Amateur Radio continues Hurricane Rita response

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Amateur Radio continues Hurricane Rita response

Post by Linnea » 09-27-2005 09:41 AM

ARLB022 Amateur Radio continues Hurricane Rita response

ARRL Bulletin 22 ARLB022
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT September 26, 2005
To all radio amateurs

ARLB022 Amateur Radio continues Hurricane Rita response

Amateur Radio volunteers have been utilizing a variety of modes,
including HF, VHF-UHF, Winlink and VoIP, to pass Hurricane
Rita-related traffic. The West Gulf ARES Emergency Net continues
24-hour operation on 7.285 MHz days/3.873 MHz evenings, with
health-and-welfare traffic taking place on 7.285 MHz days/3.935 MHz
evenings. The net also is using 7.290 MHz. The Salvation Army Team
Emergency Net (SATERN) has been activating at 1400 UTC daily on
14.265 MHz and monitoring for emergency requests. All amateurs are
requested to keep these HF net frequencies clear for Hurricane Rita
emergency operations.

Authorities were not yet allowing residents or relief agencies into
some of the hardest-hit communities in Texas and Louisiana, and it's
not known yet what Amateur Radio assistance will be needed for those
areas. Reports say downed trees and flooding are the primary
reasons. As of Sunday, officials were restricting reentry to the
Texas counties of Jefferson--where Beaumont and Port Arthur are
located--and Orange. South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Jerry
Reimer, KK5CA, says the fact that potential ham radio volunteers
were among the evacuees created some gaps for ARES.

''Included in the mandatory evacuation areas were five ARES
emergency coordinators, one district emergency coordinator and
nearly all their ARES registrants,'' Reimer noted. ''To the surprise
of many people, mandatory evacuation orders also applies to Amateur
Radio operators, which left some key facilities short of their
last-minute expectations.'' He said it also left some county
emergency operations centers (EOCs) without operators, although the
EOC staffs knew this ahead of time.

Many ARES operators who had been positioned in advance at critical
facilities in the Greater Houston area--including police substations
and hospitals--have been released, Reimer reported over the weekend.
ARES operators remained on-duty at the state EOC in Austin, Harris
County EOC, Houston Emergency Center, and state DEM regional
headquarters (DDC).

Over the weekend, Harris County emergency management was requesting
that ARES provide reports of traffic volume on major highways
leading into the county.

Reimer said Winlink proved highly useful at the Harris County EOC,
even though there was reliable Internet and e-mail. ''The primary
mail server also hosts the OEM Web server, a key source of
information for citizens, greatly slowing the system,'' he said.

In Louisiana, radio amateurs who live north of Interstate 10 were
reported to be returning home and getting back on the air to
confront any communication needs. Louisiana SEC Gary Stratton,
K5GLS, told ARRL Sunday that southwestern Louisiana was not
requesting outside assistance from Amateur Radio operators at this
point. DEC Alan Levine, WA5LQZ, was reported checking with local
governments--many relocated to other areas--to determine needs
before ARES members were deployed from other areas of Louisiana.

ARRL Public Service Team Leader Steve Ewald, WV1X, says the
situation is changing by the hour. ''At the moment, it sounds like
radio amateurs from the affected areas and those there now are
handling the communication needs for the served agencies,'' he said.
''As areas that were strongly hit by Rita begin to open up and folks
can start to go into those areas to clean up and sort things out,
then there's a chance of a call for volunteers from outside the

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on 14.325 MHz secured operation
Saturday at 1700 UTC after Rita had been downgraded to a tropical
storm. The net works in conjunction with WX4NHC at the National
Hurricane Center in Miami to relay ground-level weather data to

WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said
without EchoLink and IRLP modes used on the VoIP Hurricane Net,
WX4NHC would not have received some vital reports. VoIP Hurricane
Net Manager Rob Macedo, KD1CY, said the ability to connect EchoLink
PC users, EchoLink and IRLP repeaters and links via the same system
offers a lot of flexibility in obtaining reports from the affected
area including reports from amateurs who do not have HF privileges.

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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 09-29-2005 06:09 AM


With terrestrial communications largely destroyed and both wireless and wireline telephone systems out of service, emergency responders along the Gulf Coast often turned to ham radio operators and their "antiquated" technology to transmit health and welfare traffic into and out of the disaster zone.

Writing in Electronic Design, David Maliniak, AD2A, reminds readers that "there are times when old isn't necessarily bad; in fact, sometimes old works when new doesn't."

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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 10-07-2005 07:09 AM


W8ILC: The destruction down here is just unbelieveable. You have to see it first hand to believe whats happening:


That Ron Moorefield, W8ILC, who is one of the hams involved in ham radio communications support in southern Mississippi. Ron tells Newsline that a month after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, ham radio is still the only way to communicate for many areas:


W8ILC: Cellphone service is still not normal down here. There are an awful lot of dropped calls. A lot of cell sites have been destroyed.

They are getting the infrastructure back in order as soon as possible but still there are a lot of problems. So Amateur Radio is really needed.


Also needed are a lot of relief operators to come to the Bilixi and Gulfport areas because those there now there need some relief. Ron says that you have the time, your help is really needed:


W8ILC: I've been checking in with the Emergency Operations Centers and various Red Cross Chapters in the Biloxi, Gulfport and even over into Mobile, Alabama. Please contact your ARRL Emergency Coordinator or ARRL Director to get on a list to be deployed to help out for maybe a period of two weeks or so.


Those wishing to volunteer can also sign up on line at Currently over 100 hams are still serving in areas ravaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF. Don. (ARNewsline)
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