of the
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
San Diego Section


A. The San Diego Section Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a registered organization of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed Amateur Radio operators, whose purpose is to provide voluntary emergency communications, and who have registered and trained in advance. ARES is part of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and exists to serve local authorized agencies who have Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between the ARRL and their local organization's parent or national organization. The San Diego Section of the ARES may also have an existing local MOU with any served agency. All ARES communications must observe or be in conformance to the FCC Part 97 regulations that govern the Amateur Radio Service.

1. ARES is able to and may supply communication services where no established links exist or may supplement existing systems if they are overloaded or disabled, or rendered insufficient to meet an emergency need.

2. ARES is able and will respond to a government agency, if requested, for emergency situations, I.E. flood, earthquake, civil disturbance, missing person, etc. ARES will provide emergency communications between various government agencies when requested.

3. ARES will provide emergency communications among or between private and public service organizations when requested by authorized personnel.

4. ARES will be able to provide the public with Health and Welfare message service via the National Traffic System.


A. It is not the intent of this Section Emergency Plan to limit the actions of any amateur radio operator volunteer who is "in-disaster", on scene, or on or near the site who may be best able to assess the conditions during any emergency. The information given in this plan is to be used only as a guide to such volunteers. When an appointed ARES leadership or registered ARES trained coordinator arrives, he may assume responsibility and control of the communications situation for the served agency, after a briefing from the first person on site and upon mutual agreement.

B. The ARES role is to provide emergency and Health and Welfare communication services only. Amateur Radio operators active in ARES operations are not expected to serve any other function.

C. This Section Emergency Plan (SEP) is subject to approved alterations and/or revisions as required within the same framework in which is was drafted.


A. The following are leadership positions in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, San Diego Section (ARES SDG), and in all cases conform to the Amateur Radio Relay League organization of the Field Service Division.
1. Section Manager (SM), San Diego Section, is the elected leadership official for the section, and is elected by the ARRL members within the Section.
2. Section Emergency Coordinator: The SEC is appointed by the SM to coordinate the ARES operations for the entire San Diego Section for the Section Manager. The San Diego Section consists of the San Diego and Imperial Counties of California. The SEC will make reports to the San Diego Section Manager and the ARRL, as required. Refer to the ARRL SEC duties attached.

NOTE: Since the San Diego Section consists of two counties, there is division of responsibility under the SEC within those areas. Currently, there are four districts within the San Diego County, each with an appointed DEC, who may have local ECs and AECs responsible to that DEC; as follows: Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern District of San Diego County. Imperial County is currently a complete unit in itself, with an appointed EC. These districts and areas consist of the San Diego Section, and can be altered or changed to meet the needs and manpower of the ARES. Refer to the San Diego Section Staff List in the Appendix.
a. Section Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC): Special Assistants to the SEC are responsible for providing a liaison between ARES and their respective served agencies. Section level appointed Assistant EC and designated liaison positions can be added or deleted to meet the needs of the ARES in serving agencies or organizations. Section level AEC will make their reports to the SEC, in writing, in person or during ARES radio nets. The following are some of the Section Level AECs:
1. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (AEC-RACES); 2. American Legion (AEC-AL);
3. Emergency Medical Systems (AEC-EMS);
4. Radio Emergency (REACT),
5. Mercury Amateur Radio Association (AEC-MARA);
Other ARES liaisons include the American Red Cross (ARC) Communications, ARC Training, Salvation Army (SA-SATERN), California Department of Forestry (CDF), Special Olympics PSE, Elks Club, Kaiser Hospital System, and other organizations and radio club liaisons. Refer to the San Diego Section Staff List in the Appendix.
3. District Emergency Coordinator: The DEC will coordinate all ARES operations within his district. They shall make reports to the Section Emergency Coordinator. Refer to the ARRL DEC duties attached.
a. Each District makes appointments for AEC and recommends OES appointments as necessary to staff their district.

4. Emergency Coordinators: The EC will coordinate all ARES activities within his assigned area. They shall make reports to the DEC or SEC who appointed him. Refer to the ARRL EC duties attached.
a. Each local area EC makes appointments for AEC and recommends OES appointments as necessary to staff their assigned area.

5. Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC): The AEC will assist ECs as assigned in Section, District, or local zone or city ARES activities, and make his reports to the EC, the DEC, or the SEC who appointed him. Refer to the ARRL AEC duties attached.

6. Training Coordinator (STC): The Section Training Coordinator is responsible for training of ARES personnel on a monthly basis or as deemed necessary by the SEC or the SM. The STC shall make his monthly report to the SEC in person, writing or via radio nets. He may assist DECs and ECs in training and provide such material as possible to ensure consistent technical and operator training throughout the San Diego Section.

7. Net Managers (NM): Net managers are responsible for their respective ARES tactical and traffic radio nets assigned to them on various bands of the Amateur Radio Service and its assigned frequency spectrum. NMs are responsible for Net Control Stations (NCS) training, NTS and local traffic and availability. In the event of a large scale disaster, they will activate their assigned radio nets as required. NMs report to the SEC and the Section Traffic Manager (STM) their net activities, traffic sent and received and net attendance.

8. Official Emergency Station (OES): The OES will normally lead or provide emergency or Health and Welfare radio communication, and the OES is a special designation that indicates regular participation, specific training and requirements have been met to serve in the ARES. Refer to the ARRL OES duties attached.


A. Registration in ARES is available to any person who holds a valid Amateur Radio license issued by the FCC. Refer to attached ARRL form FSD-98.

B. All new ARES register themselves and their equipment to their respective DEC or EC. They are encouraged to attend recommended training sessions by ARES and served agencies so they may become prepared to provide proper and effective emergency communications. ARES members participate in communications drills, Public Service Events (PSE), Simulated Emergency Tests (SET) and regular ARES radio networks, with or without emergency power, to test and maintain their ability to respond to emergencies or disaster. Refer to attached supplemental form FSD-98S.

C. All ARES members must keep their EC advised of any equipment changes, or change in their Amateur Radio Operator status that may affect their operation in the ARES. Refer to attached ARRL form FSD-98, and supplemental form FSD-98S.

D. The ARRL provides ARES Identification Cards and they are issued by Emergency Coordinators to all new registrants. They will be valid for a minimum of 2 years, after which they which they will be renewed by the EC upon the written request or re-registration of the member. Refer to the attached sample ARRL ARES Identification Card.


A. The Section Manager, via the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC), a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC), or local Emergency Coordinator (EC) can authorize response to an authorized agency. Only they shall determine if communications from ARES is to be provided. Any agency or organization desiring ARES participation in an emergency should contact the appropriate liaison or the SM. Upon authorization, the SEC, DEC or EC can then alert ARES members by amateur radio callout frequency or by commercial pager. Regular ARES Net frequencies and callout procedures may be used, altered or changed to meet the needs of ARES. ARES members are encouraged to regularly monitor their assigned local, District or Section ARES frequencies on their radio equipment, and carry an available pager so that they may respond to an ARES page out. Section radio callout frequencies are subject to change, and are included in the Appendices.

B. In case of a natural disaster, i.e.: Flood; earthquake; natural disaster, etc., ARES members are requested to continuously monitor the active local, District or Section ARES net frequencies, and check in when requested on-the-air. See Section Net Frequency list in the appendix or check for regular and special bulletins and announcements.

C. ARES and team mobilization will be initiated by the SEC, DEC, EC or AEC or other responsible appointed leadership official via the Section callout frequency, Section Leadership Net, District or local net, or via the regular published ARES Nets. ARES members shall check into an ARES radio net, prepare for service, and wait further instructions or assignment by a responsible leadership official.

D. Appropriate ARES net assignments will be made by the SEC, DEC, EC, NM or leadership official on regular net frequencies, and in accordance with the approved and coordinated frequency plan appendix attached.

E. Any ARES member responding to a mutual aid callout in other than his own local area, District or Section, will follow the callout plan and instructions of the "in-disaster EC". The EC or leadership official of the callout originating area is in charge of all ARES activities within their assigned area, unless out-of-area relief is requested and given.


A. Normal and regular alteration or modification to this Section Emergency Plan may be made with the authorization of the Section Manager (SM), who is elected by the ARRL members within the Section. The SM appointed SEC, who is responsible for this plan, may make regular changes as needed to maintain this plan current and viable. The Section Manager is responsible for maintaining a current list of leadership officials and providing this list to the SEC.
B. Permanent changes may be recommended for this plan, and adopted at a regular or extraordinary Section Emergency Planning Board (SEPB) meeting of the San Diego Section. The SEPB shall consist of ARRL leadership officials appointed by the SM, and the meeting shall be chaired by the SM or SEC, or their designated official. All approved changes require a simple majority of appointment attendees to implement, but must be approved and signed by the SM and SEC to be made permanent, after Section review and consultation.
C. Temporary or emergency exceptions to this SEP may be made only by an appointed leadership position responsible to the Section Manager or the Section Emergency Coordinator, in response to an emergency requirement. Any in-disaster leadership official who makes unilateral changes or departures from this SEP must submit an after-action report via his leadership chain to ensure that this SEP is kept current and updated. Such exceptions can be made to this plan during or after either an emergency or disaster declaration, and can and should be ratified as above, after the fact.