St. Clair County IL
A.R.E.S. AND SCARC PUBLIC SERVICE OPERATION GUIDE
The Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES(r)) is sponsored by The American Radio Relay League and
has the longest history of public service of any Amateur Radio
emergency communications provider organization. The St. Clair Amateur
Radio Club (Club) fully supports the ARES and encourages Club members
to register in the ARES and become fully trained for emergency
communications service to the public. The Club also supports public
service events such as parades, walks and bike rides.
ARES is a registered mark
of the American Radio Relay League
RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
The federal government created RACES after World War II. The RACES FCC
rules (97.407) addressed the need for Amateur Radio operators to
function as an integral part of a state, county or local Civil Defense
agency in time of national emergency or war. The RACES authorization
provides the means to continue to serve the public even if the President
through the FCC suspends regular Amateur operations. In this situation,
the RACES rules provide for use of almost all regular Amateur
frequencies, but places strict limits on the types of communications
made, and with whom. Operators of RACES stations must follow the strict
RACES rules at all times. In view of these restrictions, in St. Clair
County, absent a national emergency declaration, Amateur operations are
usually conducted under the name Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).
However, registration in St. Clair County as an ARES operator is
considered a RACES authorization as well.
for a current list of ARES/RACES Members.
for Amateur Radio Operators manual for St. Clair County.
for the Beaufort Wind Scale (for general use by ARES / Skywarn
Actions (Protective Actions are research-based actions and
advice that anyone can take to prepare for, keep safe during, and
recover from a disaster.)
Shelter In Place Guidance 5-25-2021.pdf
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed
amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and
equipment for communications duty in the public service when
disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership
in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for
membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than
possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to
serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are
eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered
equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
REGISTRATION WITH ST. CLAIR COUNTY ARES
- To register with the ARRL ARES, you will need to complete the
ARES registration form. This form is available on the ARRL
website. Click HERE
for the form. Complete this form and send it
to me at either of my e-mail addresses: (WA9TZL@ARRL.NET) or
This form contains the information required concerning radio
equipment, emergency power capabilities, experience and training
certifications. The other important information on this form
concerns your telephone contact numbers as well as your address.
This registration form MUST be completed and submitted to the ARES
EC to receive an ARES membership card. The ARES membership card
AND your FCC Amateur Radio License will identify you in times of
an emergency if you are instructed to report to a restricted
emergency scene or location.
Gene Kramer - WA9TZL
St. Clair County ARES Emergency Coordinator
611 S. Elizabeth Drive
Freeburg IL 62243
There is a close working relationship between the St. Clair County
Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the St. Clair County Amateur
Radio Emergency Service and The St. Clair Amateur Radio Club.
The single point of contact to request Amateur Radio emergency
support communications is via the St. Clair County EMA central
dispatch, called CENCOM (phone 618-277-3500).
For non-emergency public service support requests, contact one of
the Club officers listed on our web home page.
- In an emergency communications situation, it is VERY important
to do the following:
- Listen first: do not immediately "jump" into the NET unless
you have emergency traffic.
- When invited by the net control to check in, be sure to
state your call sign with Standard Phonetics, i.e., "K"-
kilowatt, "9", "G" - golf , "X" - xray, "U" - uniform. This aids
in immediate identification and reduces time for repeats
- NEVER leave your home or work to respond to an incident,
unless NET Control has requested you to do so. You will not
be admitted to an incident scene if your services have not
been requested. If the request is for amateurs from St.
Clair County ARES to assist, for example, the Illinois State
Police, you still operate under a Net Control, but you WILL
NOT BE COVERED under any insurance but the insurance you
carry on yourself. Volunteers are not covered under the
Illinois Workman's Compensation Insurance unless authorized
by Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) under a state
declaration of emergency. Again, DO NOT ENDANGER YOURSELF OR
OTHERS BY RESPONDING TO AN EMERGENCY ON YOUR OWN ! Your
safety is of paramount importance.
- BE prepared - have a fresh battery pack ready at all
times for your portable transceiver. If at all possible try
to carry an "Alkaline case" or "dry pack" as the battery
cases are called that use standard alkaline batteries. You
may be in an area that you can not readily obtain AC power
to recharge a depleting rechargeable battery pack.. Carry an
extra antenna adapter, especially the SO239 to BNC adapters.
These are relatively inexpensive BUT come in handy when you
are asked to connect to an external antenna that may exist
at a Hospital, EMA office, etc. When a fixed base or mobile
transceiver fails, the extra DB of power for both receive
and transmit from your portable could be a life saver on an
external antenna - be prepared to CONNECT!
- Paper /Pad/Pencil-Pen/Map: even with the advent of
electronic planners, there is no substitute for the paper
and pad mode of operation. Instructions from NET CONTROL
and/or requests for relay from other stations or the Served
Agency (Police, Fire, EMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.)
can become pure trauma if you're trying to "remember" what
was needed/requested. Amateur Radio has been a very
professional means of getting the message through for years
and this is true because of ACCURACY of information. You
will need to carry a map, especially of St. Clair and nearby
counties, if you are not familar with the area AND if an
ARES from a surrounding County makes a request for
- Support Supplies: in the event you may be "stationed" at
a shelter, roadblock, hospital, etc., for an extended period
of time, you may consider carrying a "support" back pack or
other type of portable carrier that will allow you to carry
bottle water, non-perishable foodstuffs (snacks), flashlight
and extra batteries as well as a portable AM/FM radio
(small) to add to the Emergency Broadcast/Emergency Alert
System Information from radio station KMOX on 1120 kHz AM in
- CONDUCT: remember YOU are representing several areas.
First, you are representing the Amateur Radio community.
Secondly, you are representing the ARES organization.
Thirdly, you are representing YOURSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
Professionalism both ON the air and in person reflects on
ALL THREE AREAS. Remember the News Media listens to scanners
and often shows up in an emergency, so don't make comments
or act in a manner that would adversely affect us all. NEVER
ASSUME! Also ask NET CONTROL when in doubt. A large SCANNER
audience is out there, especially during times of an
emergency - THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK- think how it will sound
to others. This is NOT the time for idle chit-chat jargon,
or "funnies" on the air. Remember who you represent-at least
three areas! AND you NEVER speak for the organization or
agency that you are supporting.
HOW ARE YOU ALERTED OR NOTIFIED:
- The method of contacting members of the Amateur Radio Emergency
Service depends on the type of emergency situation and the urgency
for support communications. In an AREA Wide emergency, the request
for ARES will be made by the St. Clair County Emergency Management
Agency. If telephone lines or cell phones are overloaded or not
available the request will be made from St. Clair County EMA's Radio
Dispatch Center (CENCOM) via radio pager notification to the ARES EC
for St. Clair Co. If the request for Emergency Support
communications is immediate, a telephone tree call out from the ARES
member registration list will begin. Again, if telephone
communications are down, the NET Control STATION will activate and
make repeated announcements on the St. Clair
County Amateur Radio Club Repeater of 147.120 Mhz or the
145.110 Mhz repeater for amateur operators.
GUIDELINES FOR RESPONSE:
- Earthquake - if you feel the earth move to the point where doors
and windows rattle, items fall from shelves, etc., immediately turn
your VHF rig ON to the NET frequency.
- If the sky has turn extremely dark (this is not a SKYWARN
lesson) and winds are pushing you and or other objects about
and/or hail is falling -immediately turn your VHF rig ON to the
- If you hear directly and/or hear from NEWS media broadcasts
about a disaster likely to disrupt regular communications , turn
your VHF rig ON to the NET frequency.
- When making an inquiry on the NET frequency, use PLAIN TEXT
English, do not use ham jargon phrases or Q-Signals such as QRV,
QTH, QRU, as some newer operators will not know what these mean
and cause unnecessary air time delays by requests for repeats.
NET CONTROL WILL ISSUE "TACTICAL" ID'S:
- The NET CONTROL operator will issue "tactical call sign" when
operators are asked to report to areas other than their fixed home
locations. An operator sent to Belleville Memorial Hospital for
support communications would still identify with their FCC assigned
call every 10 minutes, BUT NET CONTROL would call that operator
(site) by its "Tactical Identification (ID),i.e., Belleville
Memorial. This saves time and reduces confusion, especially if one
operator reliefs another operator at the same site and thus would be
using a different radio call sign.
HF RADIO OPERATIONS:
*Operates as part of the National Traffic System
(updated Dec 5, 2017)
|Illlinois ARES Net
|| 3.905MHz/7.230 MHz
|| 1st and 3rd Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
|Illinois Phone Net *
|| 3.857 MHz
|| M - F 4:45 p.m. & 8:00 a.m.
Sunday on 3.940 MHZ
|Illinois Section CW Net
|| 3.538 Mhz
|| 7:15 p.m. M - F
|Illinois Sideband Net *
|| 3.905 MHz
|| 6:00 p.m. Daily
|North Central Phone Net*
|| 3.912 MHZ
|| M - F 7:00 a.m.
- NET CONTROL may ask for Digital Communications between sites,
especially if Red Cross or Salvation Army "sheltering" operations
are extensive. The important area here is for "Portable Packet"
stations if at all possible. With the exception of some Government
offices and emergency facilities, emergency power may be limited and
a full-blown PC may not be practical. If you have PACKET
capabilities OR other digital modes from Home with no problems with
AC power, you may be asked by NET Control to establish a simplex
link and provide information to NET Control if you can not relocate
to NET Control's position with your station. The PACKET frequencies
most likely to be used include: 145.090 MHz, 144.390 MHz, 145.070
MHz, and 145.010 MHz as well as 145.030 MHz.
FREQUENCY MONITORING -EMERGENCIES:
- Once you have been alerted to the hazardous situation/emergency,
listen to the St. Clair County ARC repeater on 147.120 MHz and/or
444.625 MHz for further information. Here are some other frequencies
where you may hear broadcasts of emergency information:
DEPARTMENT /EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY
||Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network (ISPERN)
||ALL Police Departments "Point to Point" Base Stations
||St. Clair County Fire Dispatch
||Illinois Radio Emergency Assistance Channel-Fire, Police,
||St. Clair County EMA "CENCOM" -all EMA units, Schools.
- This information for monitoring purposes ONLY and can provide
you with possible "first" indication of an emergency situation that
you might be requested to provide support communications. Remember
to attempt radio contact with the ARES NET CONTROL station for
clarification of anything you hear on the listed frequencies.
Do not act on the information you monitor on these frequencies,
always check with NET CONTROL.
147.120 MHz-Primary ----- 145.110 MHz-secondary ----- 146.550
Simplex ---- 446.000 Simplex
Seven State Earthquake Affected Area
Midwest: New Madrid Fault Threat
Click On Image For Larger View
- Public Service Communications Manual From the ARRL