Query: What is "FNARS" and "SHARES"?
Response: FNARS (FEMA National Radio System) is a FEMA high frequency (HF) radio network to provide a minimum essential emergency communications capability among Federal, State, local commonwealth, and territorial governments in times of national, natural and civil emergencies. Federal call signs for state emergency operations centers and FEMA facilities nationwide and are typically in the WGY### group.
SHARES (SHAred RESources High Frequency) is a program for the collective use of many government HF radio systems. It is a nationwide HF network of Federal, state and industry resources to provide back-up communications in support of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP). However, it is not a network per se as agency mission responsibilities always takes precedence over SHARES traffic.
SHARES is an initiative of the National Communications System (NCS) which includes agencies other than FEMA and state EOC's; such as Departments of Commerce, Defense, Justice, State, Treasury, Transportaiton, Federal Reserve System, Veterans Affairs, U.S. Postal Service, NASA, FCC.
The purpose of SHARES is to bring together existing HF radio resources of Federal and federally affiliated organizations to provide a single, interagency message handling system for the transmission of national security and emergency preparedness information when normal communications are destroyed or unavailable.
The National Coordination Center (NCC) monitors FNARS and SHARES (Shared Radio Resources) nets following any regional disaster or emergency. FEMA monitors the following FNARS frequencies around the clock, year round: DAY 10493 KHz USB; NIGHT 5211 KHz USB.
A SHARES message consists of information that must be communicated to a Federal entity and is of critical importance to the Federal Government, the entity's mission, and/or involved the preservation of life and the protection of property.
The SHARES program was established by NCS Directive 3-3, Shared Resources (SHARES) High Frequency (HF) Radio Program, approved by the Executive Office of the President in January l989. SHARES further implements Executive Order No. 12472. Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions, April 3, l984.
Preparation in the SHARES program is voluntary, with network operations conducted on a basis of non-interference with the participants mission responsibilities. Because many participating SHARES stations operate on a 24-hour a day basis, SHARES is always available to provide emergency radio communications. No prior coordination is necessary; no SHARES activation is required. So long as the information to be passed over SHARES supports NS/EP, a user need only contact the nearest SHARES station for assistance in processing emergency message traffic. The flagword SHARES is all that is needed to get the message through.
Continues next week.