RACES is an organization of amateur radio operators who volunteer to provide radio communications for State and local governments in times of emergency. Created in 1952 primarily to serve in civil defense emergencies, RACES provides essential communications and warning links to supplement State and local government assets during emergencies.
RACES is a special part of the amateur operation sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RACES provides emergency communications for civil preparedness purposes only. RACES is conducted by amateurs using their primary station licenses or by existing RACES stations. In the event that the President invokes the War Emergency powers, amateurs officially enrolled in the local civil preparedness group would become limited to certain frequencies, while all other amateur operations would be silenced.
Darrell Sperry, KA4TAR, Sevier County RACES Officer