Activation Levels

… for NC State EOC and Wake County EOC Support

(Note that this applies to Wake County Emergency Management activities as well, by substituting “Wake County” for “State” or “NC” in the following information.)
The following Activation Level definitions will allow for a structured unified response to emergency situations for North Carolina Emergency Management while providing support for civilian agency activities during emergency situations. This plan is modeled on the NC Emergency Operations Center Standard Operating Guide. It is not necessary for activation levels to occur sequentially, increasing or decreasing levels. It is the responsibility of the ECs to coordinate with NCEM and apply the Activation Level necessary to provide support.

  • Level 4 – Standby
  • Level 3 – Minimal Deployment
  • Level 2 – Moderate Deployment
  • Level 1 – Massive Deployment

Activation Level 4 – Standby:

This level of activation is to raise the awareness of ARES/RACES volunteers and to provide advance notice in order for them to prepare for a possible deployment. There is no requirement for a net to be established at level 4. Volunteers should monitor their radios if possible (see frequencies above) and check their level of preparedness.

Below are some examples:

The ARES/RACES ECs may utilize the following methods to establish ARES/RACES activation in support of NC State EOC emergency communications:

  1. Announcement on local VHF repeaters:

    1. 146.880 (-600KHz offset, no PL tone) – main repeater for NC State EOC
    2. 145.390 (-600KHz offset, 82.5 Hz PL tone) – Backup #1
    3. 146.640 (-600KHz offset, no PL tone) – Backup #2
    4. 147.420 (simplex, no PL tone) – Ultimate backup, if no repeaters are available
  2. Announcement on HF 3923 kHz (USB) or 7232 kHz (USB) depending on availability of operators and conditions.
  3. Announcement by phone.
  4. Announcement by email.
A level 4 activation notification message will take the following format:
An ARES/RACES Level 4 Stand By Activation has been established by (EC name) to support the NC State EOC at (time and date). All ARES/RACES volunteers are asked to check preparations and listen to ARES/RACES State EOC frequencies. (additional information if available). Thank you for your support of the State EOC.

Activation Level 3 – Minimal Deployment

At this level of activation ARES/RACES ECs shall assess the need for volunteers. ECs may contact minimal numbers of ARES/RACES members to gather scheduling information. There is no requirement for a net to be established at level 3, however if the ECs feels a net is required, they may call for Net Control Station (NCS) volunteers. Liaison station support may also be established. If deemed necessary the ECs may conduct equipment testing including possible testing at the EOC. Volunteers should monitor their radios if possible (see frequencies above) and check their level of preparedness.

A level 3 activation notification will take the following format:
An ARES/RACES Level 3 Minimal Deployment Activation has been established by (EC name) to support the NC State EOC at (time and date). All ARES/RACES volunteers who are available are asked to standby and be ready for an assignment. All available operators are asked to listen to ARES/RACES State EOC frequencies. (additional information if available). Thank you for your support of the State EOC.

Activation Level 2 – Moderate Deployment

At this level of activation at least one ARES/RACES EC/AEC shall be deployed at the EOC. ECs shall start the call up tree for ARES/RACES members to establish a 72 hour schedule. There is a requirement for a net to be established at level 3 and the EC/AEC shall establish a schedule for Net Control Station (NCS) volunteers. Volunteers should monitor their radios (see frequencies above) and be ready to react to calls for service at the EOC or elsewhere. Special instructions shall follow if this is a RACES activation.

A level 2 activation notification will take the following format:
An ARES/RACES Level 2 Moderate Deployment Activation has been established by (EC name) to support the NC State EOC at (time and date). All ARES/RACES volunteers are asked to be ready for an assignment and listen to ARES/RACES State EOC frequencies. The call up tree has been activated. (additional information if available, including RACES specific instructions). Thank you for your support of the State EOC.

Activation Level 1 – Massive Deployment

At this level of activation EC/AEC schedules are updated to fulfill operator and net control requirements for up to two weeks. All ARES/RACES resources shall be available to support NCEM and other served agencies. All nets and sub-nets shall observe strict net protocols until the Activation Level 1 is rescinded.

A level 1 activation notification will take the following format:
An ARES/RACES Level 1 Massive Deployment Activation has been established by (EC name) to support the NC State EOC at (time and date). All ARES/RACES volunteers are asked to be ready for an assignment and listen to ARES/RACES State EOC frequencies. Please ensure your family is secure before applying for a schedule slot. (additional information if available, including RACES specific information). Thank you for your support of the State EOC.


John Guerriero – KG4HDT EC NCEM
Tom Brown – N4TAB EC Wake County

Current revision: 1.2 04-NOV-2002 – KG4MYD
Original revision: 1.0 31-OCT-2002