Category: Emergency Communications

Indonesian Tsunami – 22nd December 2018

Dani YB2TJV, the IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Co-Ordinator reports that Amateur Radio is active in the response to the tsunami that happened on Dec 22nd, around 2130 local time.

Hundreds of people been killed or injured after the tsunami hit the coast around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait with hundreds of buildings damaged. The Indonesian Government says the possible cause of the tsunami was undersea landslides after the Krakatoa volcano erupted.

The Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean. The deaths were reported in the Pandeglang, South Lampung and Serang regions. The disaster management agency warned that the death toll is likely to rise further, adding that high seas as a result of the full moon may also have contributed to the strength of the waves.

Radio Amaters in Banten Province, have already taken positions to support Emergency communications needs,

The emergency frequency for VHF will be announced soon, but for HF as usual Orari will use 7.110 MHz. Please stay clear of that frequency if there is a chance you may cause QRM to their operations.

Emergency Comms Activities in Region 1 – Oct 13/14

October 13/14 is a busy weekend in IARU Region 1 with two major exercises and at least one emergency happening.

In Oman Younis A41MA reports that as Tropical Storm Luban heads towards Oman and Yemen the National Committee of Civil Defence has deployed resources to the South of the country ready to deal with the flooding predicted to hit the area. An initial four amateur radio volunteers are present to help provide links to any isolated locations. This operation is initially on VHF but HF is ready to be used if required. Storms in this area generally go under-reported but are just as severe as other disasters with the previous two tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea claiming nearly 300 lives.

In Spain their ‘Field Day 2018’ exercise takes place today ( 13th October ) with a focus on Net Control activities. HF is expected to be in use on 7110, 7145, 7175 and 14315kHz. Winlink and VHF/DMR will also be used. Full details are available at https://emergencias.ure.es/field-day-2018/ .

Finally Radio Amateurs in Romania are participating in an European Community Exercise in their country. ModEx 2018 will call for the use of 3710 and 7130kHz along with VHF/DMR, full information is at https://www.radioamator.ro/info.php?id=795 .

All exercises and actual emergencies should be expected to identify as ’emergency exercise’ or ‘exercise’ on the air. When these events are watched by representatives from our Administrations it is important that Amateur Radio is seen positively so please allow the operators room to operate.

Cuba – Hurricane Michael

In preparation for the effects of Hurricane Michael on Cuba, the Cuban Federation of Radio Amateurs are activating their emergency nets on the 40 and 80 meter bands.

Frequencies in use until further notice will be

40 meters primary 7110 kHz
40 meters secondary 7120 kHz
80 meters primary 3740 kHz
80 meters secondary 3720 kHz

Operation is foreseen to be on SSB voice and digital modes as required and the co-operation of other radio amateurs is requested in keeping these frequencies QRM free.

Indonesia Earthquakes and Tsunami

A sequence of earthquakes and a tsunami in the Indonesian areas of Donggala and Palu on 28th September have left hundreds of people dead and many more injured. Dani Halim, YB2TJV, as the new IARU R3 Disaster Communication Coordinator reports, Amateur Radio Operators in Indonesia immediately activated to respond to the disaster unfolding in Central Sulawesi Province.

Following the magnitude 7.7 earthquake at 17:02 Local Time (11:02 am UTC), electricity, cellular and all communication facilities in the area are cut off. Communications have been established from the Luwuk Disaster Management Agency located 700 km from the epicenter of the Earthquake with YD8MII (Net Control) and YC8OBM to get information on landslides occurring in the area and that communications routes were blocked. Many photos and videos now circulating on social media, show the enormity of the earthquake.

The Indonesian National Society ORARI immediately established an Emergency Net on 7.110 MHz and also activated the Lapan-Orari IO-86 satellite as a back up.

Communications have now been established with YB8NT and YB8PR in Palu who are using mobile stations.Due to QRM on 7.110MHz though, a second net has been set up on 7.065 MHz.

ORARI asks that they are given room to use 7.110 MHz and 7.065 MHz since this earthquake is could be worse than the one in Lombok in the end of August please allow them a QRM free space to complete their work.

Hawaii Hurricane ‘Lane’ and event updates

Hurricane ‘Lane’ is affecting Hawaii with heavy rainfall of nearly 1 meter forecast along with high tides caused by the storm surge. Combined, these effects are already causing significant flooding in the area. The following frequencies have been advised in use so far;
7080kHz – National Weather Service, Honolulu
7088kHz – Hawaii ARES
14.265MHz – SATERN ( Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network )
Together with other frequencies being used for Winlink formal message handling.

As this event starts, Karl YV5YA reports that activities in Venezuela on 7088kHz are coming to a close. The earthquake in the country caused the expected problems of cellular communication and power system failures but their networks worked well on HF and VHF including Echolink.

Finally in India, Jayu VU2JAU reports that activities in the Kerala region are now moving from rescue to recovery. Over 150 radio amateurs have been involved in 24/7 operations since the flooding began in that area with one team reporting over 8000 messages handled. It was reported that good use was made of social media channels in passing messages to families and taking details of missing persons for the authorities.
The remaining operations are focusing on reuniting friends and family who have been separated between evacuation centres and passing any other information required to the authorities.

Please help emergency communicators by keeping the frequencies in use QRM free. 

Amateur Radio responds to flooding in Kerala, India

Jayu VU2JAU reports that Radio Amateurs in the Indian state of Kerala are actively responding to this disaster. Flooding caused by monsoon rains and overflowing dams has currently killed over 300 people and left over 300,000 evacuated to relief camps.

They are using HF and VHF for both local and wide area communication between the Senior District Adminstrators and many of their local offices. Stations are working 24 hours a day on 7110kHz and 145.5MHz as well as a local 2m repeater at Idukki. The stations are involved in passing messages assisting the administration in running the evacuation, such as organising food, water, medicines etc..

The preparedness of Amateur Radio has been demonstrated to the State Disaster Management Authorities and Local Adminstrations before and is now being put to good use.

Many radio amateurs in the area ( too many callsigns to list here ) are already active and many more are ready to assist. Stations outside India are asked to help by avoiding QRM to their operations. 

Indonesia – Lombok Earthquake

As Radio Amateurs in Indonesia respond for the second time to an Earthquake in the Lombok area, please take care to avoid causing QRM to their activities on 7.110MHz and emergency activities on satellite IO-86.

The second powerful earthquake inthe area killed at least 98 people and seriously injured more than 200 others. The electricity supply in the area is disrupted and the ORARI of West Nusa Tenggara Region led by YB9KA and YB9GV have taken action to cover areas with no cellular coverage including taking battery supplies to affected repeaters. At the moment four repeaters are operating in the disaster area with ORARI HQ asking their Bali Island Region (the closest area) to provide further repeater support for use by emergency communications in Lombok.

ORARI HQ has also issued an official request to the nearest region, to help with both logistics and personnel to Lombok, and designating a National Frequency for the Lombok Earthquake at 7.110 MHz for HF, VHF on 145.500 MHz Simplex and 147.000 MHz Duplex, and also to activate ORARI Satellite LAPAN IO-86, to assist with communication.

The Central Java Region of the Indonesian Search And Rescue Council has sent a group of rescuers and vehicles, lead by YB2QC the Operation and Technical Head of ORARI to join the National Rescue Operation in Lombok and ORARI Jakarta is also arranging the delivery of logistical assistance to Lombok.

(Summary of information from Dani YB2TJV )

Emergency Communications Meeting – Friedrichshafen 2018

The 43rd HamRadio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen attracted 15460 visitors, among them around 20 Emergency Communicators who attended the IARU meeting for Emergency Communicators on Friday 1st June.

After the introduction and Region 1 report, there were interesting presentations followed by a good exchange of information in an Open Forum session which carried on beyond the official closing time of the meeting.

Michal SP9XWM and Chris SP7WME presented on emergency activities in Poland followed by Herbert OE3KJN talking about their activities in ‘Exercise Solar Flare’ where there was good co-operation between Radio Amateurs, the military and service providers. Finally Alberto IK1YLO and Marco IU1GJE spoke about the internet linked DMR network they were working on for disaster use. 

The presentations are available on the following links;

Region 1 Emergency Co-Ordinators ReportSP-EMCOM , Exercise Solar Flare ( Austria ) , RNRE DMR Network proposals .

( Content is the opinion of the presenters )

The next Ham Radio on the Bodensee is on June 21-23 2019 and will include another emergency comms meeting.

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2018

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from 1st June to 30th November this year. So it is time to remind the wider Amateur Radio community that the following frequencies may be in use by nets in North and Central America to track and deal with the consequences of these severe weather events. Radio Amateurs in Region 2 play their part in gathering and distributing information for the weather and emergency services as they do every year.

Radio Amateurs in Region 1 are reminded it is possible to cause unintentional QRM to these nets so please listen carefully if operating near these frequencies:

Belize: 7.177MHz
Caribbean Emergency & Weather Nets (CEWN): 3.815 & 7.162 MHz
Caribbean Emergency: 14.185 MHz
Central America: 7.090 & 3.750 MHz
Cuba: 3.720, 3.740, 7.110 and 7.120 MHz
Eastern Caribbean Narrow Band Emergency System Net: 7.036 MHz USB (Olivia & MT63)
Guatemala: 7.075 MHz
Mexico: 3.690, 3.693(Alternative), 7.060 & 14.120 MHz
Nicaragua: Main Frequencies 3.798, 7.098, 14.298 MHz Alternate Frequencies 3.898, 7.108, 14.198MHz
Panama: 7.085 MHz
Republica Dominicana: 3.780, 7.065 (Main), 14.280 MHz

USA:
Maritime Mobile Service Net: 14.300 MHz
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN): 14.265 MHz
Hurricane Watch Net: 14.325 MHz (day) 7.268MHz (Night)
National Hurricane Centre ( WX4NHC ) 14.325MHz

Other local emergency communications groups may also activate if a hurricane approaches their area and those frequencies would be announced at the time.

Thanks to the National Societies and Emergency Communications Groups of IARU Region 2 for updating their frequency information.

Hamvention 2018: ARRL Renews Memorandum of Understanding with SATERN, Promotes Partnerships at Forum

ARRL and The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) today renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations that spells out how they will work together in disaster and emergency responses. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, signed the MoU on behalf of ARRL on Hamvention’s opening day in Xenia, Ohio. SATERN National…

Cuba’s “Operation Meteor” will Involve Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio will have a role in Cuba’s soon-to-be-launched “Operation Meteor,” aimed at aiding the island nation in preparing for natural disasters. Among the new strategies under review for implementation are civilian first-aid training; assist and rescue missions; damage control, and large-scale needs assessment. The nationwide initiative aims to mitigate the impact of natural disasters,…

ARRL Suspends Registration for Emergency Communications Course, as Online Platform Announces Shutdown

Registration for “Introduction to Emergency Communications” (EC-001) was suspended on April 30, after ARRL learned that the online platform provider for the course — Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) — is being dissolved, effective July 1, according to CTDLC’s parent, Charter Oak State College. [su_button url=”http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-suspends-registration-for-emergency-communications-course-as-online-platform-announces-shutdown”]Read the Original Article[/su_button]

Amateur Radio’s Service and Support Commended on National Volunteer Week

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, used the occasion of National Volunteer Week, April 15 – 21, to express gratitude to “the thousands of Amateur Radio operators who have given, and who continue to give, of their time and expertise” to serve as vital communication links during emergencies, disasters, and community events. [su_button url=”http://www.arrl.org/news/view/amateur-radio-s-service-and-support-commended-on-national-volunteer-week”]Read the Original…

ARRL Seeks EC-001 Mentors!

Since the beginning of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications training program, ARRL has relied on the work of mentors to help guide those interested in volunteering to serve their communities. Our mentors represent the best in Amateur Radio public service communications training and make a substantial difference in how students approach service to their communities…

Amateur Radio Emergency Service Transitioning to New Online Reporting System

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will phase out the traditional ARES report forms later this year in favor of an online system called ARES Connect, a volunteer management, communications, and reporting system. The new system will allow information to be logged by ARES members and managed through the Field Organization. The advent of ARES…

Practicing for disaster

Radio amateurs and various agencies came together at the Copperas Cove Civic Center in central Texas on Saturday, January 27 to deal with a mock disaster [su_button url=”http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2018/february/practicing-for-disaster.htm”]Full Original Article[/su_button]

The Cold War bunkers still in use

A BBC news story from 2012 reports that bunkers from the Cold War are still in use For the full article, http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2018/february/the-cold-war-bunkers-still-in-use.htm [su_button url=”http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2018/february/the-cold-war-bunkers-still-in-use.htm”]Full Original Article[/su_button]

Emergency Communications Meeting at HamRadio 2018

1-3 June beings the largest gathering of Radio Amateurs in Europe and also the largest gathering of Emergency Communicators at HAMRADIO 2018 in Friedrichshafen. IARU Region 1 will be hosting a meeting for Radio Amateurs interested in Emergency Communications in Room Rom on Friday 1st June between 1200-1530 local time. The Working language for this…

Dominica Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Cites Amateur Radio’s Role after Maria

A post-hurricane disaster needs assessment published this past fall by the Government of Dominica points up the significance of Amateur Radio’s role in the relief and recovery effort on the tiny Caribbean island nation in the wake of Hurricane Maria last September. It also calls for expanding the pool of radio amateurs on the island…

Thomas Fire Response Also Demonstrates Amateur Radio’s Social Media Value

Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC) members kept a close watch on the Thomas Fire after it broke out in early December. Using a variety of the club’s analog and digital Amateur Radio assets, radio operators were able to observe fire-fighting efforts first hand and pass along immediate information, often before it was reported by…