Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES),
administered by local, county and state emergency management agencies and
supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is a part of the
Amateur Radio Service which provides radio communications for civil-defense
purposes, during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies.
RACES was organized during the Cold War, to meet a
potential need during an enemy attack. Having never been called upon for that
purpose, RACES has since evolved to encompass all types of civil emergencies,
including natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes,
tornadoes, and severe winter storms.
RACES operation is strictly controlled, and limited to
official civil defense activity authorized by emergency management officials.
Amateurs operating in RACES must be officially registered with the served civil
defense organization. For this purpose, Washoe County Amateur Radio Emergency
Service members are registered with Washoe County Emergency Management.
Although RACES and ARES are separate entities, this dual membership allows
Washoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service members to "switch
hats" as necessary, with no interruption of service.