To provide support and communications to our served communities.

Build Day goes well, completes projects

Despite the cold and inhospitable weather, we had a good turnout of Washington County ARES members for construction projects. The largest group finished support bases for antenna masts for an elevated mobile 2m antenna with a base plate held down by a vehicle or a weight. It enables a ham to get an antenna up in the air 15 - 25 feet for better communications. We found a great welder in the group who stepped up and corrected and completed the top plates in Joe (KC0OIO). Several from that group also completed J-pole antennas from ladder line and TV lead in wire.

Red River of the North crests at Fargo: 33.32 feet

The Red River at Fargo-Moorhead crested early Wednesday morning at 33.32 feet. The mark is substantially below the earliest prediction of near 39 feet. This points up the critical parts played by melt rate and additional precipitation. Both were favorable to the safety and lack of serious flooding that eventually resulted for the area.

Build Day on track for Saturday, May 4th

MNWASHCOARES members will build projects this Saturday that enhance personal communications capabilities and increase ARES abilities throughout our area. Projects include aluminum mast supports (capable of holding a 25 foot mast with antenna next to a vehicle), ladder line J-pole, and a sound card interface for digital communications. These projects will enable members to communicate more effectively for our served agencies, especially those over the bluff in the St. Croix River Valley and the Grey Cloud Island area, also below a shadowing bluff.

Fargo-Moorhead Crest revised downward again, then once more

As of 4:15 pm Tuesday, April 30, the revised crest is 33.3 feet sometime on Wednesday. This downward revision is a significant bright light for these towns. It almost ensures that hams will not be needed this year. Thanks for maintaining Situational Awareness for this area. Flood concerns for Minnesota are diminishing with the melt.

Ham Radio at the Boston Marathon

Nice article on the ARRL web site. It talks about the role of ham radio and steps taken by hams after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Good reading for ARES members.

Flood Percentages for Fargo-Moorhead Lowered Again; Not high for St. Croix and Mississippi; Decreases need for deployment

As of April 26, the National Weather Service has issued a new forecast for flooding at Fargo-Moorhead and the Red River of the North. A crest of between 37 and 39 feet is predicted. The dikes now are at 40 feet and that is expected to be adequate. The NWS has a long range forecast that warns of the possibility of heavy rain of between 1/4 inch and 1.5 inches on May 1 and May 2. That rain could determine whether any further action is needed. The dikes were built to 38 ' in 2009 and then raised to 42 feet. The communities have stock piled sand bags for future use if needed.

MNWASHCOARES Folder distributed at the March Meeting

An Information Folder for MNWASHCOARES Members was distributed at the last meeting. Topics contained included NIMS and ICS frameworks, ARES frequencies, our emergency communicatins plan, deployment check lists and information, a county map and other useful information needed in an actual event. The attendees also heard remarks from Dave Thomalla, Emergency Coordinator for the Healtheast hospitals. Upcoming events were also reviewed. May and June will be busy months, so stay tuned.

First ARES meeting scheduled for March 5th (Note change to one week later)

All Washington COunty ARES Members are invited to attend the first meeting of the year. Scheduled for March 5th, it will include multiple topics including the schedule of activities and drills for the year, frequency information for ARES and AERO, deployment procedures for MNWASHCOARES. The time is 6:30 PM. Plan on attending!

AERO I and AERO II Training scheduled for February

The AERO I class is scheduled for February 9th from 9 am to 3 pm. AERO I focuses on proper radio procedures, presentation in person and on the radio, and how to prepare for deployment in time of need. Perquisite for the course is FEMA Course 100.b. There is no charge for the course.
AERO II is scheduled for February 16th and focuses on nets with emphasis on Net Controllers, Net Creation and establishment of net protocols. The perquisite for this course is AERO I. There is no charge for the course.

Public Service Training scheduled for February 10th

Our long awaited 800 MHz training/retraining has been scheduled for Sunday, February 10th at 1 PM. This is a Sunday afternoon and coincides with the regular DEMARC (Department of Emergency Management Amateur Radio Club) meeting at the SEOC. The training is entitled Public Service Training. If you are interested, contact John Regan by February 4. Prior approval and inclusion on the list are required for attendance.

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