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Message Handling Procedures


Enter the number of the message in this box of the radiogram.


-EMERGENCY Emergency is always spelled out in the preamble. Means other than Amateur Radio should be included in the delivery options. Emergency messages have immediate urgency. They should take priority over any other activity and should be passed by the best means available with the cooperation of all stations.

-PRIORITY (P): Use abbreviation P on CW/RTTY. This classification is for a) important messages having specific time limit, b) official messages not covered in the emergency category, c) press dispatches and emergency related traffic not of the utmost urgency, d) notice of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or offficial.

-WELFARE (W): This classification, abbreviated as W on CW/RTTY, refers to either an inquiry as to the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area or an advisory from the disaster area that indicates all is well. Welfare traffic is handled only after all emergency and priority traffic is cleared. The Red Cross equivalent to an incoming Welfare message is DWI (Disaster Welfare Inquiry).

-ROUTINE (R): Most traffic in normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine (R on CW/RTTY) should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with higher precedence traffic. ---Notes: These precedences are not meant to prohibit handling lower level traffic until all higher levels are passed. Common sense dictates handling higher precedence traffic before lower when possibile and/or outlets are available.

-EXERCISE MESSAGES: Messages in the ARRL format passed for test and exercise purposes may be given a precedence preceded by the word "TEST", as in "TEST R", "TEST P", "TEST W", or "TEST EMERGENCY". It is customary to indicate within the text of such messages the words "TEST MESSAGE", or "EXERCISE". Using "EXERCISE" as the first and last groups of the text helps alert listeners to the nature of the content to avoid undue alarm. In some exercises, the life of the message may be terminated when the exercise period is terminated, i.e., any such messages are not handled after the exercise. Consult the ARES?RACE/NTS group conducting the test to determine if such messages should be filed, handled, and delivered afterwards to permit a full evaluation of the exercise.

-SERVICE MESSAGES: The precedence of a SVC message should be the same as that of the message being serviced. SVC ahead of a message number indicates a service message sent between statons relative to message handling, or delivery. Since they affect timely delivery, they are handled before routine messages. SVC is not a precedence.

Handling Instructions:

-HXA___(Followed by number). Collect landline delivery authorized by addressee within [....] miles. (If no number, authorization is unlimited).

-HXB___(Followed by number). Cancel message if not delivered within [....] hours of filing time; service originating station.

-HXC Report date and time of delivery of the message back to the originating station.

-HXD Report to originating station the identity of station from which received, plus date and time. Report identity of station to which relayed, plus date and time, or if delivered, report date and time and method of delivery (by service message).

-HXE Delivering station get reply from addressee, originate message back.

-HXF__(Followed by a number). Hold delivery until [date]. HXG Delivery by mail or landline toll call not required. If toll call or other expense involved, cancel message and send service message back to originating station.

ARRL Numbered Radiogram Codes

Group One—For Possible Relief Emergency Use

Group Two—Routine Messages

ARL ONE Everyone safe here. Please don’t worry.

ARL TWO  Coming home as soon as possible.

ARL THREE Am in ____ hospital. Receiving excellent care and recovering fine.

ARL FOUR Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster reports.

ARL FIVE Am moving to new location. Send no further mail or communication. Will inform you of new address when relocated.

ARL SIX Will contact you as soon as possible

ARL SEVEN Please reply by Amateur Radio through the amateur delivering this message. This is a free public service.

ARL EIGHT Need additional _____ mobile or portable equipment for immediate emergency use.

ARL NINE Additional _____ radio operators needed to assist with emergency at this location.

ARL TEN Please contact ______. Advise to standby and provide further emergency information, instructions or assistance.

ARL ELEVEN Establish Amateur Radio emergency communications with ______ on _____ MHz.

ARL TWELVE Anxious to hear from you. No word in some time. Please contact me as soon as possible.

ARL THIRTEEN Medical emergency situation exists here.

ARL FOURTEEN Situation here becoming critical. Losses and damage from ____ increasing.

ARL FIFTEEN Please advise your condition and what help is needed.

ARL SIXTEEN Property damage very severe In this area.

ARL SEVENTEEN        REACT communications services also available. Establish REACT communication with ______ on channel _____.

ARL EIGHTEEN   Please contact me as soon as possible at _______.

ARL NINETEEN  Request health and welfare report on ______(name, address, phone).

ARL TWENTY   Temporarily stranded. Will need some assistance. Please contact me at _____.

ARL TWENTY ONE  Search and Rescue assistance is needed by local authorities here. Advise availability.

ARL TWENTY TWO  Need accurate information on the extent and type of conditions now existing at your location. Please furnish this information and reply without delay.

ARL TWENTY THREE  Report at once the accessibility and best way to reach your location.

ARL TWENTY FOUR  Evacuation of residents from this area urgently needed. Advise plans for help.

ARL TWENTY FIVE  Furnish as soon as possible the weather conditions at your location.

ARL TWENTY SIX  Help and care for evacuation of sick and injured from this location needed at once.


ARL FORTY SIX Greetings on your birthday and best wishes for many more to come.

ARL FORTY SEVEN Reference your message number _____ to _____ delivered on _____ at _____ UTC.

ARL FIFTY Greetings by Amateur Radio.

ARL FIFTY ONE Greetings by Amateur Radio. This message is sent as a free public service by ham radio operators at _____. Am having a wonderful time.

ARL FIFTY TWO Really enjoyed being with you. Looking forward to getting together again.

ARL FIFTY THREE  Received your _____. It’s appreciated; many thanks.

ARL FIFTY FOUR  Many thanks for your good wishes.

ARL FIFTY FIVE  Good news is always welcome. Very delighted to hear about yours.

ARL FIFTY SIX  Congratulations on your _____, a most worthy and deserved achievement.

ARL FIFTY SEVEN  Wish we could be together.

ARL FIFTY EIGHT  Have a wonderful time. Let us know when you return.

ARL FIFTY NINE   Congratulations on the new arrival. Hope mother and child are well.

ARL SIXTY    Wishing you the best of everything on _____. (usually a holiday)

ARL SIXTY ONE    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

ARL SIXTY TWO    Greetings and best wishes to you for a pleasant _____ holiday season.

ARL SIXTY THREE    Victory or defeat, our best wishes are with you. Hope you win.

ARL SIXTY FOUR    Arrived safely at _____.

ARL SIXTY FIVE   Arriving _____ on _____. Please arrange to meet me there.

ARL SIXTY SIX      DX QSLs are on hand for you at the _____ QSL Bureau. Send _____ self addressed envelopes.

ARL SIXTY SEVEN   Your message number _____ undeliverable because of _____. Please advise.

ARL SIXTY EIGHT   Sorry to hear you are ill. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

ARL SIXTY NINE    Welcome to the _____. We are glad to have you with us and hope you will enjoy the fun and fellowship of the organization.

Find Out More by reading through the ARES Field Resources Manual on the right.  Click on the image to download the manual and learn more about Radiograms and Field Resources. 

ARRL ARES Field Research Manual.jpg
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