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Fort Bend County
Office of Emergency Management

Skywarn Net Procedures

Posted January 25, 2010 6:19:10 PM CST

Net Control Station Responsibilities (NCS)

When severe weather threatens Fort Bend County or severe weather is observed, preparation should begin to activate the FBC/EMROG severe weather net:

  • Monitor NWS/HGX or other sources of information for weather news in the area.
  • Prepare log sheet with the date, call sign and the time of the net activation when activated.
  • Have note paper and spare pens or pencils ready.
  • Keep either the Storm Spotters Guide or the reportable criteria at hand.
  • If severe weather is within 10-15 minutes of FBC activate the severe weather net in the stand-by mode using the attached net preamble.
  • If a warning is issued, go to the active mode using the attached net preamble.
  • Once the net is established, appoint a liaison to the Salt Grass Link system if no one is able to be liaison, the NCS station will have to cover both positions.
  • Note the time, call sign, location and weather information from all reporting stations on the attached log sheet.
  • Keep notes on all watches and warnings issued for FBC and when they expire.
  • It is absolutely necessary for the NCS to keep complete control of the net when in the active mode due to the speed that severe weather events happen.
  • Strictly follow the reportable criteria in the Storm Spotters Guide during this time. Be as diplomatic as possible but do not lose control of the net.
  • During activation, do take emergency traffic from breaking stations relating to life or property threatening situations.
  • Advise the liaison station of all traffic to be passed to the NWS.
  • In some cases the NWS will not be on the air to take reports form ham radio operators. During times when the NWS is not listening, reports should be made by telephone to the NWS or FBC Sheriff's office and they will relay the information to the NWS.
  • Take the net to stand-by mode as soon as warnings have expired and close the net once the severe weather has left the area, 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn in all logs and relevant notes to the Net Manager for an after action report to be filed with the EOC.

Liaison Station Responsibilities

  • Liaison stations should have the ability to monitor both the FBC Net as well as the Salt Grass link in order to relay information as necessary.
  • Prepare the attached liaison log sheet with the date, call signs and the time of the net activation.
  • Have note paper and spare pens or pencils ready.
  • Call the NWS on the Salt Grass Link on any of the local frequencies, VHF- 146.92 MHz 103.5 tone, UHF- 443.825 MHz 103.5 tone or 444.075 MHz 103.5 tone. Advise them that FBC has activated a severe weather net on 145.49 MHz and that you will be the liaison.
  • Monitor the NWS/HGX and report any watches or warnings to the NCS. Note what time they were issued and expire.
  • Maintain logs as traffic is passed to both the NWS and NCS.
  • When the NCS closes the severe weather net, advise the NWS and check out.
  • Turn in all logs and relevant notes to the Net Manager for an after action report to be filed with the EOC.

Note: When acting as either the NCS or liaison do not pass any traffic to the NWS that is not factual and accurate. The media monitors frequencies during weather events. Stick to only reporting the facts and do not report any hearsay or unnecessary information. If there are reports of incidents brought to the net that are being worked by Public Service agencies the NWS will already know about them. Report only the information listed in the Storm Spotters Guide unless the NWS specifically asks for something else.

Additionally, it is imperative to keep close control over weather nets when warning are in effect. The net is not to be used to broadcast personal information such as "road conditions to Aunt Mary's place" in the middle of a severe weather net.

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