Northern New York Amateur Radio Association / NNY Section ARES
Emergency Communications Information

last page update 6/13/20 by KC2WI

Aside from being a great hobby, Amateur Radio is a valuable communication resource in emergency situations. Hams also provide communications during many major community events.

While there are other radio communications services available to the general public (CB, FRS, GMRS, MURS), none are nearly as powerful and versatile as ham radio.

Cell phones, while handy, have many limitations and don't always work in an emergency. Cell phones rely on cell towers and other communications infrastructure. Operational range of a phone is limited to within a few miles of a tower. Damage to any component of the cell network can render your phone useless. Because Amateur Radio is independent of infrastructure such as phone lines, Internet connections, cell towers, microwave links, or fiber optic Cables, hams can continue to effectively communicate in an emergency or disaster situation even if all other commercial and government systems fail. With a little preparation, you really will be able to communicate "when all else fails."

We encourage you to get your Amateur Radio license and become involved. It is a lot of fun and it could save your life in an emergency. Please contact the ARES Emergency Coordinator in your county, or your local club, for more information.

New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps: New York State is offering two hour training courses for residents and the course can also be taken on line. This is not a radio communications course but it provides some guidelines for emergency preparedness, including developing your own Family Emergency Communications Plan.

FEMAs Family Emergency Communications Plan relies solely on telephone and Internet for communications. What happens when they don't work? If your family was prepared with radio communications that didn't depend on phone lines, Internet connections, or cell towers, you could still communicate. Amateur Radio is the most powerful personal radio communications service available, but you can start with FRS (Family Radio service), GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service), or even CB. Some suggestions for a family and community communications plan utilizing these services are provided on the Lewis County Emergency Communicators web site.

AUXCOMM: Auxiliary Communications is a nationally recognized component of emergency response. FEMA has developed a two day Auxiliary Communications Workshop for volunteers. NNY Section Emergency Coordinator KC2WI has attended this workshop and encourages ARES member, particularly ECs and AECs, to attend this workshop if it is offered.

Training Resources: Advanced ICS (including occasionally the AUXCOMM workshop) and other courses are offered by the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Check the training calendar at Also check the Central New York Regional Training Center web site for information

NNY SM KF2GC has provided this list of Emergency Operations Frequencies.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES):ARES consists of licensed amateurs who have volunteered for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

ARES Manual: Attention ARES ECs and members. The ARES manual was revised in March of 2015. Please download the new ARES Manual and review it. Please note in particular the section about the relationship between ARES and RACES.

ARRL has defined 3 levels of qualification for ARES members in an attempt to standardize training and has published task books to aid in training and qualifications:
  ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book (fillable PDF)
  ARES Standardized Training Plan Document (Word)

ECs, ROs, MARS members, please email updated information to Section Emergency Coordinator KC2WI.

The primary repeater for wide-area ecom operations in the northern part of the section is Whiteface. The repeater with the widest coverage in the south-central Adirondacks is the Hamilton County RACES repeater on Blue Mountain. Whiteface is restricted to emergency use only but other repeaters are open for general amateur use.

The Northern NY Hospital Emergency Net generally meets at 6:15 PM the first Tuesday of every quarter (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) on the Whiteface repeater. A voice message is passed using the St. Lawrence County Modified ICS-213 form.

You are also encouraged to check in to the NYSPTEN on 3926 at 6PM (and the 2nd Region Net at 6:30 if you want to handle formal traffic), and/or monitor the frequency  3925 after 2RN. . Please contact KC2WI, KF2GC, or WU2M if you are interested in helping to keep a permanent HF net going..

The North Country Group meets every Sunday morning at 8:00 on 3958.

The primary NNY HF voice ecom frequencies are 3955/3958 and 7245.

The NY State RACES frequencies are 3993.5 and 7245. Digital frequency is 3583.5 Check in Olivia 8/500, messages MFSK32. NYS RACES weekly net is 9:00 AM Sundays on 3993.5.

The New York State Phone, Traffic, and Emergency Net meets at 6 PM on 3925 every day of the year. NNY stations are strongly encouraged to check in. NYSPTEN is not an official NTS net and you will not be expected to handle traffic.

NTS Nets: The New York State Public Operations Net meets at 5 PM on 3925. The NTS Second Region Net meets at 6:30 PM on 3925 (alt 7237) SSB with a slow speed CW sessions at 6 PM and 9:30 on 3576 (alt 1807).

In case of daytime emergency, if no contact on the NNY or RACES frequencies, try the Carrier Net frequency 3935 from about 8:30-10 AM, the East Coast Amateur Radio Service (ECARS) net on 7255, The Midwest Amateur Radio Service (MIDCARS) net on 7258.

The Eastern NY section ARES HF net meets on the fourth Tuesday at 8 PM on 3993. See NNY stations are encouraged to check in.

Digital Emergency Communications:

All emergency communicators should be developing NBEMS digital messaging capability using fldigi, flmsg, and flamp. The ARES Standardized Training Plan Task Book lists VHF digital competency as a Level 2 requirement and HF digital competency as a Level 3 requirement. AUXCCOMM is a recognized ICS function. The AUXCOMM Position Task Book also lists digital proficiency as a required competency.

It is easier to get started than you might think! All that is required is a computer with a microphone and speakers and your existing radio(s). You do not need a hardwired interface although it is extremely helpful, especially on HF where with the exception of 60 M you can not 'talk and text' on the same frequency.. See for an overview. Detailed information and software downloads are available at

Introductory NBEMS digital communications workshops have been presented Section Emergency Coordinator KC2WI. These workshops covered the installation of fldigi and flmsg software, and basic operation using acoustic coupling. If your group is interested in a workshop, please contact KC2WI. Workshop content can be presented as a webinar.

The NY-NBEMS Training Net is held Saturdays 8 AM. 3585.5 center frequency [Dial Frequency 3584 (USB). Waterfall (audio) center frequency 1500 Hz.] Initial mode THOR22. Bulletins MFSK32. (info as of 6/13/20) Make sure your RXID is on. All NNY ARES members are strongly encouraged to participate in this net!

There are several other regional digital nets: (info as of 6/13/20. For details or latest info, use web page link if available)
   USEast-NBEMS regional net Wednesday 7 PM.
   PA NBEMS Sunday at 7:30 AM on 3584.5 CF Initial mode Thor22
   NJ NBEMS Sunday at 9:30 AM on 3584.5 CF
   NHDN Saturday early check-ins at 7:00AM, flmsg flamp at 7:30 AM on 3583.5 CF Initial mode Thor22
   MIDTN Tues, Thurs & Sat at 7:30 PM on 3582.5

OVARC holds a digital training net on their repeater Friday evenings at 7 PM.

NBEMS Workshop document - How To Install and Configure fldigi and flmsg

HF Digital Tips for beginners from KC2WI

Some Common Q Signals used on Digital Nets

ARRL complete list of QN Signals

General Q Signals

If you are really in to computers and digital comms then check out Broadband-Hamnet. This is not anything we're doing at this time, only something that could be explored if anyone is interested.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service information at ARRL     National Traffic System / (Radiogram message handling) information at ARRL       New York State RACES information

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Emergency Coordinators

NNY Section Emergency Coordinator: Pete Newell KC2WI

County Name Callsign Primary Repeater Club / Notes info as of
Clinton Phil Welch WG2W   Champlain Valley ARC 2/20/16
Essex Tom Dick KF2GC Saranac Lake AARA 2/20/16
Franklin Jim Purcell
KC2VMF   North Franklin ARS 2/20/16
Fulton K2ALS Gloversville/Tryon Tryon ARC 2/20/16
Hamilton Peter Weaver KC2GCH Speculator/Ham. Co. Hamilton County ARC 2/20/16
Jefferson Chris Nichols KD3GUD AC2GE/CANAMARA Thousand Islands RC 8/01/18
Lewis Pete Newell KC2WI Lowville/BRVARC Black River Valley ARC 2/20/16
Montgomery Rusty Seastrum KE2PW 11/2/20
St. Lawrence Kerry Bickford WA2NAN Fine/OVARC Oswagatchie Valley ARC 2/20/16
Schoharie John Knoebel KC2RMD Cobleskill Schoharie County ARA 2/20/16
Section EC Pete Newell KC2WI Lowville, Boonville, or Speculator Black River Valley, Boonville, or Hamilton County ARC


      (see repeater and club lists for frequencies and information)  


Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) Radio Officers

County Name Callsign Primary Repeater Club / Notes info as of
Clinton Jerry Silver
Gary Donivan
N2ZGN     11/22/184
Essex Tom Dick KF2GC     8/19/14
Franklin Rich Sherman
Jim Parcell
Fulton WA2EZ Gloversville/Tryon Tryon ARC 8/14/12
Hamilton Peter Weaver KC2GCH Speculator/Ham. Co. Hamilton County ARC 7/26/14
Jefferson Chris Nichols KD3GUD AC2GE/CANAMARA Thousand Islands RC 9/01/18
Lewis Pete Newell KC2WI Lowville/BRVARC Black River Valley ARC 7/26/14
St. Lawrence Kerry Bickford WA2NAN Fine/OVARC Oswagatchie Valley ARC 7/26/14
Schoharie John Knoebel KC2RMD Cobleskill Schoharie County ARA 2/27/19

New York State RACES SOP

Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS)

Location Name Ham Callsign MARS Callsign Notes
Lewis County Pete Newell KC2WI AFA2CQ secondary location in Hamilton Co.

If you are interested in joining MARS please contact KC2WI.

If your organization is not listed or information is incomplete/incorrect, please contact KC2WI.