To become a member of Harris County ARES and receive a Harris County ARES badge you must;

Continuing Education

Recommended training and additional certifications but not required for ARES membership are

FEMA Courses (free). Many of these are required for the ARRL EC-016 course.

ARRL Courses (fee required)


National Weather Service

Texas Homeland Security

Community Emergency Response Teams

American Red Cross

Practice Practice Practice

Part of the learning process and becoming comfortable with being an emergency communicator is to practice practice practice. Check in to numerous nets. Pretend that you are the net contol station (NCS) and write down all the check ins. Take notes on whatever traffic or training that was passed over the air. When the net is over send the net control station an email with your list of check-ins and notes and ask them to verify that you got it correct. In addition to participating in local V/UHF nets, if you have HF capability, check in to the Texas Traffic net on a regular basis. Even better would be to actually handle traffic on the net.

Another way to improve your skills is to participate in public service events. You will often hear people say that you can not be a good communicator until you are a good listener. A lot of what you will learn doing public service is not what you do but listening to all the traffic handled by the net and how it was handled. Go over in your mind how you might do things slightly differently for yourself. After the event is over talk to the NCS and other communication leaders for the event and discuss things you may have had questions about but over the air during the net was not the appropriate time. Everyone who is in charge of an event or the NCS has started out not knowing much either. Learn from them.

Specific information on the ARRL - Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course EC-016 Management

Membership levels.

  1. Inactive
    Signed up, never heard from again.
    At Level 1 for no less than 12 but no more than 24 months before being classified as inactive.
    Those names that remain inactive for a period of 24 months will be purged from the database.
    Members with bounced emails and no other valid contact information listed in the database will be purged immediately.
  2. Associate Member
    Signed up and verifies their database entries annually. This is the entry level membership in the database.
  3. Member
    Verifies their database entry annually and has passed all four online FEMA Emergency Management Institute classes required to get a badge.
  4. Supporting Member
    Verifies their database entry annually, has met the badge requirements. Has passed the FEMA EMI class "Guide to Points of Distribution", IS-26. Participates in one of the following each year;
    1. Drill.
    2. SET.
    3. Public service event.
    4. General membership meeting. One of the quarterly meetings.
    5. Serves as both Net control and backup net control for the weekly net.
    6. Respond to a call for volunteers to any incident.
  5. Advanced Member (Team Leader)
    Verifies their database entry annually, has met the badge requirements. Has passed the IS-26 FEMA EMI class and one or more of the recommended FEMA EMI classes. Completes no less than two of the following each year;
    1. Drill.
    2. SET.
    3. Public service event.
    4. General membership meeting. Two or more of the quarterly meetings.
    5. Joins the Net control rotation for the weekly net.
    6. Be active in or deployed to any incident as a result of a call for volunteers. (Requires only one occurrence to fulfill the requirement.)
  6. AEC (Supervisor)
    The AEC is an individual who has stepped up to an active role in their unit. Depending on their assigned task they might do any or all of the following;
    • Help to manage, train and educate Unit members.
    • Plan drills, operations, exercises
    • Work with our served agencies to fulfill their needs.
    • Educate non-hams, recruit new members,
    • and promote ARES and Ham radio.
    • Be a Mentor!
  7. Presently there is no 6, 7 or 8
  8. EC (Manager & General Adminstration)
    Emergency Coordinators, all of the above.
  9. Systems Administration.
    Makes sense of and keeps track of the database.
    • Membership levels will not continually bounce back and forth due to a person's ability to participate. Once reached, maintenance at Member through Advanced Member level will only require annual verification of their database entry and participation in one function a year.
    • Deleting an individual (purging) from the Database.
    • Before any individual is purged from the District 14 Database the individuals Unit EC will check with their AEC's and the EC's of the other Units. This will be done to be sure that the individual to be purged has indeed been inactive or out of touch. Maybe someone has knowledge of the person in question being active or participating in functions with another unit or without their being a proper record of those activities. To verify/update your database entries.
      1. Log in to the ARES database,
      2. In the menu on the left select "Update Registration".
      3. Look over your information there; please check the information under every tab.
      4. Make any changes necessary. Be sure to hit the "Save Changes" button found under the "General", "Location" or "Other" tabs.
      5. If everything is current you must hit the "Save Changes" button anyway. No matter how many times you visit the database, unless you hit the "Save Changes" button the date will not reset. This is the only way we can know you have looked at and verified your information.

To record your volunteer hours

By comparison check out the requirements for the Irving Texas ARES/RACES

Admittedly these were some of the most demanding requirements I found. They were found by simply doing a Google search for "ARES Membership requirements". They were on the first page.

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