North Texas Section ARES Newsletter for May 2020


Note: The following message is from the ARRL NTX SEC (Section Emergency

Good Day Everyone!
I decided to do a separate ARES Newsletter for May because I wanted to
address several topics with you.

1. Skywarn
2. ARC Exercise
3. Taskbook Updates
4. Staying Safe

SKYWARN/Storm Spotting/Weather-Ready:

A key service provided by the Amateur Radio Service is ground truth
reporting for the National Weather Service AND our communities. By
providing corroborated ground-truth reports, the NWS can accurately
issue weather warnings to your community that can save lives. Without
your SKYWARN-trained eyes on the sky, the NWS can only rely on radar
data, remote environmental sensors, and single-sourced reports from
potentially untrained individuals. Social media has been an ineffective
way to provide weather reports to NWS because of the potential for fake

SKYWARN reporting is our most frequent activity. Accurate, concise
reporting over the radio allows not only the NWS to make decisions, but
the public and emergency management in our communities can listen in and
act accordingly. For example, several cities in Collin County monitor
the ARES SKYWARN net on the K5PRK repeater and issue alerts to their
citizens based on the reports they hear from the spotters! The public
uses broadcastify and scanners to listen to that repeater as well.
Collin County has received numerous reports from citizens saying the
SKYWARN spotter reports helped save their lives.

SKYWARN reporting makes a difference not just to your local community,
but also to adjoining communities that may be monitoring. Communities
that may be in the path of the storm can prepare and warn their

An accurate and current SKYWARN repeater list should be provided to the
NWS SKYWARN desk and the NTX Section. Please provide current repeater
information including node information and notify the section of
repeater changes via email to sec@...

Saving lives IS THE NUMBER ONE objective, and the key tools we use are
the radio and our eyes. With these tools, we provide more people with
critical information about severe weather that may be coming their way
while potentially saving their lives.

If you have issues with SKYWARN or reporting weather, please let me know
via sec@....

American Red Cross National Communications Exercise:

The American Red Cross is conducting a national communication exercise
on May 30th. The local Emergency Coordinator should be coordinating with
the ARC Texas, local ARC and myself. Contact your local EC to inquire
about participation.

NTX Section Taskbook Updates:

The NTX Section Taskbook was designed to document the training activity
of the West Gulf Division in general and the North Texas Section
specifically. While there are plans to update Section Taskbook in the
future, there are no changes currently. We are looking at setting up an
electronic version of the Taskbook that can be signed off digitally.

Staying Safe - COVID-19:

This global pandemic has affected almost everyone in the entire world
– medically, mentally, and financially; nearly everyone in the whole
world! The fight is unlike any war that any of us have lived thru. The
enemy is silent, tortious, and deadly. Everything has changed; whether
we like it or not, agree with it or not.

The need for safety has not changed; just the tools and methods that we
use to fight this invisible enemy. We all need to follow the CDC
guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Why should we wear a mask?
Because it can save the life of someone you love or know. A graphic I
saw recently summed it up well:

If a person with COVID-19 is not wearing a mask, you are still 70%
likely to contract COVID-19 while wearing a mask.  The best protection
is for both the infected and uninfected persons to wear masks, reducing
the infection rate to 1.5%.

Wear a mask when in public, maintain social distancing AND stay home if
you are sick! It is the right thing to do for yourselves, your families,
your friends, and your country.



Greg Evans, K5GTX

ARRL North Texas Section
Section Manager: Steven Lott Smith, KG5VK