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RACES only allows emergency communications when impending or actual conditions are jeopardizing public health and safety, affecting national defense or security, when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property, for specific training and for other well-defined reasons.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sponsored organization. ARES is not as constrained by its activation requirements. It normally takes over if communications are still required when the RACES guidelines are no longer met. It can be activated for any request requiring communications support.