ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio https://www.arrl.org/® has entered into an updated Memorandum of Agreement http://www.arrl.org/served-agencies-and-partners (MOA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The agreement will enhance cooperation between ARRL's emergency communications program, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) http://www.arrl.org/ares, and FEMA in providing disaster communications. The agreement emphasizes the importance of skilled Amateur Radio Operators in times of crisis and the role of ARES leadership within the emergency communications space.
ARES (see the ARES fact sheet at www.arrl.org/ares http://www.arrl.org/ares) is a network of trained Amateur Radio Service licensees organized across the country to provide communications and other support to served agencies http://www.arrl.org/served-agencies-and-partners, such as local governments, hospitals, and disaster response charities. More than 20,000 ARES volunteers actively participate in the ARRL program. In 2022, they provided more than 420,000 labor hours of service saving local officials $13.4 million in personnel costs.
Each member of ARES has specialized training in emergency communications. Many have also completed training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in order to integrate with local officials during an emergency response.
In March 2023, FEMA released the final version of the NIMS Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Functional Guidance, which includes radio amateurs in the response ecosystem https://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-included-in-fema-guide-for-national-emergency-preparedness and national emergency preparedness.
"The agreement is representative of the continued commitment and cooperation between FEMA and ARRL," said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. "Serving our country during emergencies is an important service provided by ARES volunteers and a principal purpose of our Amateur Radio Service. Our well-equipped volunteers bring their training, use of innovative technologies, and community partnerships together to serve before and during disasters."
FEMA announced the new agreement on Twitter https://twitter.com/fema/status/1658921668356472839 stating, "We recently signed a new MOA with @arrl -- establishing our partnership with licensed, voluntary amateur radio operators to support response [and] recovery efforts. We're honored to work side-by-side to meet the needs of millions in the wake of disasters."
Read the full story on the ARRL website https://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-and-fema-sign-agreement-ham-radio-is-as-relevant-as-ever.
The ARRL Letter