ARES operates under the auspices of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) although membership in ARRL is not a requirement for ARES participation. The following is clipped from the ARRL web site:
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.
How to Get Involved in ARES
Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.
As the first step toward participating, you must fill out a Registration Form, FSD-98. This is a minimum requirement for participation. Using the completed registration forms I will build a working database of members and those folks will be added to our mailing list to receive further communications about our activities.
To learn more about ARES, I recommend that everyone read the ARRL ARES Manual and look at other related information on the ARRL web site.
I look forward to working with you in Mercer County ARES!
John Pugh WJ3P
Mercer County Emergency Coordinator