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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB019 (2023)

ARLB019 Idalia Prompts Amateur Radio Activations

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 19  ARLB019
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  August 29, 2023
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB019 Idalia Prompts Amateur Radio Activations

Volunteers of ARRL are activating ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia.
The storm, which is forecast to intensify into a hurricane, was
tracking from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico, between Cancun
and the western tip of Cuba. Models agreed that it could make
landfall on the Florida Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane on

In a planning call Monday night with leadership of ARRL Florida
sections and ARRL Headquarters staff, Section Emergency Coordinator
of the ARRL Northern Florida Section Arc Thames, W4CPD, shared plans
for activation of Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers within
the section. "Beginning at 7:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday, August
28, ARES volunteers will begin to staff AUXCOMM positions at the
State EOC," he said.

The Florida Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet) is the primary
emergency communications system planned for use. The system is a
series of linked UHF repeaters that covers the entire state. There
are also HF nets planned as a backup.

Radio amateurs are asked to yield HF frequencies to emergency nets
when they are activated.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) was activated Monday afternoon. HWN
activated on 14.325 MHz at 2:00 PM EDT (1800 UTC) and planned to
remain active until 11:00 PM EDT (0300 UTC) or until propagation was
lost. HWN then planned to activate on 7.268 MHz at 7:00 PM EDT (2300
UTC) and remain active until 11:00 PM EDT (0300 UTC).

HWN Activation Plans for Tuesday, August 29 through Wednesday,
August 30:

20-meters: 14.325 MHz at 8:00 AM EDT (1200 UTC) daily until
propagation is lost at night.

40-meters: 7.268 MHz starting at 7:00 PM EDT (2300 UTC) Tuesday.
HWN will remain active on this frequency throughout the remainder of
this event.

"We will suspend operations each morning at 7:30 AM EDT to allow the
Waterway Radio and Cruising Club Net - WRCC (Waterway Net) to
conduct their daily morning Net. After the Water Way Net has
concluded, generally around 8:30 AM ET, we will resume operations,"
wrote net manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV.

The WX4NHC amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center
also activated Monday and plans to be active Tuesday and Wednesday
as the storm continues towards Florida.

WX4NHC is active on the HWN frequencies but will also utilize the
VoIP Hurricane Net: IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference
node 7203. Details can be found at, .

The station is also monitoring WinLink reports sent to, (subject line must contain //WL2K).

WX4NHC asks that radio amateurs please relay any surface reports
(weather data, flooding, damage) to them by one of the nets or an
online hurricane report form at, .

The Hurricane VoIP Net plans to activate on Tuesday. "In addition to
reports meeting Skywarn criteria, the operators, using Echolink
WXTalk conference server 7203 and Internet Relay Protocol 9219, will
be joined to the Kansas Sunflower Network offering Hamshack Hotline
94032, Echolink KC5FM-r, Allstar 28848, and other modes such as
D-Star, Fusion, M17, and P25," wrote Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, Public
Information Officer for the VoIP net.

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, and the
ARES headquarters staff are staying in frequent touch with members
of the ARRL Northern Florida Section. Section Manager of the ARRL
Southern Florida Section, Barry Porter, KB1PA, sent a message to the
hams in the lower part of the Sunshine State. "Much of the northern
part of our state will be facing impacts from Idalia, which could be
a Category 3 or higher storm. In other words, they might be the
victims. Since the southern part of Florida will not see much severe
impact, we should be ready to assist with backup communications and
welfare messages, if asked," he wrote.

ARRL will provide updates to the situation as it develops. Members
in Florida are encouraged to monitor local emergency officials and
prepare to take action to keep themselves safe as the storm moves
toward them.


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