ARES® in Lee County Florida

ARES itself is a public service organization sponsored by the American Radio Relay League. Its members are licensed Amateur Radio Operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment to provide emergency communications as needed, and communications support to public service events. Membership in ARRL is NOT a requirement to join ARES nor is membership in any amateur radio club required. It is open to ALL licensed Amateur Radio Operators.

The only requirements to join are you must hold a current US Amateur Radio license and you must become a Volunteer with Lee County Emergency Management.  If you are already licensed, there is no additional cost to you.  You must complete both applications.



If you don’t have an Amateur Radio License…no problem.  Getting licensed and on the air is a simple process.  There are study guides and free online classes.  The Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club offers free mentoring for those who are studying.  The mentors can help guide you through any issues you might be having while reviewing the study guide.  The club also offers free license sessions in Lee County once a month when you are ready to take the test.  Finally, low-cost handheld radios and free programming are available.  We have tried to make it easy.

Training takes many forms for our Lee County ARES® / RACES. In-Person and On-The-Air Meetings are primary; drills and exercises are scheduled at regular intervals; and the annual SET (Simulated Emergency Test) all combine to develop and improve the operating skills of our members.




No. While shelter operations in support of Lee County is one of our primary functions, ARES members can provide support in many ways.  In the event of major storms, we need folks in local neighborhoods who can serve as “eyes” for EM.  In addition, and equally  important, ARES members services are needed in the event of a communications failure due to equipment/internet outage, terrorism, EMP or some other cause.  Our members may be called to offer backup communications at a local fire station or municipal building.

We do hope all members will consider becoming part of Lee County’s Shelter Team.  As radio operators we are considered shelter staff and generally segregated from the general population.  Join ARES with an open mind and consider how you might help your fellow citizens.

There are a couple of good sources for information about area repeaters for both ARES and non ARES use.  The area repeater map indicates the approximate location of each repeater serving Lee County.

Repeater Map

There is also a suggested list for programming your radios.  This is helpful because in an emergency, if all radio have the same programmed information,  movement to other frequencies is easy and simple to communicate.  This list also contains information for repeaters in surrounding counties.

Repeater List

Anyone is welcome to join our monthly meetings and nets.  It’s a great place to meet ARES members and get your questions answered.  Also feel free to drop a note at the “Contact Us” page on this website: https://leeares.com/contact-us/.  Someone will get back to you as quickly as we can.