To provide support and communications to our served communities.

Washington County ARES members Review 2014, look toward 2015 with suggestions

The January 15th (2015) ARES Net asked members who checked into the net three questions: (1) What topics would you like kept or added to the Net topics?; (2) Which activities should we keep for 2015; (3) What new ARES activities should we add for 2015?

A. Topics for the Net: Those who commented on this issue indicated that Net topics should remain the same. No additional topics were suggested. Keep Basic Message Handling.

Washington County ARES heads into the winter period

This is the time when we head into the winter months. Several things become our focus for this period. First, we recharge our batteries, both our physical self and our deep cycle/combination batteries. The boat batteries for the trolling motor can be charged and on stand by for the winter in the event of need (e.g. the dreaded ice storm with attendant power outage). Second, we can check into new nets, meet hams from around the metro, and see how others do it. Its good to set those relationships anew.

Simulated Emergency Test (SET) in progress October 4th 2014

Washington County ARES is conducting its Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Saturday, October 4th, at multiple sites in Washington County and additional metro sites. Communications are being provided from hospitals, shelter sites, and a simulated EOC site. Formal written messages are being passed in both voice and digital formats (email, ICS 213, and ARRL Radiogram). FM and hf frequencies are in use.

ARES meeting on Simulated Emergency Test (SET) set for Tuesday, September 16, 6:30 PM at Woodwinds

A Washington County ARES Meeting for all members is set for Tuesday, September 16, at 6:30 PM in the Woodwinds Administrative Conference Room. The plan and schedule of events for the SET will be handed out and reviewed at that meeting. Also, the latest copy of the ARES Folder will be distributed for use in the drill. It will include summary instructions for sending formal written traffic. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Contact EC John Regan, KA0HYR, if you have a conflict.

Plans Forming for October 4th Simulated Emergency Test (SET 2014); AEC's to meet and finalize plans.

Rough Draft plans for the October 4th Simulated Emergency Test (SET) for 2014 have been roughed out and sent to Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC's) for review and revision. AEC's will meet on September 10th to finalize plans. This year we will endeavor to have communications across the 10 county metro area in order to test multi-county communications. Participants will use voice, digital, and CW. Formal message traffic will also be utilized. Multiple sites will be staffed and used as communications centers.

Discussion held on SET for October; may include multiple counties

Discussions were held with EC's from five other counties on holding a multi-county Simulated Emergency Test exercise this coming October 4th. Interest was high. Details remain to be worked out including the level of communications and modes. Additional meetings will be scheduled for July and August to further develop a plan. It looks like we will proceed with the planning and hope to hold this larger event. Stay tuned.

Go Kit Picnic showed some exciting projects

The Washington County ARES Go Kit Picnic had 19 hams in attendance on July 12. The attendees brought go kits and mobile rigs to show. Included were Dick's Comm Van, Pete's trailer operating station, a cooler go kit (light and portable and capable), an hf/vhf/uhf and digital station and antennas in a nice metal enclosure, and an fl digi 2m go kit. Also shown and demonstrated were two mesh stations. They included their internal communications as well as a VOIP phone set-up and internet access. All of the items were very interesting and put together in support of public service.

Go Kit Picnic on Schedule for July 12th

The Washington County ARES Go Kit Picnic is scheduled for July 12th at Ojibway Park in Woodbury, 11:30 - 1. All members are invited to attend. Contact John (KA0HYR) if you are going to attend so there will be enough meat and food. Bring either a Go Kit to show to attendees, or a note pad to jot down ideas. The location is the picnic shelter near the band shell.

ARES members from Washington County complete service to Lake St. Croix Beach

Washington County ARES members were called to Lake St. Croix Beach to assist in carrying out the city's Emergency Plan on flood response. While our ARES group was participating in a Prairie Island Relocation Drill on June 25th, the LSCB City Council was meeting and declared a flood emergency effective June 25. Emergency Manager Brad Peters, WD9GNJ, contacted EC John Regan, KA0HYR, to begin activation. The Emergency Plan of the city calls for amateur radio operators from Washington County ARES to monitor pumps and the dike from Minor Flood Stage to Major Flood Stage.

Lake St. Croix Beach declares Emergency, calls Washington County ARES for communications and monitoring help

Lake St. Croix Beach City Council declared an Emergency Wednesday evening, June 25, begin pumping water from low areas in order to keep roads from flooding. The pumping will begin Thursday, June 26. Washington County ARES members have been called to provide communications and monitoring of the pumps, hoses, and the dike beginning June 26. The city's Emergency Manager has established an 8 am to 8 pm time period for hams to provide services. The city fronts the St. Croix River.

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