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Welcome to the Columbia County ARES program!
The primary partner we support is the Columbia County Emergency Management. Members who meet all requirements and accept a preassignment for deployment to a local shelter will be issued an ID card. All other amateur radio operators may participate as ARES® operators from their home unless deployed through another agency such as American Red Cross, Salvation Army, MARS, etc. Locally, in Columbia County, all ARES members who desire to participate in emergency deployments for county shelters or the Emergency Operations Center must meet the basic requirement of at least the IS-100, IS-700, and pass a level 2 background check. Hams who wish to be called up as mutual aid communications resources for regional, statewide, or national deployments will also need IS-200 and IS-800 certifications.

Columbia ARES Application

FEMA Student ID
ICS Online classes
ARRL Online classes

Band Plan
Area Nets

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2022 Training Survey

Help us as we plan for new training opportunities.
Please take a few minutes to answer the questions in this survey. As we do exercises, we discover areas we need to train in. We also would like to know what you are interested in learning. Take Survey Here.

Online NTS/Radiogram Training

Some of the feedback that was received during the month of March is that many operators know how to fill out a radiogram form, but some aren’t aware of where to find a net to transmit it on or how to read them on the air. To help with this, our Section Traffic Manager Helen-WC4FSU, and Matt-KD8TTE who spoke in Orlando, will provide an open training session for those interested to learn about where and how formal traffic can make its way into the NTS. Training will be held via Zoom on April 20 at 5:30P CDT/6:30P EDT. No registration is required, simply click this link when it is time to join.

Field Day 2022

We held TWO practice days for 2022. April 2 and April 16. They both were at our practice yard at 148 SW Slash Lane, Lake City.
You can read the plan here

June 25 and 26, 2022
Again in 2022 we held our Field Day Event at Aligator Lake Park in Lake City. We had a good time and we increased our effort to have 3 stations instead of 2.
All the details are in the ExPlan which is posted here (link below) for you to read.
Read the plan here

Field Day 2021

As always Field Day is the fourth full weekend of June.

Read the updated plan here.
View the planned layout here.

Hurricane Season 2021

NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season

May 20, 2021--NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forcasters predict a 60% chance of an above normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.
Read rest of story here.
Watch this video summary of the Outlook.

New Columbia County ARES Net Schedule

Effective January 1, 2024 the name of this net is changed from
Suwannee Valley ARES/Skywarn Net to Columbia County ARES Net

The net will continue to meet on Thursday night at 7:00pm local time.

The frequency used will vary according to the following schedule.

First Thursday on the WA4ZFQ Repeater at 146.940 Mhz, pl 123.0
Second Thursday on 146.420 Simplex, NCS will use a different script and will ask for relays
Third Thursday on the NF4CQ Repeater at 145.490 Mhz, no pl
Fourth Thursday on the NF4CA Repeater at 147.180 Mhz, no pl
Months with a Fifth Thursday will start with voice on 146.420 Simplex and may switch to a digital mode. NCS will announce at the beginning of the net.

Colorado State University issues Forcasting for 2024 Hurricane Season

More active than normal, again!
Read Forcast here.
Read an interesting State/County Impact Probability Forcast here.

Columbia County ARES Hurricane Idalia AAR/IP

There were several successes and challenges during this Hurricane. We publish these AAR/IP documents here so we can celebrate, learn, and grow.

Columbia County ARES Meeting – Saturday September 16th 2023

Upcoming Columbia ARES meeting on Saturday September 16, 2023 at 10:00am. Since our club station room at Lake City Baptist Temple is currently unavailable,we will meet at my house on the patio, weather permitting. Among other items we will talk about our Hurricame Idalia response. Bring your NFL ARES Taskbook if you need things signed off,  and if you need help with digital methods including Winlink P2P and Vara FM, bring your laptop and radio.

Colorado State University issues Forcasting for 2023 Hurricane Season

More active than normal, again!
Read Forcast here.
Read Extended Forcast here.

Field Day 2023

Yes, It's coming! Field Day is always the last full weekend in June, and now is the time to practice and test our equipment.

We will be holding a practice day again this year on Saturday April 29th. Our plan is to set up the same antennas and radios in the same configuration we will use at Field Day. The location will probably be in our practice yard at 148 SW Slash Lane, Lake City.

June 24 and 25, 2023
Again this year we will be holding our Field Day Event at Aligator Lake Park in Lake City. We had a great time last year! We added another station that operated CW for the first time in a number of years adding significally to our point total. We hope to increase our effort this year and plan to have 4 stations instead of 3.

All the details are in the ExPlan which will be posted here for you to read. Set-up will begin when the park opens at 8:00am and the event officially starts at 2:00pm. This year we are inviting our guests, elected officals, and others, to come between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

In order to have the four stations and generate more points we will need as many operators as possible! Please use the link below and schedule some time that you will be willing to operate. You can sign up for as many 2 hour blocks as you want. Someone will be able to help you get comfortable with the equipment and procedures if this will be your first time.

Register on this Google form

Columbia County ARES Meeting – Saturday March 11th 2023

Upcoming Columbia ARES meeting on Saturday March 11, 2023 at 10:00am. This will be in our club station room at Lake City Baptist Temple. Among other items we will talk about the NFL ARES Taskbook, re-scheduled S.E.T., EOC exercise, and digital methods. Bring your laptop and radio/go-box.

Columbia County ARES Meeting – Saturday November 19th 2022

Upcoming Coulmbia ARES meeting on Saturday November 19, 2022 at 10:00am. This will be in our club station room at Lake City Baptist Temple. I will try to publish an agenda but the plan is to finalize the After Action Report from Ian and do Winlink setup and training. Bring your laptop and radio/go-box.

November 7, 2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Declares State of Emergency for Nicole

Read the declaration here.

So far Columbia County is not included in this declaration. We are in the three day cone as issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Please check into the tuesday night net (11/8/22)on the 146.940 repeater to see if there are any updates from the Columbia EOC.

There will be an ARES net starting on Wednesday (11/09/22) at 7:00pm on the 145.490 repeater until we are clear or activated. This will be a short net each night to give updates on the storm.

September 24, 2022

The October S.E.T. has been postponed.

September 23, 2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Declares State of Emergency for Ian

Read yesterday's declaration here.

WX4NHC Annual Station Communications Test – Saturday May 28th 2022

The annual WX4NHC On Air Communications Test has been set for Saturday May 28th, 2022 and WX4NHC will be on the air on the VoIP Hurricane Net system Echolink conference node: 7203/IRLP 9219 from 4-5 PM EDT (2000-2100z). Other Amateur Radio modes will be utilized and those details are listed in the announcement below from WD4R-Julio Ripoll, Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator.

Announcement from WX4NHC

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day

This Saturday, May 14th will be a special DOD Drill. We will have the opportunity to interact with some Department of Defense stations. They will transmit on out of Ham frequiencies and will announce where they will be listening in the Ham frequiencies.

Watch the YouTube video by our friend Matthew, KD8TTE in Ohio, and check out the pdf.

National Forcast Chart:

National Weather Service Jacksonville
Latest Weather Briefing
Upcoming Virtual Storm Spotter Classes - Register Here

Tropical Weather Outlook:


Tropical Storm / Hurricane Lee:


  • Columbia Amateur Radio Society

  • Columbia County Emergency Management

  • Columbia County Alert

  • ARRL - North Florida ARES

  • Florida Division of Emergency Management

  • Hurricane Watch Net

  • WX4NHC

  • VoIP Weather Net