Emergency Communications

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2010

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially runs from 1st June to 30 November each year and  Tropical Storm Alex has become the first 'named' storm of this year. Amateur Radio continues to play a part in gathering and distributing information for the weather and emergency services each year.

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

14.300 MHz is used by the Maritime Mobile Service Net daily and as well as handling traffic from Maritime Mobile Stations, also gathers weather reports from maritime stations to assist forecasters.

14.325 MHz is used by the Hurricane Watch Net and the net is established whenever it appears that a storm may affect the US mainland. The net gathers weather information and links to the American National Hurricane Centre.

14.265 MHz is used by the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio  Network ( SATERN )  provides Health and Welfare traffic links for those in affected areas as well as supporting the Salvation Army Disaster relief response should a hurricane strike.

Frequencies used in Cuba
7.045, 7.080, 7.110 MHz
3.740 MHz

Frequencies used in Central America;
Red Centro Americana :  7.090 and 3.750MHz
Guatemala: 7.075 MHz
Nicaragua: 7.098 MHz

Mexico (FMRE)3.690 and 7.060 MHz

Cuba and Mexico co-operate with long distance relays on 40m when propagation makes this possible.

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

Final report - Qinghai province earthquake

The 7.1 Richter scale earthquake that struck China's Qinghai province on 14 April killed more than 2,000 people and relief efforts are continuing for those left homeless. A day of national mourning was held on 21 April. Amateur radio operators in China were widely involved in the disaster relief actions. They were from Beijing, Sichuan, Shandong, Anhui, Qinghai and Jiangsu, travelling to the disaster centre.

There in poor weather conditions they helped in the transportation of medicines, tents, food and clothes to the disaster area. The amateur radio operators were even directly involved in disaster rescue activities. One Beijing amateur radio rescue team saved 6 people. The high altitude caused 90% of the amateur radio rescue team members to have Plateau Reaction (altitude sickness), but no one was injured during their efforts to help others affected by the disaster.

Qinghai province earthquake Report #2

The official toll following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Qinghai province in north west China as at 10am local time 18 April is 1706 deaths and 12,128 people injured. Local authorities estimate that up to 90 percent of buildings collapsed.

The Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA) reports that amateur radio rescue teams from An Hui, Qinghai, Beijing, Shandong, Jiangsu, Sichuan provinces have joined the disaster mitigation efforts.

The rescue and recovery efforts following the quake that occurred on 14 April are difficult in the area which is a mountainous plateau more than 4,000 metres above sea level that experiences with very low overnight temperatures.


The amateur radio teams have set up VHF and UHF repeaters to provide quick support communications, 7050 kHz and 7060 kHz are their main HF QRGs, and sometimes 14270 kHz in 20 meter band has been used.

Qinghai province earthquake report #1

The following information has been received from Jim Linton VK3PC, IARU Region 3 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

The Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA) has asked that the frequencies of 7050kKHz and 7060kHz be kept clear for emergency ham radio communications following a devastating earthquake in Yu Shu district, Qinghai province. A number of radio amateurs are already active in supporting the rescue and recovery efforts including BG9UA, BG9UP and BG9UO.

The emergency communication team of Anhui amateur radio society, led by Mr Du BG6CEV was flying to Qinghai today (15 April) to bring communication equipment. The earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale occurred on the morning of Tuesday has left 589 people dead, nearly 10,000 injured and 10,000 families needing to be resettled due to 99% of houses damaged.

Yu Shu located in a plateau with temperatures fall to -5 degrees (minus five degrees) making conditions bad for those without shelter as well as hampering rescue efforts. Water, electricity and other facilities are cut.

(Report provided by Fan Bin BA1RB, CRSA Coordinator of the IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Conmmittee via Jim Linton VK3PC)

Global Simulated Emergency Tests - 2010

The dates for the Global Simulated Emergency Tests in 2010 have been set as:

  • 15th May 2010 0400-0800 UTC
  • 13th November 2010 1100-1500 LOCAL TIME

The timing for the event is planned to change in November to reduce the possibility of interference between IARU Regions as propagation conditions improve.Other changes may be introduced following the GAREC conference in October. Rules and lists of participating stations in the event will be available on the IARU Region 1 website at http://bit.ly/1tritU . Please check frequently for updates.