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    Posted September 14, 2013 by
    Pueblo, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Colorado flooding

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    Ham Radio Operators Help with Local Flood Communications

    COLORADO--Colorado ARES members are actively involved in the response to extreme weather in north central Colorado. Members from local ARES districts in Larimer, Boulder, Denver and Arapahoe Counties have been utilized at Emergency Operations Centers in their respective counties. As the rain continues and mandatory evacuation orders expand, the Red Cross is opening shelters in cities as far away as 30 miles from the flooding. These shelters are being manned by ARES members as well to provide health and safety traffic. ARES members in Jefferson and Douglas/Elbert Counties are providing weather spotting support functions. Field Operations have been hampered by flooded streets and impassible highways. Some ARES members we forced to shelter-in-place while serving as net controls or providing weather information.

    Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Emit Hurdelbrink, WØUAW, coordinated the Section Level response from the State Emergency Operations Center and provided status reports directly state emergency managers who were likewise coordinating the state response in support of local governments. The Colorado Office of Emergency Management is a Section Level served agency of Colorado ARES. Like the recent wild land fires, the flooding crosses multiple local districts, and at least three of the 9 state All Hazards Regions. Colorado ARES has developed mutual aid and response plans that allow for immediate coordination of large incidents while assuring local relationships are preserved. Following ICS principals the incident expands as needed. Local ECs regularly communicate their staffing needs and other conditions so that shortages can be anticipated and planning can be made through multiple operational periods.

    Earlier this year the National Weather Service also became a Section Level served agency of Colorado ARES. ARES members act as storm spotters and net controls for the National Weather Service SKYWARN operations. Regular rain measurements and flooding conditions have been relayed to NWS since the start of the severe storm conditions. Once the rain stops, it is anticipated that ARES members will assist with damage assessment.

    If you would like to know more about Amateur Radio and how you can get involved visit www.arrl.org or for more information on the Colorado Amateur Radio Emergency Service visit www.coloradoares.org. Remember, Ham Radio needs you!

    (Photo Credits: 1) Colorado ARES District 10, 2) CNN.com | Press Release via Jack Ciaccia, ARRL Colorado Section Manager)
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