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RACES – Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

A disaster, such as an earthquake, may disrupt, overload, or extensively damage normal communications paths and systems. In such disasters, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, RACES, may be utilized to provide a backup path for the exchange of critical information between decision-making officials for the coordination of local, state, and federal disaster response and recovery actions for the protection and preservation of lives and property. The Utah RACES volunteers registered with the Division of Emergency Management can be called upon to provide this critical service.

Founded in 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is part of the Amateur Radio Services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 47,
Part 97, the Amateur Radio Service, and specifically Subpart E, 97.407, The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, govern RACES.

RACES volunteers register with a local, county, or state civil defense organization responsible for disaster services. In today’s terminology civil defense organization is more often called an emergency services
organization or emergency management organization. The Utah Division of Emergency Management, DEM, is the civil defense organization in Utah and Utah RACES volunteers are registered with the DEM.

RACES operations involve emergency message handling on Amateur Radio Service frequencies. These operations typically involve messages between critical locations such as the State Emergency Operations
Center (SEOC) and county or local Emergency Operations Centers. These communications are handled in any mode available, with 2-meter FM being the most prevalent.

Other tasks that RACES volunteers may be involved with may not involve amateur radio communications. For example, RACES volunteers may be asked to assist with public safety or other government communications.

The Utah RACES volunteers develop and maintain their communications ability by training throughout the year with monthly scheduled nets and special exercises.

To register with the DEM as a volunteer for Utah RACES, please follow this link: http://utahdem.readyop.com/contact/register/4

Download the Utah RACES Information PDF here.