RACES

RACES stands for “Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service,” a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407). Many government agencies across the country train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol. The volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions pursuant to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.

RACES volunteer operators are:

  • Licensed Radio Amateurs
  • Certified by a civil defense agency
  • Able to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises and emergencies
  • Activated by local, county and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the President of the United States specifically invokes the War Powers Act.

RACES Resource Library:

    • This web site is intended to assist in the distribution of RACES Auxiliary Emergency Communications information. Updated RACES documentation and other emergency preparedness documents are available through the

RACES Resource Library, maintained by RACES volunteers registered with the Arlington County, Virginia Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Support Function #2.

National Incident Management System:

    • Protocols embraced by RACES volunteers across the nation include the

National Incident Management System

     (NIMS), which provides a consistent nationwide template to enable federal, state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together to protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents.