Emergency Communications

Honduras earthquake

HondurasAt 08:24:45 UTC today (Thursday, May 28, 2009) an earthquake of 7.1 magnitude hit by the shore of Honduras.  Initial reports from Dr. Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P, IARU Region 2 Emergency Coordinator report no mayor damages however Region 2 kindly asks to give priority to emergency traffic if you find it on our bands, especially around 7,090 MHz. Read more on http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2009heak.php#details

Italian Earthquake update - 11th April

Alberto IK1YLO received a phone call from Dipartimento della Protezione Civile at 20:00 UTC 10 April stating that the use of HF for emergency communications was being closed down and all activities were being transferred to L'Aquila. The transfer was to be completed by the morning of 11 April.

Monitoring the frequency today there do not appear to be any other emergency groups using the frequency over the last 24 hours so it is appropriate to return it to normal use and let normal amateur procedures apply,

- Listen before transmitting.

- If you hear any station passing emergency traffic then leave the frequency clear and avoid causing QRM.

Thanks to all stations for their assistance and support.

RAI television report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8JLqf5_Bo

Italian Earthquake update 10 April

A summary of the latest information from Alberto IK1YLO:

It is expected that volunteer activities from a wide range of organisations will continue in L'Aquila for several months from now as the community rebuilds. To manage this response volunteers will be changed every week, working there from Saturday to Saturday and currently it is reported 10000 volunteers are involved. A large number of Amateur Radio responders are still present from the different emergency communications groups in the country.

Italian Earthquake - 6th April 2009

A report of the current response to the earthquake which affected L'Aquila in Italy has been received from Alberto IK1YLO, the IARU Emergency Communications Coordinator for Italy.

To permit co-ordination of the arrival of emergency responders to the disaster amateurs are requested to exercise caution around 3640kHz LSB and 7040/7045kHz LSB and avoid causing QRM to those responding to this emergency.

Read more: Italian Earthquake - 6th April 2009

Emergency Operating Procedures

The IARU emergency telecommunications guide was developed to provide materials suitable for training Radio Amateurs to participate in emergency events and guidance to the individual amateur radio operator who wants to improve their ability to participate in such events or to simply have a better understanding of the process.

Originally produced in English , Radio Amateurs around the world have worked hard to translate the 94 page document into their local languages. So far translations are available in the following languages;

Portuguese  by Luiz Fernando Pesce PU2LXN

Spanish by EA1CI EA2BB EA3HUL EB3DGZ EA4GQB EA8AWK.

and Romanian in HTTP and PDF formats by Francisc Grünberg, YO4PX

It is hoped that these translations will improve the knowledge of Radio Amateurs in Emergency Communications and hopefully this process will be repeated for other languages.

The guide though deals with the organisation of emergency networks but in an emergency message passing needs to be quick and accurate, in fact we should always aim for 100% accuracy. However within Region 1 we speak many languages and because of the different risks in our own countries there are local differences in message formatting, this can cause problems for accurate and speedy message handling.

Since the 1980's the IARU has had a HF Emergency Operating Procedures document to try and enable efficient message handling but individual Groups have, with justification developed and used local procedures to meet their own needs. However in an international context the benefits of having messages in a common format cannot be emphasised too much. Language barriers can be broken down and we can have more confidence that we are all handling the message consistently. The procedure is not as up-to-date as some Groups may wish, but across the region we have a great variation in skills and we need a procedure which we can use today if the need arises and then build on it and add improvements as the Region becomes familiar with its use.

The GlobalSET exercises have increased interest in International Emergency Communications using all modes and to support the objective of creating “practices for international emergency communication”, the IARU format will be used for future exercises. To help, the Procedure is being translated into a number of languages and links to the current versions are shown below.

English, French, German, GreekItalian, Romanian, Spanish, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Turkish

If you have translations of this document into other languages, please let the IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator know.

Sample Forms

A sample message form for the IARU HF emergency operating procedure can be downloaded here.

For recording message traffic in the Global Simulated Emergency Tests, please use this spreadsheet - GlobalSETLogv2.xls

An example of a completed log can be seen here - GlobalSETLogv2-example

Other forms and earlier versions of documents can be found here.