(a) The definitions of terms used in Part 97 are:
(37) RACES (radio amateur civil emergency service). A radio service using amateur stations for civil defense communications during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies.
§97.17 Application for new license grant.
(a) Any qualified person is eligible to apply for a new operator/ primary station, club station or military recreation station license grant. No new license grant will be issued for a RACES station.
Subpart E--Providing Emergency Communications
§97.401 Operation during a disaster.
(a) When normal communication systems are overloaded, damaged, or disrupted because a disaster has occurred, or is likely to occur, in an area where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC, an amateur station may make transmissions necessary to meet essential communication needs and facilitate relief actions.
(b) When normal communication systems are overloaded, damaged, or disrupted because a natural disaster has occurred, or is likely to occur, in an area where the amateur service is not regulated by the FCC, a station assisting in meeting essential communication needs and facilitating relief actions may do so only in accord with ITU Resolution No. 640 (Geneva, 1979).
The 80 m, 75 m, 40 m, 30 m, 20 m, 17 m, 15 m, 12 m, and 2 m bands may be used for these purposes.
(c) When a disaster disrupts normal communication systems in a particular area, the FCC may declare a temporary state of communication emergency. The declaration will set forth any special conditions and special rules to be observed by stations during the communication emergency.
A request for a declaration of a temporary state of emergency should be directed to the EIC in the area concerned.
(d) A station in, or within 92.6 km of, Alaska may transmit emissions J3E and R3E on the channel at 5.1675 MHz for emergency communications.
The channel must be shared with stations licensed in the Alaska-private fixed service. The transmitter power must not exceed 150 W.
§97.403 Safety of life and protection of property.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.
§97.405 Station in distress.
(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.
(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a), of any means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.
Radio amateur civil emergency service.
(a) No station may transmit in RACES unless
it is an FCC-licensed primary, club, or military recreation station and
it is certified by a civil defense organization as registered with that
organization, or it is an FCC-licensed RACES station. No person may be
the control operator of a RACES station, or may be the control operator
of an amateur station transmitting in RACES unless that person holds a
FCC-issued amateur operator license and is certified by a civil defense
organization as enrolled in that organization.
(b) The frequency bands and segments and
emissions authorized to the control operator are available to stations
transmitting communications in RACES on a shared basis with the amateur
service. In the event of an emergency which necessitates invoking the
President's War Emergency Powers under the provisions of section 706 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 606, RACES
stations and amateur stations participating in RACES may only transmit
on the frequency segments authorized pursuant to part 214 of this
- (c) A RACES station may only communicate
- (1) Another RACES station;
- (2) An amateur station registered with a
civil defense organization;
- (3) A United States Government station
authorized by the responsible agency to communicate with RACES
- (4) A station in a service regulated by
the FCC whenever such communication is authorized by the FCC.
- (d) An amateur station registered with a
civil defense organization may only communicate with:
- (1) A RACES station licensed to the
civil defense organization with which the amateur station is
- (2) The following stations upon
authorization of the responsible civil defense official for the
organization with which the amateur station is registered:
- (i) A RACES station licensed to
another civil defense organization;
- (ii) An amateur station registered
with the same or another civil defense organization;
- (iii) A United States Government
station authorized by the responsible agency to communicate with
RACES stations; and
- (iv) A station in a service regulated
by the FCC whenever such communication is authorized by the FCC.
- (e) All communications transmitted in
RACES must be specifically authorized by the civil defense
organization for the area served. Only civil defense communications
of the following types may be transmitted:
- (1) Messages concerning impending or
actual conditions jeopardizing the public safety, or affecting the
national defense or security during periods of local, regional, or
national civil emergencies;
- (2) Messages directly concerning the
immediate safety of life of individuals, the immediate protection
of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human
suffering and need, and the combating of armed attack or sabotage;
- (3) Messages directly concerning the
accumulation and dissemination of public information or
instructions to the civilian population essential to the
activities of the civil defense organization or other authorized
governmental or relief agencies; and
- (4) Communications for RACES training
drills and tests necessary to ensure the establishment and
maintenance of orderly and efficient operation of the RACES as
ordered by the responsible civil defense organizations served.
Such drills and tests may not exceed a total time of 1 hour per
week. With the approval of the chief officer for emergency
planning the applicable State, Commonwealth, District or
territory, however, such tests and drills may be conducted for a
period not to exceed 72 hours no more than twice in any calendar