RACES was authorized by Congress and is affiliated with FEMA. In Vermont, RACES is administered by Vermont Emergency Management (VEM), a part of the Vermont Department of Public Safety.
In Vermont, an licensed Amateur Radio Operator may request a RACES application form from VEM. Return the completed form as instructed by information on the link above. The applicant needs to be patient while the vetting process takes place.
RACES certified operators may be requested to assume communications duties by VEM in times of emergency.
Usually the request would come about two days after a given Vermont town has declared an emergency to VEM. The “Town” declaration of an emergency means that Town Officials are stating to VEM that the Town:
- has depleted its resources with which to mitigate the problem, or
- is about to deplete its resources with which to mitigate the situation.
RACES operations in Vermont are invoked by Vermont Emergency Management, while ARES activity is encouraged by the ARRL.
Many Amateurs are members of both organizations.
RACES Operators Take Note!
RACES Standard Operating Guidelines state, on Page 4, As an emergency escalates, the local or State Emergency Management representative may call for RACES activation. At this time, with radio operators already activated, the operation can smoothly transition from an ARES operation to a RACES operation. It must be noted that when this happens, the RACES members are now under the supervision of the local or STATE Emergency Management representative, and are no longer directly involved with the ARES operation.