ARES and HOTARC
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HOTARC stands ready to serve the community with our communications skills, equipment, and license privileges—whether it be for special events, education, stormy weather, or other emergency conditions.
For example, when severe weather threatens central Texas, at the direction of the Fort Worth office of the National Weather Service, HOTARC ARES members mobilize as the
Weekly Training Net convenes every Monday at 8:00 PM on 145.15 MHz (–600 kHz, PL 123 Hz). Click here for the weekly Net Control Schedule.
The BDWN communicates from thirteen counties in central Texas,
as shown below:
BDWN Counties (county seat)
- Bosque (Meridian)
- Hill (Hillsboro)
- Hamilton (Hamilton)
- McLennan (Waco)
- Limestone (Groesbeck)
- Mills (Goldthwaite)
- Coryell (Gatesville)
- Falls (Marlin)
- Leon (Centerville)
- Lampasas (Lampasas)
- Bell (Belton)
- Robertson (Franklin)
- Milam (Cameron)
(Hover your mouse over a county to see it's name.)
The FCC expects amateur radio operators to use their skills and equipment to help their community in emergency situations. One of the best ways to prepare for this is to register and practice with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). With the rising number and severity of national-scale disasters, the need for adequate preparation and identification of amateur radio operators has risen dramatically. It is now imperative for those wanting to really contribute to service and have access to restricted emergency sites to register with their local ARES organization, and complete required training courses (see below). We fully expect the next large disaster to call upon amateur radio operators more than ever before. However, to help at a disaster scene now, you must have proper identification and training. To this end, it is imperative that you
complete and submit an ARES Application—before the emergency comes!
All Texas counties
(click image for larger map)
Example county map detail.
|The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provides detailed maps of the state's county road system. These maps are extremely useful during BDWN storm spotting since they provide road details and names often omitted by commercial road maps. Once only available by purchasing an expensive book of maps, you can now freely view, print, or save the pdf files (to smartphone/iPad/laptop) by visiting the TxDOT web site for a complete selection of Texas county road maps.
The image here provides links to a few of the map pages for McLennan County and bordering regions. (Click on the map's grid squares.)
Click quadrants above (from County Mapbook 2014).
As part of your ARES membership, it is strongly recommended (soon to be required) that all ARES members complete the following four free online courses from FEMA:
and highly recommended:
For drills, exercises, and actual emergencies activities, proof of completion of one or more of these courses will be required. Your ARES identification card can provide that.
Check in to the weekly training nets and ARES activations (e.g., storm spotting or other emergency situation). The central Texas ARES training net currently meets every Monday at 8:00 PM on the HOTARC 145.15 MHz repeater.
Upon registering with ARES, a list of local repeaters will be provided to you. Program your radio(s) with these area repeater parameters, and know how to access them. During an emergency is not the time to be learning how to use your radio's features and functions!
For more information, contact
, ARES McLennan County Emergency Coordinator.