Quoting from Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97, Section 1:
§97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
That being said, ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, and the only requirement for ARES is an Amateur Radio Service licence issued by the FCC and a sincere desire to serve. Onslow County has six shelters set up in case we have a hurricane or some other natural disaster in the area. It doesn't have to be a bad situation like Katrina, Ophelia is enough to open the shelters. When hurricane season is in full swing, the radio gear is in place at the shelters and ready to go, all it needs is the operators.
These shelters need to be manned in the event of a storm. All the radio operator needs to do is report to the shelter assigned and check in with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Complete instructions have been drafted. Completion of the ARRL Emergency Communications series is not required, just a willingness to serve. Any amateurs with past operating experience in the shelters are asked to pass on your ideas/comments via email to WM4YD for incorporation in the Amateur Radio Emergency Operation Procedures (AREOP) for hurricane shelters. These AREOPs are a simple, but detailed, plan to help the amateur radio operator who may be coming in to Onslow County to assist--where to go, how to get there, where to park, and where the operating station is located inside the shelter--and it will be a good reference for both new and experienced shelter workers.
Please consider signing up for ARES. It will give Onslow County more amateurs to draw from in times of emergency. At this time, we have six shelters open but only four are manned by amateur operators. Contact our county EC Jeff, WM4YD and assist the other amateurs in the shelters during the next storm and other storms in the future.