Training & Equipment for The ARES Member – An EC’s Point Of View


  • Possess at least a Technician Class Amateur Radio License. General or Extra is better.
  • Know and understand the Centralia ARES activation plan and know what to do.
  • Participate each training day in our directed net and try other nets for additional experience and training.
  • Know and understand how to originate & send messages in ARRL format.
  • Know how to conduct a proper windshield survey.
  • Know both the ITU (ham) and Law Enforcement phonetic alphabets well.
  • Take and maintain basic first aid / CPR or CERT rescue first aid
  • Take the FEMA IS-100 on line course (about 30-60 minutes long)
  • Take the ARECC ARRL Level 1 course (costs involved)


  • Own at least a 2 meter handheld or mobile radio capable of ARES use (two band handheld is better and two band handheld with a mobile is better yet)
  • Have a spare battery pack(s) for your handheld radio.
  • Keep your equipment manuals handy or make copies for your radio equipment bag and go bag.
  • Own a ham radio vest or other type of identifying clothing for all weather conditions.
  • Own magnetic “Emergency Radio Communications” signs for your vehicle.
  • Have a well-equipped radio equipment bag.
  • Have a well-stocked go-bag capable of sustaining you for 36-72 hours.
  • Have an emergency backup power source for your home (generator or battery).
  • Keep your identification cards and FCC amateur radio license handy.


  • Know how to use your radios, program them on the fly and know their features.
  • Don’t stop at a technician class license or a 2 meter radio. HF privileges support emergency communications around the world.
  • Act as a net control for a Centralia ARES directed net as often as possible.
  • Participate in as many ARES drills as possible.
  • Know how to make and use emergency antennas for your equipment and our EOC equipment.
  • Make sure the EC has up to date information on your phone number, address and equipment capabilities plus training certificates.
  • Know how to:
    • activate all radios in the EOC
    • be able to change from one programmed frequency to another
    • be able to program a new frequency into the 2 meter radio’s memory

Have the equipment and the knowledge necessary for deployment to any location at a moments notice; be able to set up a radio and antenna system (plus power) and send or receive emergency messages in support of Emergency Services.