Great Reasons to Join Harford ARES, RACES and SKYWARN!
Ham radio emergency communications is fun, challenging and exciting! It is a great way to get involved with the community and work with a great group of dedicated volunteer communicators. One of the primary missions of the amateur radio service is to provide public assistance during times of need. Hams have been responsible for saving countless lives in times of disaster when traditional means of communications may be overloaded or nonfunctional. This has been proven time and again, as the latest events during Hurricane Katrina have shown.
With the advent of the Homeland Security directives, the need for Amateur Radio emergency communication and public service support is greater than ever. While our group primarily is tasked with service to Harford County, Maryland citizens, we coordinate with other Maryland counties, various Maryland state agencies, and ultimately federal organizations. As training towards the real thing, we also support served agencies in activities such as walkathons, bike races and other charitable activities. Served agencies include the MS Society, March of Dimes and others.
The prerequisite to join is to simply hold a valid Amateur Radio license and have a sincere desire to help the public in time of need. Membership with the ARRL is desirable but not necessary. Most training is provided free of charge, and professionally-mentored online emcomm classes through the ARRL are available for a nominal fee. A basic 2-meter radio is all you need to get started! Additional equipment is a plus, and in some cases we can assist you with equipment as needed.
As a member of the Harford County Amateur Radio Emergency Communications, you will become a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and/or Radio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (RACES). ARES is sponsored and coordinated by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). RACES is an arm of Civil Defense/FEMA/DHS, and is under government auspices.
Our members come from widely varied careers and include a professional photographer, a doctor of chemistry, an electronics expert, book author and pyrotechnician, a career webmaster and more. No matter what your background is, you will be in good company!
We need your help and participation! All Amateur Radio operators in Harford County are cordially invited to join. See the Sign Up page for details and application downloads! You are also invited join our weekly repeater net each Tuesday at 19:30 local on 146.775.