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The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) provides emergency communications to "Served Agencies" such as fire and police departments, the American Red Cross, the National Weather Service, hospitals, and others. Many ARES® teams also provide communications for public service events such as marathons, parades, bike riding events, and boat races. Individual ARES® teams are organized at the county level in Missouri. This is the Web site of the ARES® team serving St. Louis City and County, Missouri.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® is a program of the American Radio Relay League. "ARES" and "Amateur Radio Emergency Service" are registered marks of and are used on this Web site by permission of the American Radio Relay League.

Emergency Communicator's Notebook

Are you bored? #2

Disasters and exercises can have long, boring periods during which nothing happens. One way to occupy yourself during these times is to review your equipment manuals. You'll probably discover some useful feature you didn't know about or had forgotten.

More hints, tips, and other tidbits about emergency communications
compiled by St. Louis Metro ARES® Registered Volunteers

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SKYWARN Monthly Net
Thursday June 4, 2015

The next St. Louis City/County SKYWARN test net will take place on Thursday June 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM on the 147.360 MHz (+) repeater. SKYWARN spotters are urged to check in. All amateur radio operators are welcome.

What will we do in the event of a disaster?

Please take a look at the St. Louis County Basic Emergency Operations Plan, specifically the ESFs (Emergency Support Functions). It initially may seem that amateur radio would only function under ESF 2 (Communications). While it is correct that we would operate under ESF 2, we would provide service to virtually all of the other ESFs.

On the County Web site, take a closer look at each ESF by clicking on its name. Carefully read what the ESF does, which agencies operate under it, and how it works. In almost every case you will see that amateur radio may have a useful role to play.

Take, for example, ESF 6 (Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Disaster Housing). In all likelihood, amateur radio will be the primary means of communicating with shelters. Also think about ESF 4 (Firefighting). We already have an MOU with Central County Emergency 911 to provide backup communications to fire stations.

Coordination of the various ESFs will take place at the St. Louis County Emergency Operations Center. In it there is a large room, the Emergency Command Center. There are numerous tables, each with phones, computers, and a sign indicating which ESF it represents. Overlooking the whole room are two other rooms, each dedicated to providing communications to the ESFs. One of these is the amateur radio room, so it is clear that the Office of Emergency Management expects amateur radio to be an integral part of the whole operation. In addition to the ESFs, we will be a backup communications link to the State Emergency Management Agency in Jefferson City.

We urge you to carefully examine each ESF on the County Web site. (Take your time, it's a lot of material.) Doing so will give you greater insight into emergency operations in general and amateur radio's role in them.

Weekly Practice Message Net

Radiogram logo

It is very important that amateur radio operators working emergency situations understand how to handle written messages. There are standard protocols and message forms. All of the details about handling these written messages, sometimes called "formal traffic", can be found on our Resources page or via the link below. We urge you to examine this material, then try copying messages read during our weekly practice message net.

Net Controllers needed!

The weekly practice message net has only two net control operators. If you'd like the opportunity to learn more and actually send messages, even just one time, please contact Gary Hoffman, KB0H.

ARES icon Interested in joining ARES®? ARES icon

Please fill out an application and mail it to the Emergency Coordinator (see contacts page). The forms do not get sent to us electronically. You will need to print out the physical form, fill it in, and mail it to us.

1 - Please see the Software section of the Resources page if you do not have software necessary to read these files.
Or, if you prefer, write or email us and request a physical application form.

What will we do in the event of a disaster?

ARES logo

Click here to learn about Emergency Support Functions and the role of St. Louis Metro ARES/RACES in emergency management plans.
Check In

Field Station

St. Louis Metro ARES® holds a 2 meter net every week (see date and time listed below). All amateur radio operators are welcome to participate.
Net Control


Run the show! We will teach you what you need to know. We'll give you the opportunity to control a net and help you if you have difficulties. See out Voice Net Operations page.
Emergency Communications Information

ARES table at hamfest

Not sure where to begin? Contact us and we will help you get started.


If you haven't been to our monthly meetings you've missed talks and demonstrations on Go-Bags, Message Handling, the Missouri Emergency Packet Network, DC Power and much more.
Help Is Available

coax bag

Do you need help building a go-bag? Are you unsure about what to use for emergency power? Would you like some information about personal preparedness? We can help.
Share Your Expertise

Powerpole install

Do you have emergency communications experience or knowledge that you'd like to share with others? Do you have some other skill or talent that could benefit the group? We'd be happy to hear from you.
Yes, We QSL

QSL card

Do you monitor St. Louis Metro ARES® activities? Write to us and we'll send you a QSL card. Click here for more information.
Next Meeting

Map to BJWCH

The date and location of our next monthly meeting can be found on the Calendar of Events page, along with directions how to get there.
Field Exercises

KC0QMU at R.E.T.

Join us in our field exercises and develop your skills. Find out what things you do well and which areas you could improve. Help us to create a robust response team.
Yahoo Group

Click here to join STLARES
Click to join STLARES

Licensed amateur radio operators are invited to join the St. Louis Metro ARES® Yahoo group.

microwave dishes

Yes, we accept donations of stamps, cash, items to sell or raffle, items that we can distribute to our volunteers, and so forth.

St. Louis Metro ARES® regular nets

1 - Please see the "Software" section on the Resources page if you do not have software necessary to read these files.

© 2015 St. Louis Metro ARES®