Emergency Communications for the Community



Tri-Cities RACES/ARES is a volunteer organization of amateur radio operators committed to providing the cities of Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and surrounding communities, with radio communications during times of emergency or when needed for public service. We provide trained radio operators to safely and professionally support a variety of radio communication needs.


The Tri-Cities RACES/ARES is guided by the three Orange County, Southern California cities of Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano Emergency Services Departments. Presently there are 45+ registered volunteer Amateur Radio Operators who use their own and/or city owned equipment to assist with emergency radio communications. As an ARES group, members become "local volunteers" helping out. In a "declared" emergency/disaster, the group can become a Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) group. Once activated as a RACES group, OES/FEMA assumes operational responsibilities. All Tri-Cities RACES/ARES members are registered Disaster Service Workers with the three cities. The Tri-Cities RACES-ARES group holds a weekly radio check-in net every Wednesday evening. See below for additional details. Each week a different member is pre-assigned as the Net Control, operating the station from their home or from one of the cities’ Emergency Operations Centers. Monthly general meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month for the purpose of planning and training (meeting locations alternate between all of the 3 cities with specific locations and dates announced over the weekly radio net. The general meetings normally run from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.).


The Tri-Cities RACES group was formed in late 2007 by the Emergency Services Coordinator for the City of San Juan Capistrano and a San Juan Capistrano resident who recruited two local Amateur Radio operators to assist with this ambitious project. A RACES group that represents three separate cities was unprecedented at that time and offered some unique challenges.
The need for a centralized emergency communications effort including the three cities that were contained within the disaster plan for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) adjacent to San Clemente was recognized by each of the cities in the area. The three cities were looking for efficient ways to communicate with the power plant, county EOC and each other in times of emergencies or disasters. With the guidance of the Orange County RACES group leadership and the city attorneys for all three cities, a charter was drafted. The details of the organization and its foundation were established. Once the Charter was approved, the group was off and running. A Chief Radio Officer was appointed and a Radio Officer for each of the three cities was named.
Over the years, the Tri-Cities RACES group has provided radio communication for such local city events as the San Clemente Ocean Festival, the San Juan Capistrano Swallows Day Parade, the Dana Point Bicycle Grand Prix and various city CERT events. Additionally, the group has participated in the SONGS annual siren test program.
In early 2011, with membership of about 45 members, the RACES group decided they could better serve the three communities by having their members hold dual membership in Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). Flexibility during amateur radio emergency communication and additional training opportunities were the primary reasons for seeking the dual affiliation. Being affiliated with both organizations, while established and operating as a unified group, provides the best opportunity to ensure a viable solution in an emergency.

Membership Requirements

Applications can be obtained by attending a monthly general meeting of the group or contact us by e-mail.

Contact Tri-Cities RACES/ARES via e-mail at: [email protected]


Weekly Net

Tri-Cities RACES/ARES conducts a weekly net on Wednesday evenings at 1915 hours (7:15 PM).
The frequencies for this net will alternate every Wednesday on the following two frequencies:
Simplex Net: On the TriCities Simplex frequency of 145.555 MHz
- OR -
Repeater Net: On the San Clemente SOARA Repeater on 146.025 MHz (Tone 110.9)
We always welcome guest check-ins, and net control can provde prospective members with additional information for joining the organization.

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