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Author Topic: Post-HURRICANE MARIA: Puerto Rico needs [HAM RADIO Opr's &] Comms  (Read 11751 times)

Posts: 159

« on: September 21, 2017, 03:16:18 AM »

Reports (via Zello) suggest that only 7% of PR's residents have power.

Another user says he has heard Only Net-Control Stations (& Net Con-
trols are calling for more Hams, but not getting many Check-In's, yet)

(I don't know which freq's he's monitoring.... or which bands...)

Perhaps folks nearer to PR can look for & join any HF nets with traffic
in or out...?

Posts: 393

« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 06:59:03 AM »

Looking for any way to get update for a colleague of mine, who has family up in Rincon, PR, which is at the
North west coast of the island.

My colleague would like to know if the elderly parents are ok or not.

If there is a net underway, please drop me a note on frequencies.

I am good on for email.


Posts: 827

« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 05:24:39 PM »

You will probably find that with local travel being impassible, local phone lines and cell phones being inoperative, power being out, that hoping someone can go to a location and try to find the occupants is not going to happen for several weeks or longer.

The normal procedure for ARC shelter operations used to be (and I rashly assume still is) that when you want to make a H&W inquiry, someone in intake will take down your contact information and the name of the party you are looking for. This is down to protect privacy. That request will be passed along to the people you are trying to contact, if they have registered, and they will be the ones to contact you--when and if it is possible.

A lot of this is also set up with computers these days so physically collecting papers for contacts is no longer an issue, although communications of any kind still will be slow. Also bear in mind the as telecommunications (and radio) become available, priority is given to contacts going OUT from the disaster area, ahead of those trying to get in. The resources are given to the victims, the folks outside need to patiently wait.

As for immediate radio resources, this from the ARRL newsletter this week:

"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."

Check with the ARC, if they have set up databases for contacts, register with them. And just bear in mind that any type of movement or communication is going to be extremely difficult for days to come. The lines are down, the streets are often physically unsafe even when passable.

Posts: 2623


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 08:03:37 PM »

Krish, have you had any luck?

I have a few friends trying to check in on family down there and they have not been able to find anything out. I'd like to try to offer help but I figure I would check and see if there were any health/welfare nets going on

Posts: 3580

« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 09:31:35 AM »

There is a REACT team in Puerto Rico.  They might be able to help.  or

Posts: 1637

« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 12:16:09 PM »

AO-7 is still alive.


Posts: 432

« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 12:11:51 PM »

 There is a heart-warming article on Rochester, NY's WROC-TV webpage:
 Prayers for Puerto Rico.

Posts: 18

« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 06:56:20 PM »

I was contacted tonight by someone looking for family in PR.  I went to the REACT pages but didn't see much in the way of info or a way to send  message.
I read the post above about taking a long time.  What freq should I check to try to contact someone there to leave my information?


Patrick - N9PRY

Posts: 146

« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 06:00:26 AM »

Puerto Rico has essentially no power. Ad hoc H&W outgoing only on 7.175 and 14.270 and SATERN 14.265 mHz. No telecommunications, incoming requests would require that operators send runners out to the individual houses.

Red Cross for folks on the mainland trying to find information about their relatives H&W Red Cross Safe and Well  is probably the best bet right now.

There are 12 EchoLink repeaters listed in PR, My assumption is that they're all out (antennas gone, power gone, backup power destroyed). Has anyone had any luck with the listed EchoLink repeaters? My thinking is that local HTs could hit those repeaters and get messages out to the world (AA and AAA batteries are almost always available). I will try when I get home.

Link to PR EchoLink repeaters:

Posts: 2623


« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 07:39:20 AM »

I did try sending a few NTS messages down for my neighbor.. no idea if they will ever make it. I was told they may sit in a queue until someone can take/deliver the message or it may never reach its destination. Well, it was something to try.

I did hear this morning from my neighbor that her relatives in PR made contact with her and they are all still alive & ok.. but dealing with the aftermath as so many are.. so that is some good news. It will be a long road ahead for the people of PR.

Posts: 1707

« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:42:52 AM »

Last night, per ARRL:

The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time ARC has made a request for assistance on this scale. Hurricane Maria has devastated the island’s communications infrastructure. Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of people are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services and people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire.

How can you help?

1)    Volunteer. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment; for instance, familiarity with Winlink, an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher, and previous experience in disaster response. Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks (at ARC expense). If you would like to be considered for deployment, please complete the following online ARRL form, which asks for your qualifications and skills: Volunteer Deployment Form


Posts: 815

« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 11:52:50 AM »

Last night, per ARRL:

[i/]The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico ... ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs ... [/i]

And the quota was filled quickly:
Amateur Radio’s Force of Fifty Answers the Red Cross Call in Puerto Rico

Posts: 482

« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 08:33:02 PM »

Ham radio operators are saving Puerto Rico one transmission at a time

Posts: 89

« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 04:45:21 PM »

good on the guys that went, hope they are having the time of their lives and it is all about making a difference.

yes ham radio is not as relied on for communications as it was in the past, we still practice our  skills because we are one tool in the tool box, and sometimes you need an old tool that is low tech and reliable.  let us celebrate that we can contribute to relieve the suffering of the unfortunates, after all  that is what this is all about.

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