Louisiana Section Emergency Plan
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a service provided by the American Radio Relay
League (ARRL), its members, affiliated organizations, and non‐affiliated individuals. They are
licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service pursuant to
47CFR97. ARES members represent a large portion of the more than six hundred thousand
amateur radio operators in the United States.
ARES personnel provide communications support to local government, emergency management,
public safety organizations and other served agencies during times of disaster. ARES personnel
generally provide their own equipment, although many Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs)
have Amateur Radio equipment available for use in their facility.
ARES members assisting EOCs may be requested to operate within the SHAred RESources
(SHARES) High Frequency (HF) Radio program, administered by the Department of Homeland
Security’s (DHS) National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC). SHARES operators
use existing HF radio resources and SHARES call signs to coordinate and transmit messages
needed to perform critical functions, including those areas related to leadership, safety,
maintenance of law and order, finance, and public health. ARES may also provide Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) communications support using amateur radio call signs pursuant to 47CFR97.407.
In addition, qualified ARES personnel may also provide communications support to the Military
Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) using MARS call signs. This is a United States Department of
Defense sponsored program, established as a separately managed and operated program by the
United States Army, and the United States Air Force. The program is a civilian auxiliary consisting
primarily of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in assisting the military with
This Emergency Communications Plan is meant to provide guidance for the coordination of
emergency communications and ARES personnel in the Louisiana Section, aligned with the
ARRL’s ARES Handbook and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National
Incident Management System (NIMS) guidelines. These NIMS guidelines are utilized by the
majority of our served agencies.
ARES can provide communication services where no established links exist, or supplement the
existing infrastructure if overloaded or disabled.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service – Emergency Communications Plan
Amateur Radio Relay League ‐ Louisiana Section
“ARES” and “Amateur Radio Emergency Service” are registered service marks of the
American Radio Relay League, Incorporated, and are used by permission.
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Amateur radio networks may be organized to accommodate needs such as:
- Backup or supplemental communications where a public safety radio system,
cellular or telephone service may be lost, out of range, or overloaded.
- Direct link with the National Weather Service, i.e., SKYWARN
- Observations of local conditions (weather, traffic, etc.) relayed back to emergency
- Communications network from shelters to incident command.
Link to the Louisiana Section Emergency Plan is below: