National security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) personnel need to transmit critical messages to coordinate emergency operations even when traditional means of communicating via landlines and cellphones are damaged or destroyed. The SHAred RESources (SHARES) High Frequency (HF) Radio Program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC), provides an additional means for users with a NS/EP mission to communicate when landline and cellular communications are unavailable.
SHARES members use existing HF radio resources of government, critical infrastructure, and disaster response organizations to coordinate and transmit emergency messages. SHARES users rely on HF radio communications to perform critical functions, including those areas related to leadership, safety, maintenance of law and order, finance, and public health. This program also provides the emergency response community with a single interagency emergency message handling and frequency sharing system. SHARES promotes interoperability between HF radio systems and promotes awareness of applicable regulatory, procedural, and technical issues.
More than 3,290 HF radio stations—representing over 590 federal, state, and industry organizations located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several locations overseas—are resource contributors to the SHARES HF Radio Program. Nearly 500 emergency planning and response personnel participate in SHARES. Approximately 200 HF radio channels are available for use by SHARES members.
Membership in the SHARES program is voluntary. SHARES is available on a 24-hour basis and requires no prior coordination or activation to transmit messages. Members consult the SHARES Handbook to find stations, frequencies and/or Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) addresses of participating organizations they need to communicate/coordinate with. Participating SHARES HF radio stations accept and relay messages until a receiving station is able to deliver the message to the intended recipient.