General Information about ARES

Maine ARES

ARES Resources

Join Maine ARES

Registration in ARES is moving to an on line process using the new ARES Connect database. To register with ARES, please contact your county Emergency Coordinator or your District Emergency Coordinator. They will be able to guide you through the registration process.

ARES Strategic Plan

As of January 2019, there is a completely new ARRL ARES Strategic Plan .

Other ARRL ARES Links

Link to the Main ARRL ARES Page

Download the full ARRL ARES Manual (pdf format)

Download the ARES Field Resources Manual (pdf format)

Various ARRL Public Service/Field Services Forms .

Other Relevant Links

Department of Homeland Security Field Operations Guides

Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG)

National Interoperability Field Operations Guide


There are two emergency communications services that are available to amateur radio operators, ARES and RACES. RACES is the acronym for the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. RACES is not an organization but rather the set of FCC rules that a ham radio operator must observe when serving in that capacity when supporting their local emergency management agency.

ARES is an organization that is chartered by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). It has a structure within ARRL and has a broader range of permitted activities.

There is often some confusion about what the differences are between ARES and RACES. ARRL has a FAQ that explains the differences in some detail. The chart below (developed by the Steele County (MN) Emergency Management Agency) provides a compact comparison.





Except for drills, starts as a result of an emergency, active during the emergency, and deactivated shortly after the emergency has cleared.

Operations can take place in advance of an emergency, during the emergency, and an indefinite time after the emergency has cleared.

Operator Registration

Must be registered with the local emergency management agency.

Does not have to be registered. Suggested to register with local ARES Emergency Coordinator.


Restricted to/from other RACES stations.

Limited only by standard Amateur Radio rules.


Communications must be specifically authorized by the civil defense organization for the area served. Generally limited to public safety, immediate safety of life of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need.

Limited only by standard Amateur Radio rules. Example: Health and Welfare would be allowed in ARES, but may not be allowed in RACES.


Cannot exceed a total time of one hour per week. With proper authorization, drills may be conducted twice in a calendar year for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

Limited only by standard Amateur Radio rules.

Served Agencies

Limited to emergency management organizations.

Emergency management organizations as well as other non-profit organizations.

Restricted Operations

May be allowed to operate in a communication emergency when other amateur radio stations are restricted from doing so.

May be restricted from operating in some communication emergencies.

ARES Information

ARES General Information

Maine ARES Leadership Contacts

Maine Emergency Frequencies and Communications Modes

Maine ARES Groups and Related Programs

Maine ARES Training

Digital Communications

Formal Traffic Handling

Home Page

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