The Great Colorado ShakeOut

At 10:17 a.m. on October 17, 2019, thousands of people will participate in the Great Colorado ShakeOut, the state’s largest earthquake drill ever!  We’ll join participants from across the country to prepare for earthquake response and recovery.  As part of ARES, it’s important that we know how to launch a communication response to assist local, state and federal officials as they mobilize for damage control.  In Mesa County, all ARES members should monitor the Western Colorado Amateur Radio Club’s W0RRZ repeater at 146.94 MHz (107.2 tone) for information on how to respond.  The only catch?  No public AC power!  The first thing to go in an earthquake is public power, so please respond with battery, generator or solar power only.  Even a handheld will work, so we should all be able to respond. 

The Great Colorado ShakeOut is part of the Great ShakeOut, a national and international initiative to help teach citizens how to survive and recover from an earthquake.  More information is available at  As of October 6th, 17.8 million people are registered to participate in the U.S. and 19.4 million worldwide.

This will be a brief drill – I would just like to see how many ARES members can respond.  We’ll also be working with Mesa County RACES, which will be monitoring the GMRA repeaters to assist with a government response, so try to monitor both bands if you’re also a RACES member.  We’re fortunate in Mesa County to be relatively disaster-free, so this is a good opportunity to brush up on our emergency communication readiness skills, and this meets the requirements for an ARES drill to enter into your ARES Task Book for required exercises.

Listen for more details on the RACES/EmComm net on Wednesday on GMRA.

Thanks for your participation!

Great Colorado ShakeOut Statewide Earthquake Drill – Flyer

Chip Ferron, N0WKR
Mesa County ARES Emergency Coordinator


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Severe Weather Spotter and Safety Classes – SKYWARN

The National Weather Service office in Grand Junction offers free Spotter Training Classes throughout the year and around the western slope.   If your interested in learning how to spot severe weather and learn about the dangers from these storms, we encourage you to attend one of their free 2 hour classes.

For your convenience a list of the upcoming classes is listed below.  For additional information or to confirm a class, please visit the NWS Grand Junction Spotter Training Page.

  • Telluride, CO – 8-17-2019 12-2pm – Telluride Fire Station 1
  • Glenwood Springs, CO – 8-24-2019 12-2pm – Glenwood Springs Branch Library
  • Gunnison, CO – 9-14-2019 12-2pm – Gunnison County Emergency Operations Center


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Use Social Media to Your Advantage

NWS-GJ-TwitterWe all have our thoughts/concerns about social media. Some people dive in deep while others stand around the edge of the pond and say “No Thanks”. However, Social Media can have its good side and you can use that to your advantage.

Twitter is one of those things that you can take advantage of without having to actually participate. Twitter’s short bits of information make it timely, easy to read and extremely useful. IF…….. you follow the right people.

Mesa-County-Sheriff-TwitterDon’t follow your favorite beer maker, car dealership or snack food company. Only follow those individuals or organizations that will feed you the information you need. Being that we are ARES, that is going to be EmComm related posters. Here are a few that I follow and recommend. Please note that you can click on any of these Twitter links, see what they are posting and decide for yourself. Without having to create an account.


Getting updates for weather, law enforcement, emergency services and travel can be a major benefit to you.  Using Twitter on your computer via the browser or an App on your phone and/or tablet, puts that information at your finger tips as it happens.  You don’t have to wait for the evening news or the morning paper to know what’s important to you.

FEMA-R8-PostingYou can open a Twitter account with a minimum amount of information.  Use you Ham Radio Call Sign as your login name.  There are thousands of Ham Operators doing just this.  Then add some of the above tweeters and search using keywords to find others that post the information you are interested in.  You can visit to look around and create a login.  Download the app on your devices as well.  If in the end you don’t like it, just close the account.  You never have to post anything if you don’t want, you can just use it as a News Feed as many of us do.

Thank you and I hope you found this useful.  Please note that the opinions expressed here are my own and not of Mesa County ARES or its participants.

John Fuller, WJ0NF

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Welcome to Mesa County ARES

Welcome to the new site for Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Mesa County Colorado.

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.

As you can see, we are just starting to put together some content for those interested in participating in ARES and also for those already involved. Please bookmark this page and check back for related information and upcoming events.

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