ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service organized by the ARRL. ARES members are licensed amateur radio operators that volunteer their time and equipment to help when normal communications fail or become inadequate. Any amateur radio operator can participate in ARES and ARRL membership is not required. ARES is organized at the county level and each county with an active ARES organization has an appointed Emergency Coordinator. Contact information for our Emergency Coordinators can be found on this website. If you don't see a listing for your county, contact your District Emergency Coordinator. You can find your district on the District Info page and find the contact information on the Senior Leadership page.
South Texas is a large section with 97 counties spread out over 96,000 square miles. Our section is 525 miles East to West and 450 miles North to South. We have 450 miles of border with Mexico and 600 miles of coastline. We have 13 million people but most live in 4 large urban areas around Houston, San Antonio, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. Supporting the vast areas with small populations is one of our challenges.
Texas has many weather related threats. Hurricanes can devastate large areas and create significant evacuation and refuge issues. ARES now participates with state of Texas rapid response task forces as part of hurricane recovery. Tornados affect smaller areas but can do serious damage. We have severe thunderstorms with lightning threats. Our shallow soils can lead to dangerous flash floods in a big hurry.
We have a sizeable petrochemical industry along the Texas coast with the potential for serious HAZMAT incidents. We also have nuclear plants with radiological incidents potentially. Post 9/11 we also recognize the threat of terrorism.
Our South Texas ARES group works hard to prepare and respond to these threats and I hope you will join us in this mission. Waiting until an actual incident is the wrong time join this process. Please get involved with your local ARES group today!
Jim Russell NQ5L
ARRL South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator