Emergency Communications

IARU at World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu last weekend. Recovery is expected to take a very long time.

The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all who had been there struggling to recognise damaged landmarks now being shown on TV news.

Like other countries in the region very few local radio amateurs exist, and no communication has been heard from many islands.

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale was at the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai Japan and made an emotional plea for humanitarian assistance.

All of the development made by Vanuatu has been swept up in the widespread devastation that has been deaths, injuries, loss of power and communications, with up to 70% of the population displaced. President Lonsdale has now returned to Vanuatu.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 was on a panel as part of the UN Conference at Tohoku University, organised by the International Telecommunications Union Development (ITU-D) Sector.

IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide

The International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council has released this guide which has been developed to provide of radio amateurs materials so they may train for emergency events.

It also provides individuals who have little or no experience in handling emergency communications, but desire to enhance their ability or to simply better understand the process involved.

IARU Secretary, Rod Stafford W6ROD said member-societies are encouraged to distribute this guide, if necessary, translate it into a language used within their own country.

Topics covered include an introduction to emergency communications, served agency relationships, needed skills and training, how various networks operate, message handling, deployment, equipment, and setting up or shutting down.

This guide can also be used in conjunction with other materials by leaders in the emergency communication community to train radio operators in the basic theory and practice of handling emergency communications traffic.

The 21-chapter IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide can be found at:


The IARU International Secretariat welcomes any feedback, comments or suggestions on it that can be sent to the Secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GAREC 2015 details announced

The only international conference on Amateur Radio Emergency Communications will be held in June at Tampere, Finland, with the theme of ‘Cooperating with Authorities’.

Tampere saw the birth of the annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference (GAREC) in 2005. This vital conference has returned to that city, with all involved in emergency communications throughout the world being invited.

A prestigious keynote address will be given during the conference that is hosted by the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SARL) and organised by Finland’s national emergency communications society Suomen Radioturva (SRT).

The third largest city in Finland, Tampere has a lively engagement in providing emergency communications through SRT to the authorities.

Program Committee Chairman Dr. Seppo Sisättö OH1VR will review GAREC from 2005 to 2015, along with a non-government emergency relief agency.

The IARU Regional 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator, Greg Mossop G0DUB will chair a very interesting discussion on ‘Cooperating with Authorities - What have we done?’

The ‘Tools for Amateur Radio EmComms’ will be discussed, along with a ‘Long Range Provincial EmComm Repeater’ to be introduced by Juha Hartikka OH7HJ.

Reports are to be delivered from the IARU Regions 1, 2 and 3, in a session chaired by Jyri Putkonen OH7JP the SRT President.

Among the GAREC 2015 moderators are Merja Koivaara OH1EG, SRAL President, and a National Emergency Supply Agency Representative.

GAREC 2015 will be in the Hotel Cumulus, Koskikatu 5, Tampere, Finland on June 23-24. Many delegates can also travel to Friedrichshafen, Germany, and enjoy Europe’s largest Hamfest that starts on June 26.

A preliminary GAREC 2015 program, accommodation and registration are available at http://www.radioturva.fi/garec-2015/

Major flooding in two South-East Asian countries

Monsoon floods that hit parts of Malaysia and Thailand appears now to have eased but the big clean-up continues.

Johnny Tan 9M8DB of the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) says the flooding is the worst for a long time in the north of Malaysia, claiming lives and forcing thousands to evacuate.

After being active on 7.110 MHz for some days, the official word is that all have now been stood down from maintaining links to handle disaster traffic.

Johnny 9M8DB says stations in Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Kemaman and Bachok remain active for a while for local welfare messages and urgent communications in the flood affected states.

Meantime the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) Secretary Champ Muangamphun E21EIC described the flooding in southern Thailand as not disrupting normal communications, such as mobile phone networks or the Internet. The need for emergency communications by radio amateurs was not needed, but support was available to help those in Malaysia.

Champ E21EIC says flood levels have decreased slightly while assistance by distributing food in flooded areas was under way.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Hurricane Watch net activated for Hurricane Gonzalo

The Hurricane Watch Net has been activated for Hurricane Gonzalo currently at sea in the Caribbean and expected to reach the British and US Virgin Islands.

The net is using 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz. Please keep those frequencies clear.

It passed near Antigua as a tropical storm, tearing roofs from houses and knocking down trees before further strengthening and is now classified as a hurricane.

– Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.