Emergency Communications

Caribbean Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is getting widespread news coverage and will affect many countried in the Carribean. There are the usual American nets set up to gather information on the storm on 14.265 and 14.325MHz. Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator for IARU Region 2 also reminds us of the following frequencies which may be in use in the area.  As always, for those frequencies within the Region 1 frequency allocations, please take steps to avoid interference to emergency operations.

Dominican Republic
80 meters 3,780 kHz
40 meters 7,065 Khz

Cuba
40 meters Daytime 7,110 kHz as primary frequency, and 7,120 kHz as secondary frequency
Frequencies 7,045, 7,080 kHz for Provincial Network.
80 meters Night time 3,740 kHz as primary frequency, and 3,720 kHz as secondary frequency.

Puerto Rico
80 meters Primary Frequency 3,873 kHz 3,815 kHz Secondary Frequency
40 meters Primary Frequency 7,182 kHz 7,255 kHz Secondary Frequency
20 meters Primary Frequency 14,330 kHz
15 meters Primary Frequency 21.360 kHz
10 meters Primary Frequency 28.330 kHz

Lesser Antilles (Windward & Leeward Islands)

Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net (CEWN)
80 meters 3.815 kHz
40 meters 7.162 kHz when needed

Monsoonal rains hit India

The eastern side of India was inundated by seasonal monsoon rain with the major affected area being most of the Bihar state villages.

National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India, Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU, reports that HAMS from East Bengal and Patna were in action passing messages during the flooding.

The emergency communications helped the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams. All HAMs assisted in controlling the communication on VHF mainly.

The situation was brought under control. The NDRF rescued most of the people identified by the HAMS in their message handling.

The affected areas now mainly face a problem with drinking water as all the boring pumps are contaminated due to the flood. Fresh water and food packets are reaching the flood area.

The monsoonal rain also affected neighbouring Bangladesh but no report on emergency communications from there had been provided.

– Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee with Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India

Finland Emergency Communications Exercise 25-27 August

A National voluntary rescue service (Vapepa) exercise is being held in Finland this weekend ( 25-27 Aug ) , with the most activity taking place on Saturday. Radio amateurs will serve in local/regional exercises providing VHF Emergency communications on 6m, 2m, DMR etc. Digimodes are however preferred.
Their Radio Amateurs will also provide a Nationwide HF network on 60m and 80m using the Winlink system. That activity is focusing on four local Winlink access points between 3580 - 3605 kHz.

In total the exercise will have an estimated 1000 participants with 100 Radio Amateurs assisting.

If you hear traffic from this exercise, please allow a clear frequency so that Amateur Radio can be presented in the best possible way.

North American Nets activating for Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast in the USA, various nets are activating as part of the emergency response. In addition to tropical and hurricane-force winds along the Texas coast and further inland, the main concern with this storm is heavy rain and flooding in an area which has not has a hurricane make landfall for 9 years.

Many of the frequencies used will be outside Region 1 allocations in 80m and 40m but there are some in 20m which may suffer from European QRM if operators are not careful.

The US National Hurricane Centre station WX4NHC will activate at 1900UTC 25th August on 14.325 MHz

The Hurricane Watch Net is operating from 1500 UTC on their daytime frequency of 14.325.00 MHz. When the 20 meter band closes they are likely to move over to 7.268.00 MHz or from 0000 UTC.

VOIP Hurricane Net likely to activate at 2 PM EDT/1800 UTC on Friday 25th August

The Southern Territory SATERN Net will activate for one day (so far) on Saturday, 26 August 2017 during local daylight hours on its regular frequency of 7.262 MHz.

Radio Amateurs are encouraged to listen carefully before transmitting to avoid QRM to Emergency activities.

Emergency Communications Activities at HamRadio 2017

The 42nd HamRadio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen attracted 17110 visitors, among them many Emergency Communicators who attended the two meetings for Emergency Communicators at the event or looked at the exhibits in the main hall.

On Friday 14th July, the first IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications meeting was held in the English language with an average 15 attendees from 10 countries. The Open Forum as usual could have lasted longer with many good discussions and points raised, there was a very well received presentation from Alberto IK1YLO and Marco IU1GJE about the RNRE response to the Earthquakes and disasters in Italy in 2016. The results from the RAYNET-UK survey of their groups about the technology they used and how it matched the needs of their users were provided. The session closed with two discussion sessions about how we could organise international networks and when we should think of an event as an emergency. The discussion session presentations have been modified to provide a very short summary of what the session wanted to achieve. The presentations are available on the following links;

RAYNET-UK Technology Survey, RNRE Sisma 2016-7, What is an Emergency ( Discussion Session ), How do we create an International Network ( Discussion ) .

For the Region 1 report presentation contact the Regional co-ordinator directly here.

On Saturday the DARC Notfunk Universitaet took place with many presentations on skills and techniques in the German language from German, Swiss and Austrian presenters. An initial report on DARC Notfunk activities is available at;

http://www.darc.de/der-club/referate/notfunk/meldungen/meldungen-details/news/42-ham-radio/

The next Ham Radio on the Bodensee is on June 1-3 2018.