A new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed in July 2014 to enhance cooperation between the League and FEMA in the area of disaster communication by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, and ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN.
The new agreement will allow FEMA and ARRL to work together to provide resources, services and personnel, as available, in order to strengthen capacity in areas of emergency communications, mass care and emergency assistance, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, while also raising public awareness about the use of Amateur Radio as a public safety resource. The pact also outlines the ways in which FEMA and ARRL will cooperate to carry out their respective responsibilities, with respect to disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
The third function of ARES is to provide licensed amateur radio operators with training in emergency communications, directed net procedures and on-air discipline, formal message handling, and emergency preparedness.
Nationally, separate ARES groups are organized in each state and county and they are coordinated by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Nassau County ARES is comprised of your dedicated Long Island neighbors who operate within this national framework entirely at their own expense.
It is the mission of the Nassau County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to serve as the coordinating point for amateur radio operators in the county in the event of a communications emergency.
Nassau County ARES Mission Statement
1. To establish close cooperative relationships with relevant communications organizations and our partner agencies in Nassau and adjoining counties.
2. To be recognized as the primary coordinating agency for amateur radio operators in Nassau County in the event of a communications emergency.
3. To provide competent radio communications support for the American Red Cross and Fire Battalion EOC’s during activations, and to assist other agencies in every way possible.
4. To be recognized by emergency services agencies and the amateur radio community as a model of competence and professionalism in network operations.
5. To foster training and the development of skills and capabilities that will keep ARES members abreast of new technologies to help support the communication needs of our partner agencies.
6. To use the resources of the ARES team,and our involvement in community activities, to foster awareness of the need for preparedness in the community at large.
7. To be the recognized resource agency for community organizations needing communications support for events and activities of general benefit to the community.
An MOU provides a framework for cooperation and coordination with governmental and non-governmental agencies to which radio amateurs provide communication services, or with whom we cooperate in serving the public. The MOU sets out broad guidelines and expectations of the two organizations. Sometimes a national level MOU can provide the basis for local memoranda of understanding at the working level, i.e. at the Section or local level of the ARRL field organization.
The Memorandum of Understanding spells out the capabilities and organization of the servers (the Amateur Radio operators), the organization and needs of the served agency, and the methods of operation. These are broad guidelines that may lead to the development of a local memorandum of understanding or similar document that sets up detailed operational plans and policies to be followed by both parties during drills and actual events.
The primary activity of ARES is to provide emergency communications during disasters such as fires, floods, power failures and hurricanes, when other means of communications are unavailable.. You will find ARES before, during and after major disasters like 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and massive power blackouts and at Red Cross shelters during the worst conditions.
The secondary activity of ARES is to provide essential communications for public events including parades, marathons, races, walks, bicycle tours, and other large public events where swift, reliable communications protect and improve the safety of the general public.
ARES is an 80,000 member national volunteer organization whose purpose is to serve the public by providing FCC licensed, competent Amateur Radio communications teams to federal, state, county, and local government agencies, as well as to non-profit disaster relief organizations.