The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is comprised of trained amateur radio operator volunteers who assist in public service and emergency communications. It is organized and sponsored in the United States by the American Radio Relay League and in Canada by the Radio Amateurs of Canada.
RACES (Radio Amateurs in Civil Emergency Service) is a public service provided by a volunteer communications group. During RACES activation, certified reserve personnel are called upon to perform tasks for the government agencies they serve. The common thread is communications.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides planning guidance and technical assistance for establishing RACES organizations at the state and local government levels.