Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update - 1500 UTC 26 October

Update 10/31: The Hurricane Watch Net has closed. However, there is massive devastation in the northeast from Sandy and its remnants. Please keep an ear out for emergency traffic on all frequencies.

Hurricane Sandy continues to pose a significant threat to the east coast of the U.S., and the Hurricane Watch Net remains active for the foreseeable future on 14.325 MHz.  PLEASE AVOID INTERFERENCE TO THIS NET DURING THE CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST this weekend.

National Hurricane Center satellite image of Hurricane Sandy
as of 1200 UTC on 26 October. The storm is expected to lash
the mid-Atlantic states this weekend and possibly cause
large-scale damage to the northeast early next week.
IARU Region II Area C Emergency Coordinator Arnie Coro, CO2KK, reports that Cuba's hurricane nets on 80, 40 and 2 meters have secured as the storm has moved north of the island, leaving at least 11 deaths and hundreds of thousands of evacuations in its wake:

After more than 36 hours of hard work, the activities of our amateur radio emergency nets activated as Hurricane Sandy was approaching eastern Cuba were closed. The services provided to our communities was of great value and fully appreciated, gaining recognition on the mass media as an example of how volunteers are able to help in a very notable way.

The role of the HF bands, 40 and 80 meters, was extremely important to carry on the emergency traffic, due to the fact that several of the normally very reliable 2-meter repeaters were damaged by the storm's very strong winds that at mountaintop repeater locations reached as high as 240 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour).

Our big thank you and appreciation to all the radio amateurs in eight neighboring countries who offered possible relays when propagation was difficult on 40 meters. All of us who participated enjoyed excellently clean frequencies thanks to the advice and information provided by CQ Amateur Radio, the ARRL, IARU and several national amateur radio organizations in our area.

We did learn something new... that with solar flux at or above 150, 40 meters remained open for the short distances involved in the emergency nets!"

Hurricane Sandy is expected to affect the Carolinas and Virginia over the weekend and then possibly combine with a low-pressure system moving south from Canada to create a potentially devastating hybrid storm in the northeast early next week. If you are in the alert areas, please prepare personally for the storm and contact your local amateur radio emergency communications leaders to see how you can help if needed.