Emergency Communications

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.

A Spanish translation of this article is available from here.

Nepal Earthquake - Report from Region 3

The following information has been received from Region 3 this morning. Note that the Nepalese amateurs are working on VHF locally and at the time of the report the external net on HF was on 14.210 MHz. 3 hours ago a Twitter report stated that the net had moved to 14.215MHz.

73,
Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

EARTH QUAKE STRUCK IN Nepal and parts of India

It was terrible to bear as all of a sudden tremors of earth quack struck in the morning around 11.40 a.m. on 25 April 2015. It surprised all the people and everyone came out of their houses. The tremor was experienced 2 - 3 times by all. In Gurgaon as reported by OM Kaustav VU2UUU that all the 250 people evacuated the building to the safer place. After the effect was over all started their work. Immediately the emergency net was started on 14210 mhz. VU2JAU/AT150ITU was controlling the net. All the other HAMs came in to action soon. In Siliguri few buildings are damaged and a school building in Pokhara, where the epic centre of earth quack is damaged badly but no casualty was reported.

OM Suhas VU2SMN joined the net and helped a lot. OM Suhas VU2SMN remained with Jayu VU2JAU/AT150ITU till late night. Soon 9N1AA OM Satish and 9N1HA OM Suresh was contacted OM Suresh said that he will be on HF in the night but till than OM Satish 9N1AA will be in communication on HF. OM Satish told that there is no power and all are facing problems to get sets on the air. It was advised that they have to transmit only when required with small over?s. He will be operating HF using 25 watts. He also reported that almost 2000 people are affected due to the earth quake having power of 7.7 RV strong. 15 Nepal HAMs are on VHF and are in contacts with each other from different locations. OM Satish 9N1AA is coordinating with Nepal police.

In India 50+ causalities are reported at different areas. It is also understood from OM Kaustav VU2UUU that 4 companies of NDRF have left for the eastern India. It was announced to the DX HAMs that the emergency net is working on 14210 and all the DX HAMs put it on Cluster and on Social media. It showed its effect soon as the massages started pouring to find out people. More than 15 people were traced out who found to be in good conditions.

OM Suresh 9N1HA who was in Radio Nepal announcing about the missing persons and helping all.9N1DX YL Tej also supported with OM Satish 9N1AA. At 22.10 tremor of 4.5 Rv was experienced and all the people came out of their houses. It was also announced that the tremor will be repeating after each 1.30 hrs so everyone have to stay out for 30 minutes. Power restored at 2.30 a.m. on 26/4/2015.

OM Amer 4X6TT joined all the HAMs on emergency net. He informed that Turkey HAMs are ready to send HAM equipments to Nepal. OM Amer 4X6TT helped to keep the frequency clear as so many DX stations were working. it was also reported from Spain that 15 people along with medical equipments will be reaching Nepal next day. The DX HAMs supported during the operation are T6TM OM Tim, 4X6TT OM Amer, ZL2TZE, CT7ACG and VK land. The VU HAMs are VU2UUU, VU2DED, VU2DPI, VU3MDL, VU3UNO, VU2VV, VU3GAO, VU2AGJ, VU2SMN, VU2DFB, VU2IWA, VU3PUA, VU2RIY, VU2IVV, VU2UPQ and many more. Myself along with OM Suhas VU2SMN and OM Rakesh VU3PUA stayed on the band whole night for emergency communication net. Our stations are working with no break.

Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India (ARSI) R3.

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 meeting will be English and further details will be published closer to the event.

Philippines Amateurs activate for Storm Events

Ham Emergency Radio Operations have been in support of two weather events in the Philippines, Kai-Tak and Tembin, which brought significant damage and loss of life.

The first was tropical storm Kai-Tak at killed about 33 people, followed by tropical storm Tembin that swept through the southern Philippines, with reports that 200 lives have been lost.

Roberto C Vicencio ‘JoJo’ DU1VHY says HERO had HF coordination through the national emergency net at 7.095 MHz with three nets being held, 0700, 1700 and 1900.

Local clubs embedded with the government responders used designated channels and club frequencies.

JoJo says Kaitak ravaged the Central Visayas area, almost the same entry point as the Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and maintained a stationary position for about three days.

“Much rain was dumped in the Samar and Tacloban areas of the Central Visayas region,” he said. “In situations like this, most of radio amateurs in the affected areas fold into the government's regional/provincial disaster risk reduction management offices to consolidate the actions of the amateur and civic groups as well as the military and police forces.”

But after a respite of two days the southern island of Mindanao was threatened by Tembin.

HERO reported that this was anticipated and the government was able to mobilise the assets of radio amateurs and civic communications group as well as the police and armed forces.

Joyo says the wind strength and volume of rains inundated the island and the system took a direct path from east to west of Mindanao island.

Flooding hit houses and many lives were lost when people were trapped in their homes by the flash flooding.

He said: “Bridges, roads and agricultural fields were damaged. There was a shortage of communications too. “Many major transportation arteries were affected further stranding others who tried to escape. About 200 have been declared dead with the final count not yet determined.” Ed Escabarte DU8EE embedded with the regional disaster risk reduction management office mentioned that search is ongoing for survivors and bodies.

It is only the start of the season for adverse weather in the Philippines, with the HERO network prepared for other activations.

– Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

 

Emergency communications activation in Slovenia

Tilen S56CT has reported the activation of Radio Amateurs in Slovenia on Saturday 9th December after heavy snow caused damage in a small region in Slovenia, Zasavje, affecting about 20000 citizens. Electrical power lines were down and consequently internet and phone networks. A lot of roads were also blocked due to fallen trees.

A large part of the major town, Trbovlje lost electrical power, including the 112 Emergency Call receiving station. Calls from the public were transfered from Zasavje region to the Call receiving station in Ljubljana. Slovenian call centers are also dispatch centres, so this increased their workload dispatching teams outside their normal area.

A few hours after the breakdown operators from the regional Emergency Communications group S50ATR (Trbovlje) organised themselves to offer help with redundancy communications between the centres in Trbovlje and Ljubljana. The Centre in Trbovlje was very happy to accept the help, so Matjaz S57MK and Roman S56HVF immediately went to Trbovlje with enough charged radios for the professional communications, Winlink through a connection to a local radioclub which had a Satellite internet connection and reliable electricity. Also communication through the FM/DMR repeater system was established and has served as a link between Trbovlje and Ljubljana. In Ljubljana the S50ALJ regional team has also been activated to assist the 112 centre  in Ljubljana using the S55DHF FM/DMR wide coverage repeater.

Zasavje region is known for its mountainous terrain and difficult radio coverage. Amateur Radio provides 3 repeater locations in that region along with a packet radio node on a TV tower, Satellite internet at the radio club S59DOR in Trbovlje and of course HF with Pactor, Winmor, etc. for Winlink.

All good examples of the diversity that amateur radio can bring to emergency communications.