To provide support and communications to our served communities.

Simulated Emergency Test (SET) completed on October 1

The SET Exercise for 2011 was scheduled and held on Saturday, October 1, 2011. The exercise was in the Recon Rally format to check coverage across the length of Washington County and was designed and headed by Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC) Mike (KF6WQH). Twelve MNWashCoARES members participated in the exercise including 2m voice communications with the (simulated) EOC, signal reports, detailed forms of GPS locations and maps, and logs. Traffic was also received from and passed to another county EOC as part of the exercise. The exercise concluded with a debrief by participants.

Go Kit picnic fun and a learning experience

August 6th saw nine of our members get together to review each other's Go Kits and have a lunch from the grill. The problem we all face, according to attendees, is the same: what to bring and how to organize the radio, power source, and antenna. But, the solutions were as varied as the members. We observed a station in a comm van, a station in a trailer (and one member made a contact with the Red Wing Special Event Station), equipment in a back pack, in a rolling back pack, in a tote with organizational materials, and in a pelican case. Antennas were also varied.

Washington County ARES dismantles Lake St. Croix Beach emergency communications station

The flood threat on the St. Croix River has declined significantly in the past days. The station has been dismantled and the admin and record keeping items have been packed and stored. Our group had a triple win on this flood: (1) planning and preparation for providing communications services on a real event, and (2) no damage to the city, and (3) we did not have to stand any 12 hour watches. I want to thank every ARES member for their willingness to serve and support our served agency: Lake St. Croix Beach.

St. Croix River continues to drop; need for hams diminished

The St. Croix River has declined below flood stage this Monday morning to 685.9 feet at 6 am. The ham radios and antennas have been pulled and repacked for future use. Most sand bags stockpiled at the dike area are being dismantled and emptied. Thanks to ARES hams who signed up for communications duties and for all your preparation, attention, and willingness to serve!!

St. Croix reaches apparent second crest Tuesday, April 12; decreasing now; Internal pumping started

The St. Croix River reached a crest of 687.28 on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, and is now on the way down. Although originally projected to reach a second crest height of 687.8 on April 13-14 (and one forecast for Saturday, April 16), the crest was below that; no additional snow or any rain event since the first crest contributed to a lower crest. We will now continue to watch the river in hopes of a continuing decline to normal levels. The city has started internal pumping of low spots to clear roads of water; no communications support is needed.

Ham Activation to Red River delayed; Pre-deployment Call Out Notice issued for Minnesota ARES members

SEC Dan Anderson has issued a Pre-deployment Notice for hams able to travel to the Moorhead Minnesota District 3 area in support of flood fighting efforts. As of Tuesday, April 12, the activation has been delayed until further notice. Local hams will carry the effort for the duration of the flood, and the deployment is on hold. Continue to check this MNWashCoARES web site and check the state ARES web site at Contact EC John Regan if you are interested in going.

Special MNWashCoARES meeting on Saturday, April 2 at 9 AM: Lake St. Croix Beach City Hall

There will be a special meeting of MNWashCoARES members at the Lake St. Croix Beach City Hall, located at 16455 20th Street South on Washington County 18/Old St. Croix Trail. (Take I-94 east towards Wisconsin; take the last exit before crossing the St. Croix River Bridge, Exit 258, and proceed 2.9 miles south to the brick city hall building on the left/east side of the highway. For reference, a Freedom gas station is across the road from city hall.)

First quarter Washington County ARES meeting held on February 15th at SEOC

The regular First Quarter Washington Cunty ARES meeting was held February 15th. We received a tour of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) from Brad (WD9GNJ). It is an impressive facility and very large. The radios were were fun to see. The SEOC is really well equiped. Attendees then were able to transfer hard or electronic copies to the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) for inclusion in its training data base. Minutes of this meeting found under ARES Meeting Notes link at the left.

Joint DCEC / WashCoARES Drill Very Successful, demonstrates competence, raises skills!

Fourteen members of the Washington County ARES group participated in a joint drill with the Dakota county Emergency Communications (DCEC) group on September 19, 2010. The drill provided communications for a simulated mid-air two plane collision over the Mississippi River. WashCoARES members joined DCEC members along with pilots and ground crews from the Civil Air Patrol, US Coast Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Shakopee CERT Team, and Inver Hills Community College's EMS Trainees and instructors in responding to the simulated emergency.

Recon Rally Called a Success!!

Fifteen (15) hams participated in the April 24 Recon Rally to assess 2m signal coverage throughout Washington County. It ran from 0850 until 1140 on a rainy Saturday with follow-up at the Woodbury Old Country Buffet. Detailed summaries will be presented at the ARES meeting of May 19. In general, we had strong areas and weak areas of signal strength. Relay stations were necessary and successful in passing reports. Further tests will be conducted.

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