Important Dates coming up.

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

Feb 10 2024  –  Saturday,  quarterly ARES / AUXCOMM / COMU training AT  SCEMD

March 12 & 13 State Full Scale Exercise.  This is for County EOC,  State EOC & COMU

March 16 2024 – Saturday, ARES/AUXC statewide Comex

June 8th 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.

Can I do ARES & AUXC Both ?

Gabe Turner announces new additions to the State RACES Leadership Group

New Positions

Secretary, Work Group Co-Chair
– Steve Nixon

Recruiting Officer
– Pete Emmel

Training Committee
– Scott Vaughn
– Steve Sweetman
– Tedd Clayton

Liaison Officer
– George Mudd
– Brad Lee

Pre-existing Positions

Deployable Assets Manager
– Gary Lennart

State EOC DEC / Radio Room Coordinator

– Roger Mull


The primary mission of the state RACES program and the Auxcom training program is to support the county Emergency Managers

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.

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
Send an email to if interested


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.

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


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?

Continue reading

Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) in South Carolina

In a typical disaster situation a county EOC might ask you to deploy to a VOAD site and establish emergency comms to the county EOC and state EOC. Your go box, portable antenna’s and your knowledge of all the possible methods to establish those comms links are essential. Here is a list of every VOAD in South Carolina. Many VOADs on this list would not deploy until after the comms infrastructure was back online. But others would deploy right away and they may ask for a comms link back to the county or state EOC. This is where ARES can engage and make a difference.

When to self ID

Riley Hollingsworth is the ARRL guy managing the Volunteer Monitor program and he has cleared up a few things about when you must self ID.  This applies to operating on amateur radio frequencies ONLY.  If you are operating on a frequency outside of the amateur radio bands you will follow the direction given by the local leadership.

You must self ID once every 10 minutes if:

  1. You are using your own callsign
  2. You are using a club callsign, like W4CAE or K4EMD
  3. You are using a special event tactical callsign, like the ones used for Harbison 50K or Tour De Cure
  4. You are using an ARES/Auxcomm tactical callsign, Like LEX EOC or State EOC

Of course you will self ID sooner if the event coordinator directs you to. In some events you might be asked to self ID on every transmission you make. An example would be “Net Control LEX EOC message body goes here K4LLE

You must self ID every 60 minutes if:

You are using an FCC issued 1×1 special event callsign. An Example is K2L. It is also suggested that instead of every 60 minutes you self ID every 30 minutes just to be on the safe side. You should always follow the direction of the event coordinator.

FCC article on FCC issued 1×1 callsign, CLICK

There is no need to say “for ID” just say your callsign

On May 3 2023 the FCC RF Exposure rules are in effect

Effective 5/3/2023 the FCC RF exposure rules are in effect. Under the new rules, every radio amateur is responsible for determining that their station does not cause exposure that exceeds the FCC MPE limits to any person, either in their homes or outside of them. This is required for handheld, portable and mobile operations. The FCC does not require that the results of a stations exposure analysis be submitted. But you should keep a record of it just in case a complaint is made on your station.  This applies to the amateur radio hobby and amateur radio emergency services. As ARES volunteers we routinely setup our radios in or around the public. If a complaint is made the FCC will ask you for your RF exposure analysis.

As of May 3 2023, every station must be assessed for exposure before it is operated.  No exceptions.

ARRL provides an RF exposure calculator at RF Exposure Calculator ( More information on how to use it can be found in QST magazine May 2023 on page 64. Thanks to the ARRL and QST for providing this.

Another suggestion is to use FCC Bulletin 65, supplement B, table 4 prepared by ARRL & W5YI.  The disadvantage of using this method is the assumptions used create an overly conservative result. Which means you might be putting up yellow caution tape in an uncontrolled space and not need to.