Do you wish
to interact more with your community? Activity in NYC-ARECS is
a great way to meet your neighbors and to help out your city.
There is also the satisfaction of helping those in need of assistance.
The Mayor of New York City has called on New Yorkers to volunteer,
and this is something we highly agree with.
Radio emergency operators set up and operate organized communication
networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as
well as noncommercial communication for private citizens affected
by the disaster. Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be
active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications
due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and
other infrastructure-dependent systems.
York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service
(NYC-ARECS) is a NYC based auxiliary communications service. The
over-arching mission of NYC-ARECS is to provide timely, quality,
and proficient auxiliary radio communications to served agencies
and organizations--our "clients"--for a variety of emergency
situations and special events. We are all personally bound to
public service with a commitment to our local communities.
We Are & Why We Exist
is made up of New York City based licensees of the Federal Communications
Commission who specialize in Amateur Radio emergency communications.
Our Members are trained and dedicated to providing radio
communications for governments, as well as civil-preparedness
and relief agencies, during periods of local, regional, or national
civil emergencies. These emergencies may include natural disasters
(such as fires, floods or earthquakes) or acts of terrorism. We
also have Auxiliary Members that do not hold amateur radio licenses,
but want to serve in a support capacity.
the organization of NYC-ARECS started in late 2003 (and it's constitution
ratified by it's Members in March 2004), our roots are deep in
amateur radio public service and emergency communications dating
back to the 1980's through other organizations. Past activations
include: 1992 Coastal Storm, 1996 Blizzard, Hurricane Floyd, Y2K,
9/11-WTC Attack, the 2002 Con Edison Fire
& Blackout, the Staten Island Oil Barge Explosion, the Blackout
of 2003, the December 2004 Tsunami and others. These well trained
and dedicated people saw a need to form an organization that was
not controlled by those who lived outside the greatest city in
the world - New York City. A member run organization was formed
to chart it's own course in training, special event public service
is a custom-tailored solution to the challenges of volunteer emergency
and event communication in the nation's largest city. While the
founding NYC-ARECS Members have extensive experience working with
the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES©), NYC-ARECS
is not affiliated with that group. ARES©
was created over half a century ago by the American Radio Relay
League (a private organization) and franchised around the
country. As distinguished as ARES© has become, the "one-size-fits-all"
approach sometimes does not adapt well to local circumstances.
New York City, a single, densely-populated municipality that covers
five semi-autonomous counties, has unique communications needs
that NYC-ARECS is specifically designed to address.
is a member-run organization. Our citywide Members elect a President
and Secretary for the group each year, and Members in each borough
elect a Vice-President for that borough. All of the officers are
bound by the NYC-ARECS Constitution and
By-Laws, which can be amended only with the approval of
I like public-service hamming, and want to work events. Will NYC-ARECS
A: Not only
will we offer it, we strongly encourage it! The official list
of NYC-ARECS events is posted on the EVENTS page. The founding
Members of NYC-ARECS include the ham radio organizers for over
a dozen events around New York City. These include several walk-athons
and bike-athons, a major triathlon, and an outrigger canoe race
(no kidding!). Join NYC-ARECS if you want to enjoy all the action.
currently a member of ARES©. Do I have to quit them to be
a member of NYC-ARECS?
not. If you are a satisfied member of ARES©, there is no
need to quit. Nor is membership in either group a prerequisite
for joining NYC-ARECS. NYC-ARECS is completely independent of
there's an emergency and amateur operators are needed, will NYC-ARECS
A: As you'll
see in the Constitution and By-Laws, emergency preparedness and
training are very important parts of the NYC-ARECS mission. The
founding Members have already worked closely with several potential
"served agencies," including Citizen Emergency Response
Teams, Disaster Assistance Teams, hospitals, the American Red
Cross, the U.S. Coast Guard and it's Auxiliary, the Salvation
Army, and the NYC Office of Emergency Management. NYC-ARECS founders
were heavily involved in leading the amateur radio responses
to the 9/11 attacks, the Staten Island
barge fire, the August 2003 Northeast blackout, and numerous other
disasters. We also support the activities of the US Department
of Homeland Security / FEMA Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
(RACES) program as outlined in FCC rules Part 97. We are confident
that during an emergency, many disaster services organizations
will be working with us.
NYC-ARECS have a club callsign?
A: Yes. For
emergencies and some special events, our FCC-issued club callsign
see in the By-Laws that I have to maintain "active"
membership by meeting certain standards. If I can't make that
commitment, will I be thrown out?
A: No. If
you cannot maintain "active" membership, your name will
be moved to a list of "inactive" members, who are considered
full members of the group, except that they cannot vote. Inactive
members can participate in events, come to meetings, check into
nets, and so on - and if they do enough of those things, they
will automatically be put back on the "active" roster.
there's an emergency and NYC-ARECS gets called, will I have to
participate in order to remain an active member?
A: No. Nobody
can "draft" you into an emergency response, and there
is no penalty if you can't make it. Obviously, we hope that hams
interested in serving the public will want to help out in times
of need. In emergencies, though, it's perfectly understandable
if some people can't.
non-radio operators become Members of NYC-ARECS?
A: Yes, and
we encourage it. They will be Auxiliary Members. They can
help in many different roles, including helping at events by assisting
with observations, or virtually by becoming part of a Virtual
Operations Support Team (VOST), a recent concept in emergency
as applied to emergency management / communications and disaster
recovery is an effort to make use of new communication technologies
and social media so that a team of trusted agents can lend support
via the Internet to those on-site at an Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) who would otherwise be overwhelmed by the volume of data
generated during a disaster. A VOST Auxiliary Member of NYC-ARECS
would engage with various social media platforms to:
situational awareness from the community about the hazard or
developing questions and key concerns being voiced within a
information gathered from news media, civilians and public safety
personnel to NYC-ARECS Members;
not create, official information from the team Public Information
Members that desire to obtain their FCC radio licenses, will be
assisted as NYC-ARECS will be offering licensing classes and testing
("VE") sessions regularly. We can also assist as needed
with providing training and study materials and resources..
I have to be a resident of New York City to join NYC-ARECS?
A: Yes. NYC-ARECS
Members must live in one of the five boroughs of New York City.
Auxiliary Members may live outside the NYC area.
you do NOT have a FCC license but are interested in obtaining
one, we can help! We can provide you with training materials,
guidance, encouragement, and a date and place for you to take
your test. Several of our Members are also FCC Volunteer Examiners
who are accredited staff that are qualified to provide the test
necessary to become a licensed Amateur Radio operator.
you should know about becoming a new Amateur radio operator:
1) The FCC
test pool questions and study material is available online for
2) The test costs less than $20.00
3) No Morse code is required
4) An entry level Amateur Radio can cost less than $75.00
5) You will be joining a hobby of a lifetime!
requirements of the NYC-ARECS are the following:
- You must
be a New York City resident and hold a valid FCC amateur radio
license. (Unless you are an Auxiliary Member)
- You must
not have a criminal background;
- You must
have a desire to train;
- You must
be willing to provide emergency communications services to NYC
- You must
have a sense of duty and commitment to be prepared;
- You must
be mature and be willing to communicate clearly with fellow
- You want
to have fun while meeting new people and serving your community!
are asked to check into a minimum 26 of 52 weekly radio nets,
attend occasional meetings, participate in at least 4 public
service training events (races, walks, etc.) per year and complete
disaster preparedness training.
year of membership will be an informal probationary period. During
this time you will learn proper radio technique, net operations
and complete the required training described on our NYC-ARECS
Training Opportunities page.
you to have:
- One (1)
dual-band (2m/70cm) HT or one (1) each of monobanders for 2m
- One (1)
dual-band (2m/70cm) mobile rig or one (1) each of monobanders
for 2m and 70cm
It is recommended
that you have a hi-gain mobile, mag-mount, or other suitable antenna
for field use
of backup portable emergency power source (sealed lead acid battery,
gel-cell battery, etc.)
Here for a List of Frequently Asked Questions about NYC-ARECS
Here for an Application Form
matter how big and powerful government gets, and the many services
it can never take the place of volunteers." --President