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VoIP Hurricane Net Looking to Recruit Net Control Operators

05/07/2008

The VoIP Hurricane Net is looking for Net Control Operators (NCOs) to assist with its weekly Hurricane Preparation Net and during Hurricane Net activations. The VoIP Hurricane Net, created in 2002, is a support net working with WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The VoIP Net Management team is looking for NCOs from any geographic area to maintain a net for as long as emergency communications are required before, during and shortly after hurricanes; this could be up to 24 hours a day and sometimes for several days. Net Control Operators from the Pacific, Asia, Australia/New Zealand and other international areas can play a critical role in assisting our net operations during the overnight hours of a North American activation during their local daytime, providing North American NCOs rest during their normal overnight hours.

The VoIP Hurricane Net uses a cross-link between an IRLP Reflector channel and an EchoLink conference, allowing the NHC to access Amateur Radio operators who do not have access to HF communications; Amateur Radio operators located at official National Weather Service (NWS) offices and Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) also provide severe weather and damage reports to WX4NHC. This is also useful in times when poor HF propagation does not allow contact with the NHC, making it another way to reach the NHC with critical weather and damage reports in times of a communications emergency caused by hurricanes. VoIP technology can also be utilized for other weather related and disaster communications. Operations at WX4NHC are organized by National Hurricane Center Coordinator John McHugh, K4AG, and Assistant National Hurricane Center Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R.

Individuals who possess any of the following qualifications are encouraged to apply to become Net Control Operators:

• Most importantly, a sincere desire to serve as a Net Control Operator and the ability to be flexible with the pressure and issues that can arise during a Hurricane Net activation.

• Prior experience with an emergency or Public Support Net.

• Prior experience with running a club or VoIP Net.

• Net Control Training through a local Amateur Emergency/Public Service group.

• Incident Command Training.

SKYWARN Weather Spotter Training or equivalent international weather spotting training.

• Any professional experience as a communications dispatcher.

Fluent Spanish speakers are also encouraged to apply to become NCOs in order to further support operations in South and Central America, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The VoIP Net Management team will be offering NCO training in the coming weeks. If you're interested in becoming an NCO, please contact Director of VoIP Hurricane Net Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY, or VoIP Hurricane Net Weekly and Activation Net Control Scheduler Jim Palmer, KB1KQW. -- Information provided by VoIP Hurricane Net Public Information Officer Lloyd Colston, KC5FM



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