Joining Williamson Co – Amateur Radio Emergency Service, WC-ARES, is quite easy, just two simple requirements and one simple online form to fill out.
As outlined on the Amateur Radio Relay League, ARRL website, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.
ARES Membership Requirements:
Every licensed amateur regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable but is not a requirement for membership. A second requirement is a desire to serve.
In lieu of the ARRL paper registration form, we have an on-line form that collects the same info but also allows you to return and enter/track your training. This also allows the ARES leadership at the county, district, or section level to generate reports based on training, equipment, or rosters. You are also encouraged to update/check your contact info periodically. Addresses, call signs, license class, phone numbers, cell phone carriers, email address, etc change. It’s much easier for each member to verify their own info that asking a volunteer to do this for hundreds of members. So plan on verifying your data before Field Day or one of our Simulated Exercise Training, SET, or Public Service Events.
The first step is to fill out the online form:
The ARES database is maintained at the ARRLSTX section level at www.arrlstx.org in the ARES, STX Info Depot area of the website. This is a password protected database. Here is a link that jumps straight to the STX ARES Info Depot welcome screen.
Use the Register new member link and simply fill in the form, note the items with asterisks are mandatory fields.
Some of the fields are special:
Carrier: – For our Sunday Training NETs, activations, and alerts we send a group text message to our members. This is our primary way of alerting our members for activation and alerts. So if you enter your cell phone or pager number in the Cell Phone field you need to select the correct carrier for this feature to work.
These are very short messages, you should get a message a few minutes before our Sunday NET at 8:00 PM. You may also get additional text messages if you join other ARES groups. Again this is our primary way of alerting our members and activating them when we are called to serve. If you don’t want to bear the cost of these messages or they become an annoyance you can turn them off by changing the Carrier to “Select Carrier”.
Selecting your carrier may be a little harder than just setting it to say AT&T Wireless because you may have started as a Cingular customer and there are 4 versions of @cingular addresses and 2 @att.net address to choose from. This may require some experimentation between your email and cell phone to figure out which address works. After you click on “-Select Carrier” and highlight say AT&T Wireless, you will see @txt.att.net pop-up. Using your email app, send a message to your 10-digit phone number, no dashes, and use the suffix as shown for the carrier. Use the one that works.
Email: – This should be your primary email address that you check most often and not firstname.lastname@example.org as they add delays and are known to fail.
Title and Position: – New members can skip this and leave it as “ARES Member” but later after you accept an appointment to fill a specific task you should change this and fill in the Position field.
Call/Class: – Simply your current call sign and license class. Remember to change these if/when you upgrade.
One-County and Multiple Counties: – These buttons are used to select if you are wanting to join just one ARES group or multiple ARES groups. Note you can come back later and add additional counties at a later time.
County: – For WC-ARES select Williamson. Note, after clicking on the pull-down menu you can press “w” a few times to jump to Williamson.
Please fill in the Emergency contact information and check it’s accuracy every time you update your info.
Comments: – Anything you want the Leadership to know that is not covered elsewhere, any special talents you have.
Updating Your Registration Info: – This should be done 1-2 times a year even if ZERO things have changed. Why, because one of the reports the ARES leadership pulls quite often is how dated is this information is. If your records are 2-3-4 years old the data could be wrong and not trusted. So check it and use the Update button on the bottom of the form. It is suggested you do this before every Field Day and Public Service Event you participate in.