Questions about the New York City
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service
Who makes up the membership of the
is made up of men and women of New York City who come
from all different walks of life, but who all have an
interest in radio / communications technology and who
have tested and passed a licensing examination by the
U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Our members
are professions from various backgrounds including:
engineers, federal employees, academia, medicine,
public safety agencies, the military, etc.
What do your federally licensed radio
operators do during and after disasters?
NYC-ARECS radio operators are capable of setting up
and operating organized communication networks locally
for governmental and emergency officials, as well as
noncommercial communication for private citizens
affected by the disaster. This may include voice
and/or data communications, across the city or across
the country. Our radio operators are most likely to be
active after disasters that damage regular lines of
communications due to power outages and destruction of
hard-wire telephone lines or damage to the cellular
How do your radio operators help local officials?
Many radio operators are active as communications
volunteers with local public safety organizations. In
addition, in some disasters, because radio frequencies
are not coordinated among relief officials, radio
operators can assist in the coordination of
communications when radio towers and other elements in
the communications infrastructure are damaged.
What type of equipment does the NYC-ARECS
following page has several examples of the
equipment used by our members when training
for, or assisting during, emergency operations.
Why do teams such as
the NYC-ARECS exist in a world of cell phones?
emergencies can strike anywhere, anytime, without
warning. Often, existing means of communications, be
they landline telephone, cellular phone or wireless
radio links, become unusable because they are
overloaded or simply no longer exist. They get
overloaded when too many persons try at the same time
to dial for help or to check on a friend or family
member in a disaster area. They can become nonexistent
when wires and towers topple and electrical supplies
fail, due to acts of nature or terrorism. When
emergency agencies are required in a zone of disaster,
their regular means of communications can be affected
by the same disruptive causes as others. That creates
a need for a supplemental or back-up communications
system, one that comes complete with equipment and
trained operators who are licensed by the U.S.
Government, all at no cost to the public or the agency
Why do you assist in public service
NYC-ARECS members are available to donate their time
and expertise to support public service agencies when
normal communications facilities are not functioning
or are overloaded due to planned or unplanned events.
However, during the year, NYC-ARECS also provides
communications support for nonprofit community events.
This not only helps the community, but gives us live
experience in handling radio traffic for agencies that
might call upon us for emergency communications in the
future. This is a link to a
list of our upcoming public service
Did your team members assist on September
Members of NYC-ARECS were activated during the 9/11
attack. At the time, Charles
Hargrove (N2NOV), the NYC-ARECS co-founder
and current President, was the New York City ARRL
District Emergency Coordinator and Citywide RACES
Radio Officer on 9/11. Over 500 amateur radio
operators helped provide assistance during the
emergency. Here is the
NYC-ARECS 9/11 page.
How do I join NYC-ARECS ??
Our organization is made up of New York
City based licensees of the Federal Communications
Commission who specialize in Amateur Radio emergency
communications. We also have Auxiliary Members that
are those who do not hold amateur radio licenses but
want to serve in a support capacity. Please
visit this page to learn on how you can
become a Member.
How do we reach your team for an
interview or more information?
feel free to email us at INFO@nyc-arecs.org.
We will get back to you the same day.