Ham Radio Operators Get Ready as Hurricane Ian Strengthens
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 16:04:14
ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service¨ (ARES¨) groups and volunteers have ramped up preparations as the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Hurricane Ian continues to quickly intensify. As of 11:00 AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 27, Ian is a Category 3 hurricane located 305 miles south-southwest of Sarasota, Florida with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and moving toward the north near 10 mph. Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous major hurricane.
In a Monday evening special bulletin, the ARRL West Central Florida (WCF) Section reported that several ARES groups in the Section were activated at the request of their served agencies or in accordance with their local ARES plan. "All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the Tropical Weather Outlook issued four times daily by the National Hurricane Center," included the WCF Section bulletin. "All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should bring to completion any preparedness activities by Tuesday evening, and stay in communication with their respective leadership, in case of activation."
The ARRL Northern Florida (NFL) Section is actively monitoring Ian, reminding volunteers to take care of their personal property and family first, and to check their equipment and make sure all is in order and operational. Volunteers have also been asked not to self-deploy. "We are only to deploy if requested by our local counties, served agencies, or the State of Florida," emphasized an NFL Section ARES activation status report.
Here is a statement from NFL Section Emergency Coordinator Arc Thames, W4CPD, who serves as the Amateur Radio Liaison to the State of Florida:
"In response to Hurricane Ian, our ARRL leadership team in Florida has been in direct communication with the State of Florida's ESF-2 resources, including the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, since Friday, September 23. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has requested the activation of amateur radio HF emergency nets, as well as to provide resources to staff the various positions needed throughout the state. We ask that all amateur radio operators yield use of any frequencies in use for Hurricane Ian to allow the clear flow of traffic between agencies during this activation. Hurricane Ian is expected to have a major impact in a large portion of the state due to the strong winds and storm surge that will impact the state for an extended period of time."
"We remind our operators that we do not self-deploy. Any deployment requests will come directly via served agencies. While help is greatly appreciated, we have to follow the established processes to ensure that everyone is accounted for and has a defined mission."