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Public Service Communications, and Emergency Communications (EmComm) is at the very core of the Amateur Radio Service. Public Serivce Communications has been the traditional responsibility of the Amateur Radio Service since 1913, when Amateurs at the University of Michigan, and Ohio State University, in conjunction with numerous individual Amateur operators successfully bridged the communications gap surrounding a large isolated area left by severe windstorms in the midwest.

Amateur Operators responded in the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, and to Hurricane Katrina. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina over 1000 Amateur Operators established the communications link for The Red Cross, and Salvation Army in areas where there existed no communications, phones, cell phones. Wikipedia has a more in depth info page on these and other events that define Amateur Radio's importance during both natural, and man made disasters.

ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to fulfill the general responsibility of the Amateur Radio Service Communications in an emergency.

Download a full version of ARRL ARES manual here in PDF format.
Download the ARRL ARES Field Resources manual in PDF Format.

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. 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.

Download and complete this ARES Registration Form. Submit the completed form to Ed Olague, K5OLA at K5SST.ORG, your local Emergency Coordinator for Hopkins County, showing your capabilities.

NTS - National Traffic System

During emergencies when other methods of communications are down ARRL Radiograms are sent through the National Traffic System in a well planned and executed effort to cummunicate information used to save lives and relay the health and welfare information about survivors.

Daily throughout the United States the NTS sends Radiograms to maintain practice for those times when it's existance and function are critical for communications.

You may download forms and instructions to familiarize yourself with NTS at the following links.
Chapter one of the ARRL NTS manual.
ARRL Field Service Forms Page.
ARRL Basic Radiogram PDF.
ARRL FSD-3 Numbered Radiogram legend to abbvreviate typical messages.
Convenient ARRL Radiogram with quick reference on same page.
Four Page Instructions for those of us who are new to ARRL Radiogram.

More information about the National Traffic System is available at other sites online. We recommend:
7290 Traffic Net site Jo Ann Keith KA5AZK Net Manager
7290 Traffic Net Training Page with examples, forms, and documents
Traffic Training by JoAnn Keith - KA5AZK in PDF format
ARRL North Texas Section NTS Page
ARRL North Texas Section NTS NETS
ARRL North Texas Section as well as ARRL West Gulf Division

Contact Ed by email using K5OLA at K5SST.ORG for assistance in becoming active in this vital communications medium.


Updated June 29, 2017