Monroe County Amateur Radio Emergency Services




1.1 This Comprehensive Amateur Radio Plan for Monroe County, Pennsylvania outlines the coordination of RACES, ARES, SKYWARN and NTS, as defined.

1.2 All who fall under this plan are FCC licensed radio amateurs who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and equipment for public service communications duty.

1.3 Under Federal regulations, the contents of amateur radio messages are not divulged to unauthorized persons, and such public service communications are furnished without compensation of any kind.


2.1 The purpose of this plan is to provide a written guide containing the minimum information that would be needed in an emergency. Each emergency is different and the flexibility to provide an adequate response to each is a necessity.

2.2 The primary purpose of this plan is to coordinate amateur radio capabilities so as to furnish emergency communications in event of natural, man-made or nuclear disasters, when regular communications fail, are inadequate or need to be supplemented.

2.3 All tests, training and instruction shall be carried out to ensure readiness to respond quickly in providing effective amateur emergency communications whenever an occasion may arise.

2.4 The following agencies could be served during a communications emergency: Monroe County Office of Emergency Services (OES), fire departments, police departments, Pocono Medical Center, American Red Cross and any other agencies, as required, requesting assistance.


3.1 Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), is a radio communications service conducted by volunteer licensed amateur radio operators for providing radio communications to local, regional or state civil preparedness organizations.

3.2 Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, is composed of licensed amateurs who have registered their qualifications and equipment for communication duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

3.3 SKYWARN, a service of the National Weather Service (NWS), uses amateur and non-amateur personnel to report severe weather conditions to the NWS or the local SKYWARN net.

3.4 National Traffic System (NTS), sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, is the facility for the passing of message traffic in an orderly sequential flow on amateur radio frequencies.


4.1 Each or the above named branches of amateur radio function under its own rules, which it is agreed, do not conflict with this plan.

4.2 Each Radio Officer (RO), is a radio amateur who organizes and operates the RACES network for the county; he is appointed by the local or state director.

4.3 Each ARES organization functions under the direction of an Emergency Coordinator (EC), who is directly responsible to the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) appointed by the elected ARRL Section Manager (SM).

4.4 Each SKYWARN organization functions under the direction of a SKYWARN Coordinator (SC), who reports to the National Weather Service (NWS).

4.5 Each local NTS net operates under the direction of the Emergency Coordinator (EC). Section NTS nets operate under the direction of the Section Traffic Manager (STM) who is appointed by the Section Manager (SM).


5.1 RACES organizations cover individual counties and report to state headquarters as designated by the state RO.

5.2 ARES organizations cover areas in the state as designated by the SEC.

5.3 SKYWARN organizations cover county warning areas as designated by the NWS.

5.4 Local NTS nets cover the areas served by the local ARES area. Section NTS Nets cover the entire state.


6.1 RACES organizations in each county will conduct liaison to local ARES nets.

6.2 Each ARES organization will conduct liaison to the County RACES/OES Headquarters.

6.3 SKYWARN organizations will conduct liaison to the NWS and to the Monroe County OES.

6.4 State RACES/PEMA Headquarters will conduct liaison to the section NTS nets.


7.1 It is strongly recommended that amateurs have membership in both RACES and ARES.

7.2 This dual registration can be handled by the respective ROs and ECs involved by exchange of membership lists.

7.3 ROs and ECs are cooperative and complimentary functions. Areas are dependent upon agencies served, nature of traffic, and geographical area served.


8.1 This plan shall be activated when a communications emergency situation requiring amateur radio communications exists, as declared by a competent authority, such as the Monroe County OES Director.

8.2 Members shall be alerted during time of emergency, as deemed necessary.

8.3 For limited communications emergencies, partial activation involving one or more of the branches of amateur radio communications is authorized.


9.1 In a declared emergency, an authorized official of one or more of the agencies detailed in section 2.4, will notify the RO or EC of the need for amateur radio emergency communications.

9.2 The RO and EC will notify their members, via VHF radio or telephone, that an emergency has been declared.

9.3 Local broadcast stations WVPO (AM), 840 KHz. and WSBG (FM) 93.5 MHz. will be contacted by the OES Director, or his representative, for spot announcements alerting RACES and ARES members of an activation.

9.4 Upon the awareness or notification that a communications emergency exists, members of RACES and ARES, should check into the RACES/ARES/SKYWARN Net on one of the following frequencies:

(a) PRIMARY 146.865 MHz. FM (-600 KHz. split) PL 100.0
(b) SECONDARY 147.045 Mhz. FM (+600 Khz split) PL 131.8

9.5 Mobile and portable units will be activated as needed.

9.6 The RO or EC will assume Net Control (NCS) or delegate another station as NCS. Control will be from either of two locations: Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or a designated KEY station. Both stations will be activated with KEY station acting as backup.


10.1 The Monroe County ARES/RACES/SKYWARN Net will be called to order by the NCS, using a predetermined call-up plan.

10.2 Members of RACES and ARES should check into the net from their mobiles or home stations to await further instructions.

10.3 Liaison stations to the following nets will be assigned as needed:

(a) Eastern PA. Emergency Phone Traffic Net (EPAEPTN), 3917 KHz. LSB
(b) RACES State Net, 3987.5 KHz. LSB
(c) Northampton County Net, 146.700 MHz. FM (-600 Khz. split) PL 151.4
(d) PA. Traffic Training Net (PTTN), 3610 KHz. CW
(e) PA. Phone Net (PFN), 3958 KHz. LSB
(f) Warren County, N.J. RACES, 146.820 MHz. FM (-600 Khz. split) PL 110.9

10.4 Mobiles and portables are dispatched (or may be transported) as needed to the served agencies. (See Section 2.4).

10.5 Operators of home stations not on emergency power should be coordinated to effectively operate with the EOC and KEY station as required. Stations on emergency power should operate according to the directions of the NCS.


11.1 All messages (third party communications) handled on amateur frequencies should be, when feasible, in standard ARRL form.

11.2 Any message must be authorized (identified) by the official who originates it with his or her title, and who takes responsibility for its contents.

11.3 RACES Frequencies in Monroe County are as follows:

(a) Local RACES Net, 146.865 MHz. FM (-600 KHZ. split) PL 100.0
(b) Secondary RACES frequency 147.045 Mhz. FM (+600 Khz split) PL 131.8
(c) Simplex RACES frequency 147.420
(d) Eastern PA (EPA) RACES Net, 3987.5 KHz. LSB
(e) State RACES Net, 3517.5 KHz. CW
(f) State RACES Net, 3517.5 KHz. RTTY

11.4 NTS section nets and ARES/SKYWARN local nets:

(a) Monroe County RACES/ARES/SKYWARN, 146.865 FM (-600 KHz. split) PL 100.0
(b) Eastern PA. Emergency Phone Traffic Net, 3917 KHz. LSB
(c) PA. Traffic Training Net, 3610 KHz. CW
(d) PA. Phone Net, 3958 KHz. LSB

11.5 Message precedence of EMERGENCY, PRIORITY, WELFARE, and ROUTINE (as defined on ARRL CD form 3) shall be used, when feasible, on all messages.

11.6 After checking into any net, stations should not transmit unless invited to do so by NCS. The only exception to this is for a station having EMERGENCY or PRIORITY traffic.


12.1 An annual test will be conducted on a 3rd weekend in late autumn in conjunction with the nationwide Simulated Emergency Test (SET).

12.2 The Monroe County RACES/ARES/SKYWARN Net meets every Sunday at 8:30 PM local time on the Monroe County OES Repeater 146.865 FM (-600 Khz split) PL 100.0

12.3 At the discretion of the RO and EC, the Monroe County RACES/ARES/SKYWARN Net will be activated unannounced at least once a year.

PLAN UPDATED March 16, 2010

Guy Miller
Monroe County OES Director

Jerry Truax N3SEI
Monroe County RACES Radio Officer

Jerry Truax N3SEI
Monroe County ARES Emergency Coordinator

Bill Byron N3VAE
Monroe County SKYWARN Coordinator

Copyright © 2010 MCARES