Amateur radio resources are ready as Dorian is on the verge of becoming a major hurricane

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08/29/2019

[UPDATED: 2019-08-29 @1945UTC] Amateur radio resources got organized this week as Hurricane Dorian threatened Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and smashed its way through the Caribbean. A change of direction spared Puerto Rico – which was still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 – from taking a direct hit; the Virgin Islands suffered downed trees and widespread power outages. As of August 29, Dorian was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 85 MPH with higher gusts. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Dorian was expected to become a major hurricane on Friday and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend, reaching Category 3 or 4 by September 1. said the NHC.

“The risk of devastating hurricane-force winds along the east coast and mainland of Florida late this weekend and early next week continues to increase,” the NHC said Aug. 29.

“We are ready to respond, once a more definitive lead is known,” South Florida Chapter Director Barry Porter, KB1PA, said at ARRL headquarters Aug. 29. tonight to bring all plans to fruition. Porter said Florida volunteer organizations active in disasters and the Red Cross were in preparedness mode.

On Wednesday, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), activated for approximately 9 hours on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, in conjunction with WX4NHC at the NHC in Miami to provide forecasters with “ground truth” weather data. the VoIP Hurricane Net also enabled.

The HWN continued to closely monitor Dorian’s progress. HWN Director Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said HWN tentatively plans to reactivate on August 30 at 2100 UTC.

The ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team is also monitoring the situation closely. ARRL officials are in regular communication with partner agencies, particularly FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, ARRL headquarters remains in close contact with the organization’s officials on the ground in the affected region, where some ARRL members Help with ham the equipment was previously positioned.

W1AW, which had already planned to be in operation for the Hiram Percy Maxim 150th Anniversary special event this weekend, will remain ready to assist with emergency communications.

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