Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

What is RACES?

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 a civil defense agency
  • Able 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.

How to get involved in Hampton

If you are interested in becoming a member of RACES please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 757-727-1208 or email