ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB069 (1999)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB069
ARLB069 Ham Radio Supporting Storm Response

ZCZC AG69
QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 69  ARLB069
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 15, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB069
ARLB069 Ham Radio Supporting Storm Response

Response to the threat posed by Hurricane Floyd has galvanized hams
throughout the southeastern US. While the Hurricane Watch Net
continues to assist weather forecasters in tracking the progress of
the huge and dangerous storm, members of the Amateur Radio Emergency
Service and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service are assisting
governmental agencies and relief organizations such as the Red
Cross.

Hams in the Bahamas continued to feed damage reports to the
Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325 MHz. In addition to weather
observations, several Bahamian stations passed along damage reports.
No health and welfare traffic is being handled, however. Amateur
reports from the Bahamas indicate no deaths or serious injuries so
far in the Bahamas, but there has been extensive property damage.
The Bahamas suffered significant tree damage in many areas, as well
as roofs blown off, boat docks severely damaged, boats aground,
power and telephone lines down, and roads washed away.

Hurricane Watch Net participants and controllers have been hampered
by less than ideal propagation.

Northern Florida SEC Nils Millergren, WA4NDA, reports hams were
helping to provide communication at shelters in more inland
counties, where thousands of coastal residents and visitors have
taken refuge, as well as assisting in communication for hospitals
and ambulance services. Millergren reports that Volusia County alone
has 21 shelters open housing some 3000 evacuees. He says 10 shelters
are open in Seminole County, one filled to capacity, housing more
than 900 evacuees, while hams are helping to staff shelters in
Columbia and Alachua counties sheltering more than 3200 evacuees and
more than three dozen ARES members on duty at those sites. Shelters
also are open in Flagler, Lake, and Orange counties, providing
refuge for another 1800 or so evacuees.

The FCC has asked hams not involved in the storm emergency to avoid
designated frequencies on HF and VHF that are being used for
emergency traffic. The voluntary communications emergency now
includes 3993.5 and 3915 kHz in South Carolina, 3923, 3926 and 7232
kHz in North Carolina, 7275 kHz and 3975 kHz in Georgia, and 3620,
3910, 3947, 7260, and 7105 kHz in Virginia. In addition, the FCC
requested that hams relinquish 145.17, 145.43, 145.73, 146.76, 147.3
and 147.36 for emergency traffic in Virginia. The FCC has canceled
the voluntary communications emergency declared yesterday for 3950
and 7242 kHz for emergency traffic in Florida.

Some health and welfare traffic was being passed on 14.262 MHz, but
the US does not have a third-party traffic agreement in place with
the Bahamas.

Hams in Georgia also are staffing Red Cross shelters and emergency
nets. North Carolina Section Manager Reed Whitten, AB4W, was seeking
additional operators from other parts of the state to back up local
operators in the Wilmington and Lumberton areas. Radio operators
have been stationed at the state Emergency Operations Center and
were preparing to activate at county EOCs.

As of the morning of September 15, Hurricane Floyd was about 190
miles east-southeast of Jacksonville, Florida, some 350 miles south
of Wilmington, North Carolina, and moving north-northwest at nearly
14 MPH. Maximum sustained winds are 125 MPH.
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/EX