Emergency Communications

Ham radio supports disaster response

A severe tropical storm in The Phillipines and earthquakes in Indonesia have seen radio amateurs providing emergency communications and other relief and recovery assistance. Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) President, Dr Joey Panganiban DU1BP reports that a tropical storm named 'Ondoy' hit the Philippines five days ago creating a tragic calamity with hams swinging into action to help.

DARES provides emergency communications during EU Flooding Exercise

Between 22nd and 25th September 2009 the European Union is sponsoring a major international disaster exercise in the Netherlands called 'FloodEX' involving emergency services from five countries. As part of the exercise a call will be made upon the expertise and skills of radio amateurs who are part of the DARES (Dutch Amateur Radio Emergency Service) foundation.

In the exercise scenario dykes will break in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland due to extreme weather conditions causing a large part of the province to be flooded. Large scale evacuation and rescue operations will take place, while at the same large pumps will be deployed to try to drain the flooded land. 

The scenario is similar to the flooding disaster of 1953 where over 2000 lives were lost in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK and which was the start of emergency communications groups in some countries. To demonstrate the capability of the Amateur Radio Service in providing emergency communications, DARES has organized hundreds of participants in regions, aligned with the Dutch internal Authority boundaries. DARES will be paged by the central emergency call centre of the Dutch National Ambulance Service, over the robust P-2000 pager network. After which participants take up positions near emergency call centres, city halls, evacuation centres and, for example, rescue locations.

GAREC 2009 a success

The fifth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference, GAREC-2009, hosted by the Japan Amateur Radio League in conjunction with their Ham Fair took place on 24-25 August attended by 29 representatives from 14 countries. The event provided an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and practical experiences with other emergency communications groups.

Special Event Station TC17A in memory of the 1999 Izmit, Turkey Earthquake

On Sunday, 16 August around 16:00 UTC a Special Event Station with the call sign TC17A will participate in the Memorial Event for the tragic earthquake, which occurred in the town and region of Izmit (Turkey) on  17 August 1999.  The event will be attended by representatives of the countries that provided international assistance following this disaster 10 years ago. In recognition of their key role in emergency communications, the Turkish IARU Member Society, TRAC, has been invited to be part of the official program with a Special Event Station and with two of their emergency communication vehicles.

Use of 3760 in Poland - Back to normal

There is still a risk of flooding in the South West of Poland but currently the Public Communications systems are operating normally so it is appropriate to return 3760 to normal use with the normal procedures of;

  • Listen before transmitting
  • If you hear any station passing emergency traffic then leave the frequency clear and avoid causing QRM. Polish stations make use of the /D suffix to indicate emergency working and this should help in case of any language difficulties.

Thanks to all stations for their assistance and support.