One of the more common activations for Douglas County ARES is for severe weather spotting. Even with advanced radar technology provides great tools to track storms and warn the public our served agencies such as the National Weather Service, and local EMA, need "ground truth" information to fulfill their mission of protecting our communities.
The mission of amateur radio spotters in Douglas County is to observe and report conditions meeting severe criteria to served agencies. The National Weather Service defines severe weather as
- Tornado or funnel cloud
- Winds 58 MPH or higher
- Hail 3/4 inches or larger
- Flash flooding
Remember, we are trained storm spotters, not storm chasers. Storm chasing is very hazardous and is not a part of the Douglas County ARES SKYWARN activities.
Douglas County EMA is now requiring the following courses for spotters to be deployed to watch points within Douglas County.
Recommeded, but not required...
Some may ask why so much emphasis on ICS. The answer is simple. ALL entities receiving federal dollars (virtually every police, fire, etc.) must have implemented the Incident Command System by 2005 to continue receiving federal dollars. This also includes all of their volunteers (us).
Also, the annual Spotter Training, presented by the National Weather Service is required at least every 2 years.
Please check the NWS Spotter Training Schedule web site.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.
ARES Membership Requirements
Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
The DCARES net is every Sunday at 9 PM on 146.940 MHz. Everyone is welcome to participate and all you have to do is follow the prompts from the NCS.