Important Dates coming up.

Mark your calendar for these important dates. More details when we get a bit closer.

Nov 4th   –  Saturday,  quarterly ARES / AUXCOMM / COMU training  VIRTUAL

Feb 3 2024  –  Saturday,  quarterly ARES / AUXCOMM / COMU training AT  SCEMD

Watch your email for an opportunity to register.  Keep your SPAM folder cleared so you will notice if something lands in there unexpectedly.

ARES Situational Awareness SET is scheduled

If you want to send in multiple FSRs the LAT/LON must be unique or the last one will overwrite the prior ones. Sending in more than one with the same LAT/LON is considered an update to the original. The call sign on the last FSR gets a pin on the map.

If you want you can send in a FSR as a dry run at anytime before 10/4 and I will reply to you if it was successful or not. Remember to send it to SET-EMA3 in Winlink


Where do I find the Field Situation Report ?

Open Winlink Express , Message,  New Message,  Select Template,  Standard templates,  Mapping-GIS Forms, Field Situation Report.txt

This SET is sponsored and administered by EMA-3, All are invited to participate.

FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test for Oct 4 2023

WASHINGTON — FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System
(EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) this fall.

Test Messages Will be Sent to All TVs, Radios and Cell Phones.

FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test for Oct 4 2023

Clay Chaney (NWS GPS), presentation on Winter Weather as it relates to our area. 11/7 at 1830

The Pickens County Communications Group will be hosting Clay Chaney (NWS GPS) for a virtual presentation on Winter Weather as it relates to our area. This is an important training for the upcoming winter weather season. This will take place on 11/7 at 1830. A huge thank you to Tom Poole, W4ATP and his team for putting this together.

The zoom link is as follows:



Daniel J. Boyer, WD2DW

SC-ARES, Section Emergency Coordinator


Shake Out Earthquake Drill – October 19 2023


The US Geological Survey (USGS) and Winlink are collaborating to provide “Did you feel it?” (DYFI) earthquake intensity reports via Winlink. SHARES and Amateur Radio Operators are therefore invited to send an EXERCISE Winlink “Did you feel it?” (DYFI) message to the USGS during Shakeout!

For more information please click

We Recognize:

             Robert Webster, WR8RW   &   Tom Smith, KK4NTI

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Get Ready Volunteer Checklist

If you don’t have a checklist to help you when it comes time to deploy then this is a good stating point.  Download it, print it and add whatever you need.

Get Ready Volunteer Checklist

What is required to join ARES ?

The Amateur Radio Emergency Services team is always looking for new members. People excited about providing communications in an emergency situation.  So how do you join ARES and what is the difference between level 1 and level 2?

ARES level 1 is the entry level, join the team come on in and look around. Talk to others that have been on the team for years and get the feel of what is expected as an ARES volunteer. You do not need to take any FEMA ICS or ARRL course to join ARES.

ARES level 2  So now you know what it is and you want to continue. You want to build your own go box and you want to deploy to a local emergency operations center (EOC). At this level you will increase your skill level by completing several FEMA ICS courses and the ARRL course.

ARES Level 3 You like everything ARES stands for and you want to contribute more.  To be appointed into a leadership position you need to step up to level 3. At this level you will learn about more advanced subjects.   Only the Section Emergency Coordinator can make ARES leadership appointments.

ARES level 1 you are required to do the following:

1) Get a copy of the ARES Task Book.  Click on the menu item above and download the latest copy.

2) Fill out and send in the ARES membership application. Again this is a menu item above.

3) Study for and pass the Technicians license test. Many local clubs have study groups and they provide the testing. If you need a contact then click on CONTACT above and let us know, we will find a local club for you to study and test with. You must have a Technician license, or higher to join ARES.

That is all you need to do to join the ARES team. After you join you might consider advancing your skill level by working on ARES Level 2, which you can read about in the Task Book.


On the 6/8 SCHEART training net Kent Hufford, KQ4KK presented this topic, which was originally written by Christine Smith, N5CAS (sk). It is a long read but it answers so many questions.

Modified from a Waller County, TX ARES training article
written by Christine Smith, N5CAS (sk)

Meeting the communications needs of “served” agencies is quite a challenge in today’s complex
disaster/emergency relief arena. The number of emergency relief organizations and their increasingly
sophisticated needs all competing for that scarce resource–the volunteer. The activity of other non-
amateur volunteers makes the picture even more complicated. As more of the population moves to
disaster-prone areas and less government funding is available, more pressure is placed on agencies
to use and sometimes abuse the volunteer sector for support of their missions in disasters. Toes are
sometimes stepped on and a volunteer’s morale can be undermined.
On the other hand, the ARRL, SCHEART and SC EMD formal relationships with served agencies are
vitally important and valuable to radio amateurs. They provide us with the opportunity to contribute in
a meaningful way. Another substantial benefit not to be overlooked is that these relationships lend
legitimacy and credibility for Amateur Radio’s public service capability.
What to Do?

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Difference between ARES, RACES and Auxcomm, in South Carolina

FCC Licensed Amateur Radio Operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with the local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. ARRL/ARES provides basic training curriculum and exercise opportunities. The list of agencies a volunteer might end up serving is long but could include a County EOC/CERT, Hospital radio room, Red Cross ERV/Shelter, Nursing Home radio room, NWS office.  Once you register with an agency your training & credentialing will be completed with them.

Who decides when ARES will be activated?

That would be the agency ARES volunteers are serving.  ARES is a registered trade mark for the ARRL.  The roles in emergency communication is really defined by the agencies, state, county, local government or NGO they serve as volunteer communicator.  Without these served organization ARES has no role to support.

Leadership is provided by the county EC and the state SM
Click on the LEADERSHIP DIRECTORY tab above for contacts.


Amateur Radio Operators that  have registered with their EOC for volunteer communications service should the President of the United States order the shutdown of all amateur radio transmissions per FCC rule 97.407 ***
RACES operators are allowed to transmit only by order of the EOC they volunteer for.
Each RACES volunteer must be endorsed by the respective county or state EOC.

Leadership is provided by each EOC / RACES Officer, county or state.


AUXCOMM:  is not an organization, it is a training standard.

An all inclusive term used to describe the many organizations that provide various types of communication support to emergency management, public safety and other government agencies as described in themselves. This includes but is not limited to Amateur Radio, Military Radio, Citizens Band Radio, DMR, DMRS, FRS, SatCom, Skywarn and many others.
Members of Auxcomm all have the title of Auxiliary Communicator.
Auxcomm is a position specific specialist certification.

Leadership is provided by the State EOC/DEC and the state EMD
Click on the LEADERSHIP DIRECTORY tab above for contacts.

The above information is specific to South Carolina, a home rule state, some states have organized these three groups differently. An example is some states may not organize RACES with the county EOC.  Check with your local EOC for direction.


Some common terms we use often….

EC = Emergency Coordinator (for a county)

SEC = Section Emergency Coordinator (State EC in South Carolina)

SM = Section Manager (State Manager in South Carolina )

EM = Emergency Manager

REM = Region Emergency Manager

EOC = Emergency Operations Center

DEC = District Emergency Coordinator

EMD = Emergency Management Division

ARES = Amateur Radio Emergency Service

RACES = Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

NGO= Non-Government Organization

VOAD = Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters

one or coalition of (usually not-for-profit) Second Responder organizations in the United States. These groups voluntarily help survivors after a disaster. One example is the American Red Cross.


*** It has been reported that FCC part 97.407 was removed from law at some point in the past. This was investigated and found to be an opinion. FCC 97.407 is still in effect as of Sept 2021 here is the link if you would like to check for yourself.