RACES Emergency Communications Support


RACES stands for "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service," a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407). Many government agencies across the country train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol. The volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions pursuant to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.

RACES volunteer operators are:

  • Licensed Radio Amateurs;

  • Certified by the County of Riverside, a civil defense agency;

  • Must complete classwork in emergency management of disasters and emergencies;

  • Licensed to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises and emergencies;

  • Activated by local, county and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the President of the United States specifically invokes the War Powers Act.

RACES is available to assist any agency to provide emergency communications support as requested by the County of Riverside. Riverside County RACES is divided into 19 separate geographical districts with additional special liaisons to selected agencies. These districts are coordinated through the County RACES organization. The County RACES group meets quarterly on the third Wednesday in January, April, July, and October. See our Calendar of Events page for meeting locations and details.

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