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ARRL Headquarters Monitoring Progress of Hurricane Lane, Radio Gear Available to Deploy

08/24/2018

[UPDATED: 2018-08-24 @ 1434 UTC]: ARRL Headquarters is in monitoring mode, as powerful Hurricane Lane — now a Category 3 storm — approaches Hawaii, ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said on Wednesday, and Ham Aid Amateur Radio equipment is available for deployment.  The storm already is causing catastrophic flooding on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Corey said the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has a team on standby to assist with communication between Hawaii and the mainland, if needed. Amateur Radio at the National Hurricane Center in Miami also is standing by to assist with communication between the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the National Hurricane Center. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN) International SATERN SSB Net will activate Friday, August 24, at 1800 UTC, in response to Hurricane Lane. The primary frequency is 14.265 MHz, with 14.312 MHz as a backup.

All Amateur Radio operators, especially those on the West Coast, are encouraged to check into the Net and assist with any emergency, priority, or health-and-welfare traffic from Hawaii. The VoIP Hurricane Net (VoIP-WX) is monitoring the situation.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that Hurricane Lane, as of 0900 UTC, was located 160 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, moving north at 6 MPH. The storm is predicted to move over — or dangerously close to — the main Hawaiian Islands late on Friday, August 24. Hurricane Lane has maximum sustained winds of 120 MPH, with some weakening forecast through late Saturday. Hurricane-force winds extend out 35 miles; tropical storm-force winds extend out 125 miles.

  • A Hurricane Warning in effect for Oahu, Maui County, to include the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.
  • A Hurricane Watch in effect for Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.
  • Excessive rainfall is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands through the weekend, with accumulations of 10 to 20 inches with localized amounts greater than 30 to 40 inches possible. Large swells will severely impact the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple of days. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south and west-facing shores.

The ARRL Hawaii Section is engaged with Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and on standby to assist with shelter operations, if that becomes necessary. Volunteers are also assisting the National Weather Service and state emergency managers. ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, is visiting Hawaii this week and has offered to assist and share his knowledge from the response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year.

Corey said that at this time, no personnel or equipment are needed. He asked that those in the affected area alert ARRL of any communication gaps that might evolve as well as any key information that could be shared via Amateur Radio networks.

FEMA has updated its preparedness and safety information for the public. 

  • Local authorities are urging the public to be prepared with 14-day supply of water and non-perishable food items.
  • If you do not live in a flood-prone area, prepare to shelter in place. If you live in a flood-prone area, find an available shelter.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, and listen to the radio for official news, emergency alerts, and instructions as they become available.
  • Be familiar with evacuation routes, have a family communication plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for pets. Visit FEMA’s disaster readiness planning page (English) (Spanish) to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
  • Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  • Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials, if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  • All businesses should prepare in advance of a potential disaster to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations. Businesses can review and update their business continuity plans and ensure their workforce knows what to do before and during a disaster. Resources are available on web sites such as Ready.gov/business and SBA.gov/disaster-planning.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify severe weather and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Know what to do for a tropical storm/hurricane or for flooding 


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