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Hurricane Redux: Amateur Radio Community Fires Up for Maria:

from The ARRL Letter on September 21, 2017
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Hurricane Redux: Amateur Radio Community Fires Up for Maria:

Caribbean Island residents and the Amateur Radio community hardly had a chance to catch a breath from Hurricane Irma, as recovery operations continue, before Hurricane Maria was knocking on the door. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN activated September 18 on 14.325 MHz and on 7.268 MHz (after dark). The VoIP Hurricane Net activated the same day to track Hurricane Maria and its potential impact in the Caribbean. WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, activated to receive weather information from both nets, while the Caribbean Emergency Weather Net (CEWN was called up on September 18 on 3.815 MHz (and/or 7.188 and 7.182 MHz as propagation dictates) to provide round-the-clock coverage during the passage of Hurricane Maria and in the storm's immediate wake. It has been handling health-and-welfare traffic in and out of Dominica and is accepting inquiries via e-mail. (Indicate your name and location, as well as that of the party sought).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened 60-meter interoperability nets on September 19, using Channel 1, 5.330.5 MHz (primary voice traffic) and Channel 2, 5.346.5 MHz (digital traffic). These will remain active until the storm has passed and the need for these nets no longer exists.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN has been on Delta II extended monitoring status on its 14.265 MHz frequency. "Although the US Virgin Islands were heavily damaged, it was apparent that they had some limited communications capabilities and other resources," SATERN National Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, said on September 21. "Puerto Rican operators reported that there was an island-wide power and communications blackout. It was reported that Amateur Radio seemed to be the only communications that were operational, and that was somewhat limited, as many 2-meter repeater systems were still not operational."

Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters resumed its normal schedule of transmissions on Thursday morning, although the station has not yet been reopened to visitors. W1AW will continue monitoring active nets and 60-meter interoperability channels as needed. The station was helping to support the communication response to Hurricane Maria, monitoring the HWN, SATERN, the VoIP Hurricane Net, and the Caribbean Emergency Weather Net (CEWN, as well as checking Winlink2000 e-mail and providing interoperability support by keeping various frequencies open for hurricane traffic. The station was staffed around the clock during the communication emergency.

The Hurricane Watch Net, the VoIP Hurricane Net, and WX4NHC stood down on September 20. The HWN was active for about 60 hours.

Visit the ARRL website for updates on Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma news and information, as well as the ARRL news page


The ARRL Letter

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