RACES stands for "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service," a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407). Many government agencies across the country train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol. The volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions pursuant to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.
RACES volunteer operators are:
Licensed Radio Amateurs
Certified by a civil defense agency
Able to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises, and emergencies
Activated by local, county, and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the President of the United States specifically invokes the War Powers Act.
National Incident Management System: Protocols embraced by RACES volunteers across the nation include the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides a consistent nationwide template to enable federal, state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together to protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents.