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2009 National Hurricane Conference Has Amateur Radio Focus


The 31st Annual National Hurricane Conference will take place April 6-10 in Austin, Texas. This annual event brings together many disciplines in the Emergency Management field to address tropical events that impact the United States. According to ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, the conference will feature several Amateur Radio presentations catering to Amateur Radio operators, Emergency Management and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) officials. "This will be Amateur Radio's most significant presence at a National Hurricane Conference," Dura said.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, April 7, Dura said an Amateur Radio Training Workshop will be offered free of charge to Amateur Radio operators, Emergency Management and NGO staff and volunteers attending the Conference. "This has been a yearly tradition at the conference," he said. "In addition, on Wednesday morning, April 8, an Amateur Radio Workshop on Situational Awareness and Disaster Intelligence, as well as an Amateur Radio 'Rap Session,' will be held. For the Wednesday presentation, the conference registration fee is required."

Leaders at WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Watch Net, VoIP Hurricane Net and the ARRL will present various talks at the conference. In addition, Dura will give a presentation on the International Amateur Radio Support Coalition (IRESC). On Tuesday evening at 6, the Austin Amateur Radio Club will host a Texas-style BBQ. Following the dinner, several of the Amateur Radio National Hurricane Conference presenters will give their presentations to the club.

Presenters for the National Hurricane Conference and Austin Amateur Radio Club dinner and presentation include:

  •  John McHugh, K4AG -- WX4NHC National Hurricane Center Amateur Radio Coordinator

  •  Julio Ripoll, WD4R -- Assistant WX4NHC National Hurricane Center Amateur Radio Coordinator

  •  Brad Pioveson, W9FX -- Hurricane Watch Net Assistant Net Manager

  •  Robert Macedo, KD1CY -- Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net

  •  Gregg Sarratt, W4OZK -- ARRL Southeastern Division Director

  •  Jim Palmer, KB1KQW -- VoIP Hurricane Net Control Scheduler

The various presentations at the National Hurricane Conference will be videotaped and uploaded online through the efforts of Jim Palmer, KB1KQW, a professional videographer. Palmer also videotaped the 2008 National Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Workshop; it is viewable online.

"This is a great event for Amateur Radio operators to understand the skill set required for mobilizing during a hurricane," Dura said. "Emergency Management and NGO officials can learn how to better utilize Amateur Radio for gathering critical disaster intelligence information and having Amateur Radio operators there when all else fails. We are looking forward to this opportunity to present to everyone at the conference."

For more information on the 2009 National Hurricane Conference, including registration information, please see the Conference Web site.



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