Members of WARS are very aware of the many types of natural disasters that can happen at a moment's notice in our area. We understand the need to be able to communicate when nature delivers her worst and regular communication systems fail. Through the ARES program and Skywarn, WARS is ready to assist with emergency communications in our community.
from the ARRL:
"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.
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."
For more information, visit the ARRL ARES page. From there you can read more about ARES, download the official ARES manual, and learn about the ARRL's EmComm training courses.
If you decide that ARES is something that you would like to be a part of then contact your District Emergency Coordinator or fill out the ARRL's ARES Registration Form and submit it to your District Emergency Coordinator.
For Larimer and Weld county, the District Emergency Coordinator is Joe Hawley, KD0TYU and he can be reached via the contact form located at: Colorado ARES Region 3, Section 2 for Larimer and Weld counties
The National Weather Service established Skywarn® in an effort to obtain real-time weather information through the use of trained weather spotters. Spotters are citizen volunteers that report on severe weather events directly with the National Weather Service.
During a severe weather event, amateur radio operators who have obtained their Skywarn® spotter training can communicate with a local severe weather net. Spotter reports go directly to the NWS in real-time.
For instance, on May 22nd, 2008 a tornado formed near Platteville and moved northwest towards Windsor. A severe weather net commenced on NCARC's 145.115 MHz repeater and spotters were able to confirm the location, direction, and size of the tornado. The Skywarn® weather spotter's eye-witness reports helped the NWS in the issuance of alerts to the public and also confirmed the severity of the event.
Spotter training is offered each spring at various locations from March through June. More information can be found at the official SKYWARN® page at weather.gov.