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Massive Winter Storm Brings Emergency Activations



As a widespread and powerful winter storm moves from Texas and Oklahoma and heads toward New England, several ARRL sections have activated emergency nets. These are the reports received as of noon Eastern Time February 1.


I conferred yesterday with Indiana Department of Homeland Security on a joint communications plan during the winter storm warning. The state RACES team initiated a net this morning on 3920 +/- 5 kHz. They will be monitoring for EMA traffic throughout the day. I will monitor and periodically assess the need for a parallel ARES net. If the RACES net gets overwhelmed or we decide to segregate traffic types, then I'll activate an ARES Emergency net on 3910 +/- QRM.

I have requested all county ECs to initiate local resource nets sometime prior to the arrival of the second (larger) front of heavy snow expected this afternoon and overnight. At the discretion of the county EC, he may notify his served agencies of the available resources, both staff and equipment, so the served agencies can factor ARES into their response plans.

Joseph Lawrence, K9RFZ, Section Emergency Coordinator, Indiana Section


The State Emergency Operations Center is currently monitoring 3563, 3932, the IRA linked repeater system, and our packet CONVerse channel 911 in response to a drill around the D.C. Cook nuclear plant in Berrien county. I am in contact with them on packet and 3563.

I had planned to be there, but road conditions prevented me from making the trip (the SEOC is about 100 miles away). I am monitoring the drill on the State’s Critical Incident Management System.

K8RDN station manager, KI8C and KC8ZGZ are operating the SEOC station.

At the moment the SEOC station has left 3932 and is checking into the MACS net on 3953.

Tom McDonough, WB8RCR, Section Emergency Coordinator, Michigan Section


In these types of winter storm situations, an operator in the CT Section (often KW1B, sometimes K1EIC and others) usually opens an informal HF Net (known as the "Snow Desk") on 3.965 MHz. It is low key and used to monitor snowfall totals, highway conditions, etc, around the state. However, by keeping the frequency "warm" it is immediately available to go "hot" with emergency traffic if a need develops.

I have placed CT ARES on a Level 1 Alert effective at 0900 this morning. Please see for more info.

Wayne Gronlund, N1CLV, Section Emergency Coordinator, Connecticut Section


Brad Pioveson, W9FX, our SEC, has directed that available personnel stand watch only on 3905 kHz with impromptu nets called periodically to check coverage. The State has preemptively declared a disaster. More on RACES activation if it happens.

Tom Ciciora, KA9QPN, Section Manager, Illinois Section


Keep an eye on the State ARES/RACES website for updates.  Webmaster Richard Engel has the feed from Twitter releases by WEM on the home page along with the notation of a HF net frequency in use by Indiana RACES on 75 meters. There may be the need for traffic as this storm develops for us directly or for us to assist other states and so please be alert should requests come out by way of email or the State website for HF nets. Remember 3967.0 and 3985.0 on 75 meters. No nets in progress in Wisconsin so far. Please advise me right away should that change in any district or county with an activation or opening of an event related formal net. Thanks.

Gary Sorensen, W9ULK, Section Emergency Coordinator, Wisconsin Section



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