ARRL

News

Surfin’: Hurricane Hamming

09/03/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ makes plans for emergency communications of the hurricane variety.  

As I write this, Connecticut and the Northeast are looking down the barrel of Hurricane Earl. It looks like my neck of the woods will only receive a glancing, but powerful blow, but points south and east of us will not be so lucky.

Having lived through direct hits from two major hurricanes in my lifetime -- Diane in 1955 and Gloria in 1985 -- I am always leery when the forecasts place us within a cone of uncertainty that can bring death and destruction on our doorstep. Such times move me to refresh my knowledge about what is on the air that can get us through these uncertain weather conditions.

Besides checking the National Hurricane Center regularly for updates and reading weatherman K1GF’s blog coverage on the subject, the Hurricane Watch Net is a critical ham radio communications resource in times like these. Volunteers man the Hurricane Watch Net and the operation of WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. They activate whenever a system has achieved hurricane status and is within 300 miles of populated land mass or at the request of the National Hurricane Center. Net operations occur on 14.325 MHz.

Meanwhile, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) that consists of hams who voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for public service communications when disaster strikes, will be active if and when a hurricane strikes. Contact your ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) to see how you can help. You can find your SEC by selecting your section from the ARRL Sections list.

Until next time, keep on surfin’.

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, is battening down the hatches. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



Back