New York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service


NYC-ARECS Encourages New Yorker's to Participate in the
National Weather Service SKYWARN Spotter Program


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NEW YORK, NY (March 14, 2012) As the severe weather season approaches, the New York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service (NYC-ARECS) encourages New Yorker's to participate in Skywarn, a network of volunteer storm spotters trained by the National Weather Service.

To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established Skywarn with partner organizations. Skywarn is a volunteer program of trained severe weather spotters. These spotters help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Although Skywarn spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a Skywarn spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.

Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

Skywarn storm spotters help make up the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

The NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such as ham radio, to join the Skywarn program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, synagogues, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

The next New York City Skywarn training class will be on April 18, 2012 at the NYC Office of Emergency Management, 165 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn. The training is free, the class starts at 7pm.

Members of NYC-ARECS are dedicated to providing auxiliary radio communications for New York City in the event of a technological, natural or terrorist disaster. Team members are licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and may participate in the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), a protocol created by the FCC and is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To learn more about the activities of the New York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service, or if you are interested in joining the team, please visit