Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Emergency Plan for Pickens County, South Carolina




  1.1. The Pickens County Amateur Radio Service (Pickens CARES) is composed of FCC-licensed Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their capabilities and equipment for public service communications duty.

  1.2 Under Federal regulations, Amateur Radio public service communications are furnished without compensation of any kind.

  1.3 The Pickens County ARES functions under this Emergency Plan under the direction of the Pickens County Emergency Coordinator (EC), who is appointed by the ARRL South Carolina Section Emergency Coordinator in consultation with the District Emergency Coordinator

  1.4 The EC may appoint assistant ECs as needed for the ARES to function efficiently.



  2.1 The purpose of this plan is to provide a written guide containing the minimum information that would be needed in an emergency. Each emergency is different and flexibility to provide an adequate response to each is a necessity.

  2.2 The primary responsibility of the Pickens County ARES is to furnish communications in the event of a disaster, when regular communications fail or are inadequate.

  2.3 All drills, training and instruction shall be carried out to insure readiness to respond quickly in providing effective amateur emergency communications whenever an occasion may arise.

  2.4 The following agencies could be served during a communications emergency: Pickens Chapter, American Red Cross; Palmetto Baptist Medical Center; Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire Departments, Search and Rescue Units, EMS, and other agencies requesting assistance from the Pickens County ARES.



  3.1 Any member of the Pickens County ARES who for any reason suspects a communications emergency exists should monitor the assigned net for activity.

  3.2 If local telephone service is available, the EC and/or assistant EC should be notified by telephone.

  3.3 In an emergency in which Amateur Radio might service the community, Amateur Radio operators may be alerted by any city, Red Cross, Civil Preparedness or similar official notifying the Emergency Coordinator.









  4.1 Local broadcast stations will be contacted by the EC or his representative, as possible, for spot announcements alerting ARES members.

  4.2 If telephone service is available, the telephone tree is activated.

  4.3 Upon the awareness of notification that a communications emergency exists, members of the Pickens County ARES will call into the Pickens County ARES Net on 146.700- FM repeater with 146.52 FM simplex as an alternate frequency.

  4.4 Mobile units are activated and dispatched.

  4.5 The EC will assume net control or delegate another station as net control station (NCS).

  4.6 This station is designated as a “Key Station” and will be extensively utilized during a communications emergency. Key Stations have full emergency power capability with relief operators assigned to insure continuous operation.



  5.1 The Pickens County ARES Net will be called to order by the NCS.

  5.2 Members of the Pickens County ARES are checked into the net from their mobiles and home stations to await further instructions.

  5.3 Liaison stations to the following National Traffic System nets will be assigned:

  Carolina Single Sideband Net, 3,915 MHz, 7PM

  A liaison station will also be sent to the 146.61- FM, the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Society’s wide-coverage repeater.

  5.4 Mobiles are dispatched as needed to the Pickens County Chapter, American Red Cross Headquarters, PBMC and any other agencies as required.

  5.5 Operators of homes stations not on emergency power are coordinated to effectively operate the “Key Stations” as required.


  6.1 All written messages must be in standard ARRL form.

  6.2 All messages must be signed by the official who originates them, with his title, taking responsibility for their contents.

  6.3 Message precedence of EMERGENCY, Priority, Welfare and Routine, as defined on ARRL Form FSD-3, shall be used on all messages.

  6.4 Stations do not transmit unless invited to do so by Net Control.

  The only exception to this is for a station having EMERGENCY traffic.














  7.1 An annual test will be conducted in October in conjunction with the nationwide ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET).

  7.2 The Pickens County ARES will regularly supply public safety communications in conjunction with local events, to test the effectiveness of the operation.

  7.3 The Pickens County ARES Net meets on the Foothills Amateur Radio Club’s 146.700- FM Repeater on (Night and time to be determined soon).

  7.4 At the discretion of the EC, the Pickens County ARES will be activated unannounced via the telephone tree at least once per year.


8. MISC.

This plan is under continuous development. All agencies which Pickens County ARES serves will be given the latest copies as soon as they are ratified.






For more information, please contact:


John M. Hoyt / W5UGD – Pickens County ARES Emergency Coordinator

Phone: 864/335-9177

Cell: 864/979-1224




Date last modified: 07-July-2004 - JMH