Frequently asked questions

What does Redmond ARES do?

What happens during an emergency?

What kind of equipment do I need?

What training is required?

Where can I find out more about Amateur Radio?

How do I become a member of Redmond ARES?

What Does Redmond ARES Do?

Redmond ARES provides communications support and other services for both planned and unplanned events.

Planned Events

Examples of planned events are as follows:

  • Simulated emergency drills
  • Redmond Derby Days Parade
  • Marymoor 4th of July Celebration
  • Marymoor Park cycling events

Many ARES members also participate in the ARRL Field Day exercises held each year during the last full weekend in June. Redmond ARES 2009 Field day activities were covered in both the Redmond Reporter and Seattle Times.

Unplanned Events

Unplanned events are situations or emergencies where Redmond ARES receives a formal activation request from the City of Redmond.

Examples of past unplanned events include the following:

  • Nisqually Earthquake – February 2001
  • Snow Emergencies – Numerous
  • President’s Day Windstorm – February 1993

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What Happens During an Emergency?

When Redmond ARES is activated by the manager of the City of Redmond Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), team responsibilities may include the following:

  • Provide intra-city communication using personal or city amateur radio gear, facsimile machines, agency radios, cell phones, FRS radios or other communications devices.
  • Provide message communication with the King County EOC in Renton, WA.
  • Provide message communication with the State of Washington Emergency Management Division at Camp Murray, WA.
  • Provide message communication with other local, municipal Emergency Operations Centers.
  • Support the Redmond Police and Fire Mobile Command Post.

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What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?

Technically you don’t need a radio or other special equipment to be a member of ARES. All you need is an amateur radio license and a willingness to serve your community.

If you’re a new ham, you may want to attend several Redmond ARES meetings before investing in any equipment. That way you can decide if the ARES mission is a good fit with your interests and abilities, and ask for equipment advice from other ARES members.

In general, most ARES members have an emergency activation kit that contains the following:

  • A dual-band VHF/UHF radio, and an emergency power source suitable for at least 72 hours of heavy use.
  • Enough food, water, and other emergency supplies to last for 72 hours.
  • Photo ID, a copy of your FCC license, and your City of Redmond picture ID.

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What Training is Required?

During your first year as an ARES member, you are required to complete the following training:

  • CPR and Basic First Aid. This course is provided to ARES members periodically at no charge.
  • Introduction to the National Incident Management System (IS-700a) Free.
  • Introduction to the Incident Command System (IS-100.b) Teaches you about the Incident Command System, which has been adopted by the Redmond Police and Fire Departments. Free.
  • Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001).
    An online course available through the ARRL. Provides basic knowledge and tools for emergency communications volunteers. Includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment, and feedback at every stage from an experienced mentor. Time commitment: approximately 45 hours over a nine-week period Cost: ARRL members $50, non-members $85. For details, see

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Where Can I Find Out More about Amateur Radio?

The best place to begin your search for information about amateur radio is the ARRL web site. ARRL (The Amateur Radio Relay League) is the national organization for amateur radio.

You might also want to check out the amateur radio clubs in the area:

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How Do I Become a Member of Redmond ARES?

See Joining Redmond ARES for details.

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