The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club currently does not directly participate in ARES, RACES, or SKYWARN, but encourages club members to volunteer. Volunteers at Michigan Medicine maintain an emergency jump kit, and radios for satellite communications at Survival Flight’s dispatch center in case of hospital power failure. The jump kit is government owned, provided by Michigan’s Region 2 south, and can be operated in emergencies by volunteers who have passed the RACES training and registered with Washtenaw County.
ARES vs RACES
The Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) is a service organized by the ARRL that supports public service communications when an emergency occurs. This program is open to all licensed amateurs. Some training, paperwork, and registration with your local emergency coordinator is required. For more information, visit ARRL’s page on ARES at http://www.arrl.org/ares
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is the emergency communications service managed by local, county, and state governments, also run by volunteers. This program is backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is activated during emergencies.
Information to sign up for RACES in Washtenaw county can be found here: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/emergency_management/2017-races-requirements
SKYWARN is the weather spotter program that does not require an amateur license, and is run by the National Weather Service (NWS). Weather spotters assists NOAA with reporting local conditions like floods, large hailstones, strong winds, or tornadoes. In case of severe weather, trained volunteers are requested to report local conditions via phone, internet, or radio. Local skywarn nets do run in the area. For Washtenaw county, tune in to repeaters on 145.15MHz (100.0 Hz PL) or 146.92 MHz (no PL) during emergencies.
SKYWARN website: https://www.weather.gov/skywarn/
Washtenaw County and emergency info can be found here: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/emergency_management/em_severe.html
For more info on Washtenaw emergency services, check out the Washtenaw County Amateur Radio Pubilc Service Corps’ website at http://www.washtenaw-ares.org/
For more information about ARRL Michigan Section’s emergency services, check their webpage here: http://www.mi-arrl.org/
Here is a link about Storm Spotters and Thunderstorm formation provided by Amelia, a student in Kellytown Reading Groups. https://www.roofclaim.com/severe-weather-learn-about-storm-spotting/
Updated 11/8/2020 – KE8AQW, Previous updated 11/2017 – N9KIT