FCC EmComm and RACES Rules
OCRACES personnel are required to abide by local, County,
State, and Federal laws, whether on or off duty. OCRACES personnel shall not
self-activate, but must report for duty whenever OCRACES is activated. OCRACES personnel
must adhere to the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, in
accordance with the privileges of their particular class of amateur radio license.
Whenever operating in a RACES net, personnel shall not communicate with a radio amateur
that is not certified by a RACES unit, in accordance with §97.407(d) of the FCC
Rules. (Note that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Hospital Disaster
Support Communications System and with the Orange County Chapter of the
American Red Cross, and with the National Weather Service for Orange County
SKYWARN, recognizing a mutual affiliation whereby HDSCS, Red
Cross, and SKYWARN personnel
may pass government-related traffic on an OCRACES net.) OCRACES personnel must be
thoroughly familiar with and adhere to the entire §97.407 of the Commissions Rules,
as printed below. This section is devoted strictly to RACES. Most OCRACES
nets are conducted as ACS (not RACES) nets in accordance with the FCC Rules
pertaining to the Amateur Radio Service, thus avoiding the strict
regulations of the Commission's RACES Rules.
§97.3(a)(37) of the FCC Rules, RACES (radio
amateur civil emergency service) is a radio service using amateur stations for civil
defense communications during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies.
OCRACES personnel are under the command of the Orange County Sheriff's
Department, Communications & Technology Division, and are certified by OCSD, Emergency
Management Bureau. OCSD/EM is the
civil defense organization that is referenced in the FCC RACES Rules.
97—AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE
Subpart A—General Provisions
(a) The definitions of terms used in Part 97 are:
(37) RACES (radio amateur civil emergency service).
A radio service using amateur stations for civil defense communications during periods of local,
regional, or national civil emergencies.
Subpart B—Station Operation Standards
* * *
Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a
pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer,
with the following exceptions:
A station licensee or control station operator may participate on
behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster
readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such
test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test
or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are
limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than
twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to
exceed 72 hours.
* * * *
Subpart E—Providing Emergency Communications
Operation during a disaster.
station in, or within 92.6 km (50 nautical miles) of, Alaska may transmit
emissions J3E and R3E on the channel at 5.1675 MHz (assigned frequency
5.1689 MHz) for emergency communications. The channel must be shared with
stations licensed in the Alaska-Private Fixed Service. The transmitter
power must not exceed 150 W PEP. A station in, or within 92.6 km of,
Alaska may transmit communications for tests and training drills necessary
to ensure the establishment, operation, and maintenance of emergency
Safety of life and protection of property.
provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any
means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential
communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life
and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are
Station in distress.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station in
distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its
condition and location, and obtain assistance.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the
exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this section, of
any means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in
Radio amateur civil emergency service.
(a) No station may transmit in RACES
unless it is an FCC-licensed primary, club, or military recreation station and
it is certified by a civil defense organization as registered with that
organization. No person may be the control operator of an amateur station
transmitting in RACES unless that person holds a FCC-issued amateur operator
license and is certified by a civil defense organization as enrolled in that
The frequency bands and segments and
emissions authorized to the control operator are available to stations
transmitting communications in RACES on a shared basis with the amateur service.
In the event of an emergency which necessitates invoking the President's War
Emergency Powers under the provisions of section 706 of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 606, amateur stations participating in RACES may
only transmit on the frequency segments authorized pursuant to part 214 of this
An amateur station registered with
a civil defense organization may only communicate with the following stations
upon authorization of the responsible civil defense official for the
organization with which the amateur station is registered:
An amateur station registered with the same or another civil defense
A station in a service regulated by the FCC whenever such communication is
authorized by the FCC.
(d) All communications transmitted in RACES must be specifically
authorized by the civil defense organization for the area served. Only civil defense communications
of the following types may be transmitted:
(1) Messages concerning impending or actual conditions
jeopardizing the public safety, or affecting the national defense or security during periods of
local, regional, or national civil emergencies;
(2) Messages directly concerning the immediate safety of life of
individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of
human suffering and need, and the combating of armed attack or sabotage;
(3) Messages directly concerning the accumulation and
dissemination of public information or instructions to the civilian population essential to the
activities of the civil defense organization or other authorized governmental or relief agencies;
(4) Communications for RACES training drills and tests necessary
to ensure the establishment and maintenance of orderly and efficient operation of the RACES as
ordered by the responsible civil defense organization served. Such drills and tests may not exceed
a total time of 1 hour per week. With the approval of the chief officer for emergency planning in
the applicable State, Commonwealth, District, or territory, however, such tests and drills may be
conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours no more than twice in any calendar year.
PART 214—PROCEDURES FOR THE USE
AND COORDINATION OF THE RADIO SPECTRUM DURING A WARTIME EMERGENCY
84 Stat. 2083 and E.O. 12472, April 3,
1984, (49 FR 13471; 3 CFR, 1984 Comp., p. 193).
55 FR 51062, Dec. 11, 1990, unless
The provisions of this part 214 are
issued pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977, 42 FR 56101, 91 Stat.
1633, as amended (5 U.S.C. appendix) and Executive Order 12472. This part 214
replaces Annex 1 of DMO 3000.1, dated November 8, 1963, 28 FR 12273.
The purpose of this part is to provide
guidance for the use of the radio spectrum in a period of war, or a threat of
war, or a state of public peril or other wartime emergency.
This part covers procedures for the
use of radio frequencies upon proclamation by the President that there exists
war, or a threat of war or a state of public peril or other wartime emergency or
in order to preserve the neutrality of the United States. These procedures will
be applied in the coordination, application for, and assignment of radio
frequencies upon order of the Director, OSTP. These procedures are intended to
be consistent with the provisions and procedures contained in emergency plans
for use of the radio spectrum.
When the provisions of this part
become operative, Presidential emergency authority, including Executive Order
12656, 12472, 12046 (3 CFR, 1966–1970 Comp., p. 820), and other emergency
plans regarding the allocation and use of national resources will be in effect.
During an attack, and in a postattack period, the Director, OSTP, will have
authority to make new or revised assignments of radio frequencies in accordance
with authority delegated by the President.
(a) Whenever it is determined
necessary to exercise, in whole or in part, the President's emergency authority
over telecommunications, the Director, OSTP, will exercise that authority as
specified in Executive Order 12472 (49 FR 13471; 3 CFR, 1984 Comp., p. 193).
(b) In this connection, and
concurrently with the war or national emergency proclamation by the President,
the Director will:
(1) Authorize the continuance of all
frequency authorizations issued by the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC), except as they may otherwise be modified or revoked by the Director, OSTP,
in the national interest;
(2) Redelegate to the Secretary of
Defense the authority necessary to control the use of the radio spectrum in
areas of active combat, where such control is necessary to the support of U.S.
(3) Close all non-government radio
stations in the international broadcasting service as defined in the FCC rules
and regulations, except those carrying or scheduled to carry U.S.
Government-controlled radio broadcasts.
(a) The Director, OSTP, will issue
such policy guidance, rules, regulations, procedures, and directives as may be
necessary to assure effective frequency usage during wartime emergency
(b) The FCC, in coordination with NTIA,
shall issue appropriate rules, regulations, orders, and instructions and take
such other actions not inconsistent with the actions of the Director, OSTP, and
the NTIA Emergency Readiness Plan for Use of the Radio Spectrum as may be
necessary to ensure the effective use of those portions of the radio spectrum
shared by Government and non-governments users.
(c) The FCC shall assist the Director
in the preparation of emergency plans pursuant to section 3(h)(3) of Executive
d) Each Federal Government agency concerned shall develop and be
prepared to implement its own plans, and shall make necessary
preemergency arrangements with non-government entities for the
provision of desired facilities or services, all subject to the
guidance and control of the Director.
Postattack procedures and actions.
(a) The frequency management staff
supporting the Director, OSTP, comprised of predesignated personnel from the
frequency management staffs of the government user agencies, NTIA and the FCC,
will have proceeded to the OSTP relocation site in accordance with alerting
orders in force.
(b) Government agencies having need
for new radio frequency assignments or for modification of existing assignments
involving a change in the frequency usage pattern shall, unless otherwise
provided, submit applications therefor to the Director, OSTP, by whatever means
of communication are available and appropriate, together with a statement of any
preapplication coordination accomplished. The Director, OSTP, will review such
applications accomplish the necessary additional coordination insofar as
practicable, consider all pertinent views and comments, and grant or deny, as he
shall determine, the assignment of such frequencies. All concerned will be
informed promptly of his decisions.
(c) Non-Government entities having
need for new radio frequency assignments or for modifications of existing
assignments will continue to submit applications therefor to the FCC, or in
accordance with FCC instructions. Such applications shall be coordinated with
the Director, OSTP, and granted subject to the approval of the Director, OSTP,
or his delegate.
(d) All changes of radio frequency
usage within U.S. military theaters of operation will be coordinated with the
Director, OSTP, where harmful interference is likely to be caused to stations
authorized to operate within the United States and its possessions.
(e) Where submission to the Director,
OSTP, is impracticable, the applicant shall:
(1) Consult the NTIA Emergency
Readiness Plan for use of the Radio Spectrum and the Government Master File;
(2) Accomplish such coordination as
appropriate and possible;
(3) Act in such manner as to have a
minimum impact upon established services, accepting the responsibility entailed
in taking the temporary action required;
(4) Advise the Director, OSTP, as soon
as possible of the action taken, and submit an application for retroactive