane Katrina devastated the United States
  • When the tornado outbreak of 2011 severely damaged southern states
  • And in countless other emergency or disaster situations all over the World

Every ARES member in the United States is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to own, maintain and operate private radio equipment. We use VHF and UHF radios for local communications, and HF (short wave) radios for statewide and international communications. We can use this network of amateur repeater stations to send emergency messages.

ARES is part of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). ARRL is recognized by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), the organization which links together all the national amateur radio societies in the World.

Municipalities and Emergency Agencies

Make ARES a part of your emergency plan. When a disaster happens, we can provide extra radio equipment and trained operators, in conjunction with local radio clubs which normally provide emergency infrastructure, such as repeater stations which will operate on emergency power.

We do not use or "take over" your communications systems. We offer supplemental communications, using our own equipment on our own frequencies. We can, for example, set up a temporary station at an emergency shelter, to handle health and welfare inquiries.

ARES is an official communications provider for the American Red Cross. The Delaware County Homeland Security / Emergency Management Agency maintains Amateur Radio equipment in the EOC (Emergency Operating Center) and depends on ARES for supplemental communications. We also work closely with Central Ohio Severe Weather Network, providing trained severe weather-spotting personnel in our county and sponsoring training.

Your local contact is the ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) or the local ARES. In Delaware County, that person is Stan Broadway, N8BHL. Your local EC or group will be happy to meet with you to explain ARES and discuss your needs. Click the automatic email box on the front page to send your inquiry.

Community Organizations

We provide communications for public events. If you’re planning a parade, or a walk-a-thon, or any large event, we can provide portable radios and volunteer operators. In 2011, Delaware ARES supported the “Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA) in which nearly 3,000 bicyclists spent three days touring our area.

There is never any charge for our services. This is part of our training as radio operators, and part of our "public service" mission.

Consult with your local ARES Emergency Coordinator or group to discuss your event, and determine your radio need.

Please volunteer for ARES!

Anyone with an amateur radio license can register with ARES. There are no dues and no obligations, other than to help however you can in an emergency.

You don't need to be a member of ARRL. You don't need more than a Basic “Technician Class” license. You don't need any special equipment. Even if you don't own any equipment at all we need licensed amateur operators.

We provide training in emergency communications, traffic handling and net procedures. We stage annual exercises like Field Day and Simulated Emergency Tests (SET).


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