Information about A.R.P.S.C.:
The Amateur Radio Public Service Corps (ARPSC)
is an umbrella organization that encompases the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and includes the SKYWARN® Severe Weather Spotter Program sponsored by the National Weather Service.
The primary function of the Washtenaw county ARPSC is to provide emergency communications for public assistance in times of need or distress. The role of the ARPSC is not to replace, but rather augment existing communications systems during a communications emergency.
A communications emergency is said to exist when a need for communications exists and customary communications circuits are interupted or overloaded, there are no customary communications circuits, or interagancy communications needs must be met.
Information about the A.R.E.S.:
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
Information about the R.A.C.E.S.:
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), is a public service provided by a volunteer Amateur Radio Operators that is administered by local, county and state emergency management divisions, and supported by FEMA. As a part of the Amateur Radio Service, it provides radio communications for civil-preparedness purposes only, during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies. These emergencies are not limited to war-related activities, but can include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, power outages, floods, victim searches, air crashes, and many others.
Information about Skywarn:
SKYWARN is a government sponsored entity. We assist NOAA's National Weather Service and our local emergency management division in determining severe weather, by going out and watching the skies. The organization of spotters and the distribution of warning information may lie with the National Weather Service or with an emergency management agency within the community. This varies across the country however, with local national weather service offices taking the lead in some locations, while emergency management takes the lead in other areas.