What is ARES?
From the ARRL website:

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

Essentially, ARES is a group of amateur radio operators who help provide communications in an emergency.

What is the ARRL?

Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim, ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Today, with more than 161,000 members, ARRL is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the world. ARRL’s mission is based on five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership.

What does Jasper County ARES do?
Some of the things we are involved in are:

  • Emergency Communications
  • Communication Drills
  • Practice with equipment and prepare for use under emergency power
  • SkyWarn Storm Spotting
  • Special Event Communications
Are you storm chasers?
No. SkyWarn and storm spotting first involves taking training from the National Weather Service (NWS) about identifying conditions and storm patterns, where to spot, what to report, all while keeping yourself safe. When activated, spotters may travel to a location where they have a good vantage point of a storm or report from their home, but they do not chase a storm for the media or to take video or photos.
Why is ARES important, everyone has cell phones…
In an emergency or other power outage that affects a large area, those cell phone towers that your devices rely on may also be without power or even physically knocked down. Your Internet WiFi access points will also be out of commission. Emergency communication equipment that can run on battery or generator power can help save lives and property, and trained radio amateurs also know how to setup antennas and equipment to reach areas that can help.
How do I join?
See this page.
Do I have to have an amateur radio license to join?
To participate on the radio, a licensed amateur must be present so it is most helpful if you have an amateur radio license (ARES is focused on Amateur Radio Communications.) Without one you may be able to assist with other off-the-air duties.
What is a “repeater”?
A repeater is a radio with a powerful transmitter with an antenna usually on a high tower. Its purpose is to transmit the signals from small handheld radios over a much larger area. They usually listen and transmit on slightly different frequencies at the same time, for example the 147.210 repeater actually has its “ears” on 147.810 and when a signal is received on that frequency, it sends it back out on 147.210 with much greater power. That way a small handheld radio with 5 watts of power can reach a much larger area. Repeaters can also be linked together – for example I can talk in on a repeater in Joplin and be heard on a different repeater in Springfield.
What is a “net”?
A net is a sort of meeting on the air, usually via a repeater, at a certain time. Nets may also be started during severe weather. Directed Nets have a designated Net Control station that coordinates all communication during the scheduled time. Nets may be used for general “rag-chewing” however ARES and SkyWarn nets are used to pass along information, or practice communicating with Net Control and using your radio equipment.
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