The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when
disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur,
regardless of membership in ARRL or any other
local or national organization, is eligible for
membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
Ken Skinner, N5OW, was appointed Emergency Coordinator on August 18, 1998. After creating an emergency plan and operations manual, Ken helped form the Houston County ARES Team. Working with the county Emergency Manager, David Lamb, an Emergency Communications Room was created in the new Houston County EOC. In addition to the HF, UHF, and VHF rigs, this room also houses a sophisticated weather monitoring system. Should the need arise, the Houston County ARES Team is well equipped to handle emergency situations.