The following message was received from the ARRL
Special Bulletin 3 ARLX003
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT May 26, 2023
To all radio amateurs
SB SPCL ARL ARLX003
ARLX003 ARRL and FEMA Sign Agreement: Ham Radio is as Relevant
The agreement emphasizes the importance of skilled Amateur Radio
Operators in times of crisis and the role of ARES leadership within
the emergency communications space.
ARES (see the ARES fact sheet at, www.arrl.org/ares) is a network of
trained Amateur Radio Service licensees organized across the country
to provide communications and other support to served agencies, such
as local governments, hospitals, and disaster response charities.
More than 20,000 ARES volunteers actively participate in the ARRL
program. In 2022, they provided more than 420,000 labor hours of
service saving local officials $13.4 million in personnel costs.
Each member of ARES has specialized training in emergency
communications. Many have also completed training in the National
Incident Management System (NIMS) in order to integrate with local
officials during an emergency response.
In March 2023, FEMA released the final version of the NIMS
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Functional Guidance,
which includes radio amateurs in the response ecosystem and national
“The agreement is representative of the continued commitment and
cooperation between FEMA and ARRL,” said ARRL Director of Emergency
Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. “Serving our country during
emergencies is an important service provided by ARES volunteers and
a principal purpose of our Amateur Radio Service. Our well-equipped
volunteers bring their training, use of innovative technologies, and
community partnerships together to serve before and during
FEMA announced the new agreement on Twitter stating, “We recently
signed a new MOA with ARRL — establishing our partnership with
licensed, voluntary amateur radio operators to support response
(and) recovery efforts. We’re honored to work side-by-side to meet
the needs of millions in the wake of disasters.”
Former FEMA Administrator and ARRL member Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, led
the agency when the previous MOA with ARRL was signed in 2014.
Fugate said the agreement underscores the importance of ham radio.
“By incorporating amateur radio into their emergency plans, FEMA
ensures that they have access to a network of trained operators who
can establish and maintain communication links when traditional
infrastructure fails. This collaboration between FEMA and Amateur
Radio Operators allows for more robust and resilient emergency
communication capabilities, ultimately contributing to effective
disaster response and recovery,” said Fugate.
“The ARRL Board and the Emergency Communications and Field Services
Committee are committed to strengthening our resourcefulness to the
EmComm (emergency communications) community,” said ARRL President
Rick Roderick, K5UR. “Our partnership with FEMA helps further ARRL’s
work to better serve our volunteers, partner agencies, and the