Amethyst DEC, Warren Paulson VE3FYN

RAC ARES website

Up Net Schedule Resources CanWarn

EOC Stations:

Thunder Bay


Fort Frances

Sioux Narrows

Nestor Falls



Ear Falls

Winlink RMS

Amethyst District ARES

Providing emergency communications for Northwestern Ontario


Amateur Radio operators in Northwestern Ontario participate in Environment Canada's CanWarn program. The purpose of CanWarn is for local storm spotters to report to Environment Canada on severe weather. See the CanWarn Ontario Region home page for more information.

Our CanWarn protocols are based on those established by Environment Canada, as viewed on their protocol pages.

Initiating a Net

A local net will be declared for the following reasons:

  1. Severe weather warnings.
  2. Tornado watches.
  3. Tornado warnings.
  4. Based on local observations.

A net control operator shall initiate and operate the net, according to the protocols below, and shall forward any severe weather information gathered by the net to CanWarn. The net control operator initiating the net shall remain in control of the net until the situation is over. If net control must leave the net, control shall be passed on to another qualified operator.

As most storm warnings are regional in nature, hosting the net on the NWO-ARES Fusion network is preferred. This provides a regional scope and leaves the Pinetree repeater system open for normal use.

The net should QSY to 3.675 MHz ALPHA in the event that any portion of the affected area loses normal communications.

Reporting to Environment Canada

Environment Canada is to be notified immediately via e-mail in the event that any of the following are observed:

  1. Hail.
  1. Damaging winds.
  2. Freezing rain.
  3. Tornadoes.

When an CanWarn net is initiated as a result of a weather warning, Environment Canada is to be notified via e-mail following the net, when no damaging weather is observed.

Download and read the CanWarn Tip Sheet.

Types of Alerts

Condition GREEN

A Severe Weather Watch for the local area has been issued by Environment Canada.

  • Net control will take check-ins every 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Repeater open for normal traffic.

Condition YELLOW

A Severe Weather Warning, Severe Thunderstorm Warning or a Tornado Watch has been issued for the local area by Environment Canada.

  • Net control will take check-ins.
  • Repeater is closed to normal traffic.
  • Net control will ask for reports of hail, damaging winds, wall clouds, funnel clouds, waterspouts, tornados or unusual weather events
  • Net control will repeat Condition Yellow alert every 20 minutes while condition exists.

Condition RED

A Tornado Warning has been issued for the local area by Environment Canada.

  • Net control will take check-ins.
  • Repeater is closed to normal traffic.
  • Net control will ask for reports of actual tornados, funnel clouds or wall clouds.
  • Net control will repeat Condition Red alert every 15 minutes while condition exists.

Use of EOC Stations

During a Condition Yellow or Condition Red, it is recommended that the Net Control Operator relocate to your local emergency operations station, for three reasons:

  1. These stations generally have battery and generator backup.
  2. In the event that the situation progresses to a declared emergency, you will be in the EOC, and able to pass weather (and other) information to the municipal Control Group.

If you are operating from the emergency operations station, identify yourself under the station callsign. Maintain a log. (If you are net control and not operating from the EOC, identify yourself using your own callsign, and ensure you are prepared for a power outage.)

Contact your local EC for access procedures to your EOC station.