Primary Response
Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management/ARES/RACES

Washington State ARES/RACES

I.             INTRODUCTION

    A.     Okanogan County ARES/RACES is a small volunteer organization of             FCC licensed Amateur Radio operators whose major purpose is to               provide regional and county-wide emergency communications. In                   Okanogan County the ARES/RACES organization is a dual                             organization. It can operate as ARES, sponsored the American                 Radio Relay League (ARRL); or it can operate as RACES, which is             administer by FEMA under Federal Communications rules (Part 97,               Subpart E. Section 97.4017). For purposes within this plan they             will be referred to as ARES/RACES. Which role the organization             takes depends upon the particular emergency or disaster situation as             follows:

                    1.     ARES provides emergency communications for non-governmental                                      organizations (public and private) and local governmental agencies in                                times of emergencies or disasters. Operation is governed by this                             ARES/RACES plan, which is interfaced with the Okanogan County                             Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and the                             Washington State RACES Plan. A secondary purpose of ARES is to                             provide non-emergency, public service, communications for county                             agencies or other qualified organizations at the discretion of ARES                                 officers.

                    2.     RACES, on the other hand, provides emergency communications for                                  governmental agencies only, during officially "declared" emergencies or                             disasters (usually declared at the county, state, or federal level).                             Operation is governed by this ARES/RACES plan, the CEMP and the                             Washington State RACES Plan.

            B.     It should be noted that ARES and RACES licensed operators can hold dual                      registration in both organizations. Further, it is encouraged by the ARRL that                     licensed amateur radio operators be registered/certified as both and that                     cooperative efforts between RACES and ARES organizations be                     established and maintained.

II.         PURPOSE

            The purpose of this plan is to provide guidance, establish responsibility, and                     ensure coordinated operations between Okanogan County Emergency                               Management officials and the ARES/RACES organization during times when             there are extraordinary threats to the safety of life and/or property. Maximum             benefits from the ARES/RACES organizations can be obtained only through                 careful planning which identifies the organizations, agencies, and individuals             concerned and assign a definitive role to each. This plan enables agencies and                organizations having emergency responsibilities to include the ARES/RACES             organizations in local emergency plans and programs.

            This plan, though issued separately, will be considered as Appendix 1 to                            Emergency Support Function (ESF) 2 of the CEMP.

III.         SCOPE

            This plan provides guidance for the Okanogan County ARES/RACES                               organization to support local Emergency Management officials and other local             public and private agencies during emergency conditions. The information in this             plan is to be used as a guide. It is not the intent of this plan to limit the actions of             an operator who is on site and best able to assess the prevailing conditions.                 However, since uniformity of procedure leads to general understanding by others             about what they should do, utilization of this plan will define the Standard                           Operating Procedure (SOP) for the organization.


            A.     Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations, Part 97                              subpart E, section 97.407 addresses ARES/RACES

            B.     FEMA Civil Preparedness Guide (CPG) 1-15, dated March 1991, titled:                     Guidance for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

            C.     RACES Plan, State of Washington Department of Emergency Management

            D.     Okanogan County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan,                                      Emergency Support Function 2, Communications and Warning


            A.     Emergency Coordinator (EC)/Races Office (RO)

                    Per CPG 1-15, local Emergency Management Directors (or designated                     representative/emergency coordinator) appoints, in writing, a reliable                             amateur radio operator to serve as the Races Officer. The Emergency                     Coordinator (for ARES) and Races Officer (for Races) are hereafter simply                     called the "Emergency Coordinator (EC)", coordinates the overall program                     of the organization. The EC will appoint Assistant Emergency Coordinators                       (AEC).

            B.     During actual emergency exercises and missions, the two-person team                     concept will be utilized. Teams have been tentatively assigned to the County                     EOCs; however members may be reassigned to any location depending on                     the situation.

            C.     To become a member of the Okanogan RACES/ARES Team, an individual                     will fill out an EMD-024, Emergency Working Registration Card and submit                     it to the EC. Upon approval by the EC, the registration card will be                     forwarded to the Department of Emergency Management and an Okanogan                     County ARES/RACES identification badge will be issued.

                    Note: All applicants are subject to a background check conducted by the                     Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.


            A.     All agencies and organizations will utilize the principles of the National                     Incident Management System (NIMS) and specifically the policies and                     procedures in the Incident Command System (ICS) for response.

            B.     Notification:

                    1.     All amateur operators should tune to the primary frequency (145.45,                                 Repeater or alternate 3.985 HF to receive information and instruction                                during times of emergency. Each ARES/RACES member is expected                             to have a basic awareness of events taking place that might result in an                             emergency or disaster. This could include a mass casualty event, flood,                             and wildfire, etc.

                    2.     Should the need arise; the County DEM/EM may request the use of                             available volunteer communications equipment and personnel by                             contacting the EC.

            C.     Activation:

                    1.     The EC will contact AEC(s) to determine what resources are available.

                    2.     Upon activation, the EC or AEC will initiate coordination net on the                                     frequency established in the VHF/UHF band plan and assign and                             dispatch amateurs to provide backup communication.

                    3.     Flexibility and net discipline are key factors in successfully providing                             effective communications. All amateurs entering the net should not                             transmit unless they are responding to a request from the net control                             operator. Tactical call signs are to be established for all assigned                             stations.

                    4.     Amateur radio operators should be prepared to support the following                             tasks/missions at the local levels:

                            a.     Provide back-up emergency direction and control communications                                     between the county EOC and other local EOC’s or incident                                     command posts. (i.e., local hospitals, Public Health, and Red                                     Cross Shelters, staging areas, and base camps, etc).

                            b.     Emergency communications for shelters, emergency worker                                     centers, sheriff and police departments, 9-1-1 centers, fire                                     departments/districts, and other requirements designated by the                                     local emergency management office.

                    5.     HF Activities:

                            Designated HF stations will be contacted by the AEC to provide liaison                             and traffic handling with section nets as well as other emergency nets.                             The AEC will notify the section level official responsible for HF                             operations which stations represent ARES/RACES.

                            Subsequent to a disaster, HF stations will provide emergency and                                     priority traffic in and out of the area. If time permits, one way health and                             welfare (H&W) messages out of the area may be provided. Incoming                             H&W will be coordinated through the AEC.

                    6.     Message traffic should be sent and received using the message form in                             attachment #3, Message Form.

                    7.     Should additional amateur radio resources be needed for                                     tasks/missions, the EC will contact adjourning counties to exhaust all                             local resources. If local resources have been exhausted, then the EC                             will contact the County EOC who will in turn contact State EOC to                             request additional resources/equipment.

                    8.     This plan recognizes that amateur radio, primarily through ARES                             organizations/operators, will continue to support requirements for                             American Red Cross, hospitals, the business community, other non-                            government agencies, and the general public.

D.     Warning, Alert & Response Levels

        The EC/AEC will develop and maintain phone trees to alert their group    
          members in the event of an emergency. They should also work with local          repeater owners to establish emergency alerting procedures.

            E.     Deployment of Personnel

                    The EC will usually be the liaison with the agency served and coordinates the                     alerting and deployment of personnel. Upon arrival at the assigned location                     ARES/RACES members should immediately identify themselves to the                     person in charge or the contact person provided by the EC or Net Control.                     Operations will be established as soon as possible for passing formal                     written traffic. In most instances 2 operators will be assigned to each                     location to provide relief and backup equipment.

            F.     Regional Support

                    1.     ARES/RACES may be called upon to support activities in surrounding                             jurisdictions. The call for support may be an informal request for help                             from a neighboring EC, or a formal request from the State.

                    2.     At no time, should help offered to a neighboring jurisdiction impact                             ongoing operation.

                    3.     In the event of a regional activation, the EC in affected jurisdiction shall                             have overall authority for deploying resources.

                    4.     The ARES/RACES team will regularly supply public safety                              communications in conjunction with local events (such as walk-a- thons,                              parades, sporting events and other community events – specifically the                             Grand Coulee Triathlon and Conconully Dog Sled Race) to test the                             effectiveness of their operation and to provide a service to the                             community.

        G.     Demobilization

                1.     EM or County EOC will advise the EC/AEC when their services are no                         longer needed. The EC/AEC will notifiy individual operators.

                2.     Operators will coordinate with the respective IC they are supporting.                         Clean up their work area and provide paper work to the EC for inclusion in                         the after actions report.


            A.     Local DEM/EM is responsible for:

                    1.     Ensuring an EC is appointed.

                    2.     Assist in preparing and maintaining this plan, as needed.

                    3.     Maintaining, at the local EOC, a radio station capable of                             communicating on appropriate and assigned amateur frequencies                             used within the county and regional jurisdiction for emergency                             communications.

                    4.     Provide assistance and guidance as necessary.

                    5.     Coordinate amateur radio communications requirements with state,                             federal, and other organizations located within the jurisdiction.

            B.     EC shall be responsible for:

                    1.     Maintaining and executing this plan as needed. Identifying and                             coordinating the operation of amateur networks to support the                             operational requirements identified above.

                    2.     Identifying and designating the Net Control Station. Ensuring                             designated stations are prepared to assume role as the County NCS.

                    3.     Supervise the operation of the ARES/RACES radio station located in                                 the county EOC. Ensure that operators are trained and exercised on                              the equipment.

                    4.     Coordinate the use of local amateur operators and equipment in                             support of county government agencies, federal agencies, and others                             located within a local jurisdiction/region.

                    5.     Develop training and education opportunities for the membership.

                    6.     Being prepared to receive traffic from the general public (licensed                             independent stations) over local emergency nets.

                    7.     Maintain liaison with other ECs in surrounding counties.

        C.     Assistant EC shall be responsible for:

                    1.     Provide overall coordination of the Net Control Team and establishes a                             Coordination Net for training exercises and missions.

                    2.     Coordinate the recruitment of new members; keeps a record of all                                     meetings, exercises and missions; maintains a database of                             membership.

                    3.     Act as liaison with government and emergency service agencies.

                    4.     Provide logistical and technical support to all teams in the areas of                             radio equipment, packet equipment, computers, antennas, power                             supplies, propagation and frequency planning.

D.     ARES/RACES members are responsible for:

1.      Participating in training sessions.

2.     Briefing the EC/AEC of any changes in equipment or license status          that may affect operation in the program.

3.      Developing a strong background in emergency procedures, FCC                      Rules and Regulations and network procedures.

4.      Being available when emergency communications are required by the           Director of Emergency Management/County Emergency Manager.

5.      Helping strengthen the organization by offering suggestions and positive feedback to correct deficiencies.

6.       Complying with volunteer standards established by Okanogan County            ARES/RACES and its served agencies. Specifically, the completion            of NIMS ICS 100, 200, & 700 training.

                    7.       Notifying the EC, in writing, when terminating membership.


                    1.     Federal and county regulations require the following certifications by all                             members of the ARES/RACES cadre:

                            a. IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS)
                            b. IS-100 Incident Command System
                            c. IS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

                    2.     All team members are required to learn the forms related to the ICS.

                    3.     All team members are encouraged to practice their skills. County                                     ARES/RACES team will supply public safety communications in                             conjunction with local events to test the deployment and operational                             capabilities of its members and to provide a service to the community.                             This may be in conjunction with local clubs as required.

                    4.     An annual simulated emergency test will occur. It may be conducted in                             October in conjunction with the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET)                             and the SET may be localized or conducted in cooperation with                             surrounding teams or on field day in June.

                    5.     Additional training opportunities may become available as specific                             needs and personnel interests develop.

                   6.     Training may include classroom study, field exercises and may include                             audio-visual material developed specifically for such purposes and                                     made available by sponsoring organizations.

                    7.     Any relevant training undertaken by members should be reported to the                             EC for tracking purposes.

                    8.     ARES/RACES members may be called upon to assist agencies                             conducting SAR operations. Many times these types of operations are                             conducted in remote areas, where communications on the agency’s                             frequencies may be difficult due to lack of repeaters. In most instances                             communications will be tactical in nature and a single net will be                             sufficient. In addition, simplex operations may be sufficient with the                                 occasional use of a repeater to pass logistical requests. The EC should                             choose the most appropriate modes.

                    9.     Weekly Okanogan County radio net.

                    10.     Quartely EOC to EOC radio test, in conjunction with WA State EMD.

                    11.     Communications Unit Leader (COM-L) training for EC and AEC’s.


1. Resource List

2. Message Preparation Instruction

3. Message & Log Forms

4. Suggested Deployment Equipment



Name Howard W. Brewer Mark Hendershot Dave & Julie Corrigan
License Class Extra Tech Extra/Tech
# Operators 1 1 2
Radio Bands Operate From Home (meters) 80; 40; 20;15;12;10;2; 2 80; 40; 20; 15; 12; 10; 2;

70 CM

Radio in car (meters) 2 2 2; 70 CM
Battery Back-up/Generator Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes battery back up
Digital Mode (VHF Packet;HF Pactor; RSK 31) No – to all No – to all PSK 31 – equipment to set up yet.
Local Repeater(s) 145.45; 145.72; 146.90; 147.10; 147.22; 145.45; 146.72; 146.68; 146.86; 146.90; 147.00; 147.04; 147.10; 147.16; 147.20; 147.22; 147.26 146.72; 147.10; 147.22; 444.800
Repeater you monitor most often Same as above 145.45 444.800 & 147.220
Internet access/provider Wireless - NCI Data Satellite - Wildblue DSL – Centurylink
Email address
Phone Number(s) – Home/Cell 997-5524 422-3814/422-4036

Cell – 322-4432


Cell – 341-4026

Other Comments: Can operate from his travel trailer.    


Name Galen Garoutte Denny Hughes Duane L.


License Class General General/Tech Tech
# Operators 2 (3 if Mary’s home) 1 1
Radio Bands Operate From Home (meters) 160; 80; 40; 20; 15; 12; 10; 6; 2; 70 CM 80; 40; 20; 15; 12; 10; 6; 2; 70 CM 80; 12; 10; 2
Radio in car (meters) 10; 2; 70 CM Same as above. 2
Battery Back-up/Generator Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes – generator
Digital Mode (VHF Packet;

HF Pactor;

RSK 31)

Yes – to all No – to all No – to all
Local Repeater(s) 145.19; 145.45; 146.72; 146.68; 146.86; 146.90; 146.92; 147.00; 147.04; 147.20; 147.22; 147.26; 443.550 53.11; 145.19; 145.45; 146.92; 147.20 145.45; 146.72;

146.68; 146.90; 146.92; 147.00; 147.10; 147.16; 147.20

Repeater you monitor most often 145.45 145.450 / 145.190 145.450
Internet access/provider Satellite - Wildblue Satellite - Wildblue None
Email address; None
Phone Number(s) – Home/Cell 486-0439/4229

Cell – 429-0556


Cell – 280-3438

Other Comments: Can operator from his travel trailer.    



Name Loren & Norma Holthaus Jerry Sabin
Call Sign WZ7T & AC7YL W7UVI
License Class Extra Advanced
# Operators 2 2
Radio Bands Operate From Home (meters) 80; 40; 20; 15; 12; 10; 6; 2; 70 CM 80; 40; 20; 15; 12; 10; 6; 2; 70 CM
Radio in car (meters) Same as above. Same as above.
Battery Back-up/Generator Yes/Yes Yes/Yes
Digital Mode (VHF Packet;

HF Pactor;

RSK 31)

UHF Packet – Yes No – to all.
Local Repeater(s) 53.11; 145.19; 145.45; 146.72; 146.68; 146.90; 147.00; 147.10; 147.16; 147.20; 147.22; 147.26; 443.550 145.45; 146.72; 147.00; 147.10; 147.20; 147.22; 443.550; 444.800
Repeater you monitor most often 146.72 145.45; 146.72; 147.100; 147.200; 147.22; 443.550; 444.800
Internet access/provider Satellite – Community Net Wireless – NCI Data
Email address
Phone Number(s) – Home/Cell 422-0307

Cell – 429-3537- Loren; 429-0008 Norma


Cell – 794-1021

Other Comments:   Satellite capabilities.




EOC Staff


The purpose of this annex is to identify and establish guidance for use of the message form when transmitting and receiving message traffic between stations and for use in the EOCs.


- Keep messages simple, clear, and be specific rather than general or vague.

- ALL messages will be processed through the Message Center Supervisor.

- One message per sheet.

NO other EOC staff (other than Runner) is allowed in the HAM Operator area.

Emergency or disaster situations can be confusing. Much of the information passed on by messages is critical to our recovery. Important information could be lost unless all message traffic is recorded accurately in a logbook.

After an emergency it is important to study the actions taken by all participants. We can identify what we did right and what needs to be improved. It is difficult to study our responses without an accurate record of those actions.

NUMBER (Mandatory) Message Center Supervisor applies

First identify the originating station (i.e, EOC, MV, NV, OD, etc) then start with number 1 and continue subsequently. Example: EOC- 1; MV-1

PRECEDENCE (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

The Precedence of the message determines what order the messages will be handled. Precedence’s in ascending order of priority:


99.99% of all messages have this precedence. These messages will be handled last.


This message is either an inquiry to the health and welfare of an individual in a disaster area or a report of the health and welfare of an individual. These messages will be handled before ROUTINE traffic.


These are messages have specific time limits. They are also for Official messages, not covered in the EMERGENCY category. This traffic will be handled before WELFARE or ROUTINE.


Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular communication facilities. When in doubt, do NOT use this precedence. This traffic will be handled first and immediately.

Example: NR 1 R (for Routine)

HX = Handling Instructions Originator applies.

Handling Instructions are sometimes used to tell the various stations along the way, what the desires of the originating state are.

HXA (followed by a number) = Collect land line delivery authorized by the addressee within … miles. (If no number, authorization is unlimited.)

HXB (followed by a number) = Cancel message if not delivered within … hours of filing time; service originating station.

HXC = Report the time and date of delivery to originating station.

HXD = Report to the originating station the identity of the station from which you received, plus time and date. Report the identity of the station to which it was relayed, plus time and date, or if delivered report time and date of delivery.

HXE = Delivering station gets a reply from the addressee, and originate a message back. This is the primary handling instruction we will be using.

HXF (followed by number) = Hold delivery until … (date).

HXG = Delivery by mail or land line toll call not required. If toll or other expenses involved cancel message and service originating station.

Example: NR 1 R HXE

STATION OF ORIGIN (Mandatory) HAM Operator applies.

This is the call sign of the Amateur Radio Station generating (originating) this message.

Example: NR 1 R HXE K4IWW

CHECK (Mandatory) HAM Operator applies.

This is a count of the number of words used in the TEXT (only) of the message. Words in the address or signature are NOT counted. Groups of figures, letters, combinations of figures and letters, and "X" are counted as words. This is the method that Amateurs use to make sure that the TEXT was received without error. Both the sender and receiver should end up with the same word count (CHECK).

Example: NR 1 R HXE K4IWW 12

PLACE OF ORIGIN (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

This field is the station of origin (who is initiating the message). In the example the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center is initiating the message.

Example: NR 1 R HXE K4IWW 12 OC EOC

TIME FILED – Ham Operator applies.

The time the message was originated. Use Local time. Examples: 1615Z.

Example: NR 1 R HXE K4IWW 12 OC ECO 1615Z

DATE (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

This is the date the message was originated. Use month and day. The year is NOT used.
Example: NR 1 R HXE K4IWW 12 OC EOC 1615Z DEC 20

ADDRESSEE (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

The name(s) and address of the person to which this message is going. Same message can be sent to more than one location.


MV Hospital

NV Hospital

OK-Douglas Hospital

TEXT (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

Finally! This is the message you are sending for the signature person to the addressee. It should be short (usually less than 25 words) and in telegram style. No punctuation is used. The letter "X" is used (similar to STOP in telegrams) to end one idea and start another. Example TEXT:

Need bed count X

NOTE: "X" is the only jargon allowed. "?" ok too.

SIGNATURE (Mandatory) - Originator applies.

This is the name if the person sending the message. See example above.

RECEIVED BLOCK (Optional) – HAM Operator applies

This is for the handling station to write down whom they received the message from. This field is only for the book keeping of the handling station.

SENT BLOCK (Optional) – HAM Operator applies

This is for the handling station to write down whom they sent the message to. This field is only for the bookkeeping of the handling station.

(Taken from: NC ARRL Section, January 18, 2002)

ATTACHMENT #3 – Message Form








ICS Form 309

1. Incident Name: 2. Operational Period:

Page ___ of ___


Date &




Action Taken

Reply Required/

Reply Complete

Prepared by: Date and Time





Okanogan County Frequency List




ARES/RACES Communications Plan


Toilet Articles


Jurisdictional Training/Operations Manual


Rain Coat


AARL Repeater Book


First Aid Kit


ARRL Orange Book


Paper and Pencil


Message Form




Message Log Form


Spare Batteries


Blank Note Pads


Spare HT Battery


Mobile Transceivers

-144 MHz preferably removable with cigarette lighter

- 440 MHZ headphones, and operations manual


Earphone and/or Speaker Mike


Hand Held Transceivers

-4 144 MHz with extendible antennas and extra batteries

- 440 MHZ headphones and Operations Manual


Food and Water for First 24 Hours


GPS with Battery Pack


Extra Clothing, Sock, Gloves, Parkas, & Boots


Scanners, Trunking and Non Trunking Types


Toilet Paper and tissues


Local maps


Tools and Electrical Supplies


2 Meter Magnetic Mount Antenna


2 meter HT


DC Charger for HT