Friday, October 14, 2022

Hams Respond to Hurricanes Fiona and Ian

Amateur radio emergency communicators had a very busy month in September, with two major hurricanes wreaking havoc from the Caribbean to Canada. In addition to the various local EmComm organizations that were active in affected areas, the Hurricane Watch Net <> collected information on a broad scale to funnel to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

According to HWN Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, the net activated four times for Hurricane Fiona as it swept through Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica before turning north and slamming into the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The net re-activated on September 26 for Hurricane Ian as it moved through the Cayman Islands and western Cuba before setting its sights on the west coast of Florida, where it caused historic levels of damage. The storm crossed the Florida peninsula and made landfall again in South Carolina, but as a much weaker system. 

Graves reported that the net’s volunteers racked up nearly 40 hours of on-air time for Fiona, followed by 93 hours for Hurricane Ian. The net forwarded nearly 200 surface reports to the National Hurricane Center and was involved in notifying officials of at least two people in Florida in need of being rescued. SATERN, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, was also heavily involved in relief efforts.