West Gulf Emergency Net
critical tactical and emergency traffic - 7.285 MHz days / 3.873
health-and-welfare traffic 7.290 MHz days / 3.935 MHz nights
Salvation Army - Team Emergency Radio Network
14.265 MHz days / 7.265 MHz nights
Volunteer Sign-Up Database
Disaster Survivor List
Friday 16th September 2005
Amateur Radio continues to earn praise and respect as the Hurricane
Katrina relief effort moves forward.
Amateur Radio equipment and supplies arriving at the American Red
Cross Hurricane Katrina relief staging area in Montgomery, Alabama,
have been turned around as quickly as possible to accompany volunteers
into the field. A team has been on duty for some three weeks, overseeing
Amateur Radio volunteer intake and registration and trying to satisfy
the ever-changing requirements of the Red Cross and other served
The American Red Cross and other served agencies are very thankful
and appreciative of the help and several have said they could not
operate without the amateur radio backup.
UPDATE - http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/16/100/
FRIDAY 9th September 2005
New and fresh Amateur Radio volunteers are still required for the
Hurricane Katrina relief operation. To assist with with need, the
Katrina Amateur Radio Volunteers Needed Clearing House now is
live on the ARRL Web site. This database will be the primary means
for relief organizations requiring Amateur Radio volunteers for
communication support to list their needs. Additionally, volunteers
looking to help may search the listings to match up their capabilities
with the various requirements.
Story - http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/09/103/
FRIDAY 9th September 2005
Amateur Radio operators from states along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere
in the US continue to volunteer their skills and expertise as the
Hurricane Katrina relief effort heads into its third week.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and other volunteers are
assisting as needed to support communication for relief agencies
as well as for state and local government and even the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).
Earlier this week Amateur Radio was the only means for state officials
at the state emergency operations center (EOC) in Baton Rouge to
communicate with the so-called "Florida parishes" above
A communication to the EOC in Baton Rouge from FEMA that said,
"Ham radio is our prime communications with you, and they should
get anything they need."
A marshaling center has been established in Covington, Louisiana.
ARES has been continuing to support Red Cross shelter and Southern
Baptist Convention debris-clearing in St Tammany parish, as well
as Baptist Men's Kitchen canteen operations.
In Washington Parish, ARES volunteers provide critical communication
among hospitals and the parish EOC. Field teams continue to use
HF to maintain communication with the EOC in Baton Rouge. It is
hoped to install a temporary VHF repeater in Washington Parish this
In Mississippi, ARES operators have been helping to maintain communication
among hospitals, EOCs and shelters.
The Red Cross staging area in Montgomery, Alabama, continues to
process and orient Amateur Radio volunteers for duty in Louisiana
and Mississippi. Some volunteers will help support communication
at Red Cross shelters set up for evacuees, while others will provide
tactical communication for feeding stations.
STORY - http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/08/106/
THURSDAY 8th September 2005
The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) is seeking
10 two-operator Amateur Radio teams for deployment in the US Gulf
Coast. Operators must hold at least a General class license. Teams
should be fully self sufficient in terms of food, water and lodging
and plan to remain in the disaster area for from one to two weeks.
Teams should be equipped with HF and, preferably, VHF/UHF, gear
and will check in through SATERN's Jackson, Mississippi, marshaling
area. The primary mission of the SATERN volunteer teams will be
to get health-and-welfare traffic out of the storm and flood-stricken
areas and, if possible, handle incoming H&W traffic as well.
The Salvation Army continues to ramp up its disaster relief effort
and is sending more than 100 meal and relief stations into the affected
areas where the need is the greatest. Do not self deploy!
Prospective volunteers should contact SATERN Liaison Jeff Schneller,
N2HPO, email@example.com; 917-226-1339 or 347-680-9059.
TUESDAY September 6 2005
More than 800 Amateur Radio operators from all over the US have
signed up to aid the Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery effort
now under way along the US Gulf Coast. At this point, an estimated
200 Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers en route,
on site where they're needed or in the pipeline for processing and
deployment. In addition, Amateur Radio manufacturers and equipment
suppliers have stepped forward to donate radio equipment for use
in the field.
story - http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/06/100/
MONDAY September 5 2005
Several HF nets continue in operation to support Amateur Radio's
response to the Hurricane Katrina emergency. All members
of the Amateur Radio community who are not taking part in disaster
relief or recovery operations to give these nets as much elbow room
as possible--5 kHz or more on either side of the net frequency.
Nets already are having to deal with less-than-ideal propagation,
and any interference--even if it's unintentional--can make their
job all the more difficult.
story - http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/05/100/
SATURDAY September 3 2005
Amateur Radio operators are beginning to be sent into areas around
New Orleans to support command and control operations for Red Cross
and other disaster relief operations. The equipment requirement
is VHF and UHF FM. Both portable, hand held and mobile stations
are needed. Conditions remain primitive. A pass is required from
the Louisiana state police for access beyond roadblocks. These are
obtained from the state EOC in Baton Rouge either by fax or in person.
Similar requirements exist in Mississippi, where the state EOC is
located in Jackson.
FRIDAY September 2 2005
There are very few Amateur Radio operators being sent into the
most devastated areas. The primary problem is the lack of transportation
and motor fuel. Many key roads remain closed by damage, flooding,
or to prevent access to areas that are still unstable. We are beginning
to receive some requests to support long term shelters outside of
the most severely impacted areas. These will replace the traditional
short-term storm evacuation centers. Most of these requests are
being managed with nearby resources. Larger long-term shelters are
being opened in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas; also being supported
by local resources.
All of us know this will be a months-long effort. Just because
we are unable to immediately send those of you who have registered
here, that does not mean we will not in the future. Your patience
in awaiting an assignment that may never come is appreciated. At
this moment, the number of volunteers is exceeding the requirements
by about 100 to 1, if not more. The requirements is likely to change
in the future, we are unable to give any idea of when that will
The ARRL now is seeking experienced Amateur Radio emergency volunteers
to help supplement communication for American Red Cross feeding
and sheltering operations in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida
Panhandle - as many as 200 locations in all. Special consideration
will be given to operators who have successfully completed the ARRL
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course training (Level I
minimum) to serve as team leaders. These volunteer operators will
help to provide communication and equipment for relief efforts in
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers may face hardship
conditions without the usual amenities and will need to provide
their own transportation to the marshaling area.
Working in cooperation with the ARRL, http://katrina.ab2m.net/
will now be handling all volunteer sign ups for the Katrina Relief
effort. If you have already entered your information to Katrina@arrl.org,
your information will be forwarded to AB2M to avoid duplication.
31st August 2005
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Louisiana
are engaged in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort, and
more are waiting in the wings. ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Gary Stratton, K5GLS, told ARRL that some 250 ARES members have
been working with relief organizations and emergency management
agencies since the beginning. Because much of the affected areas
remained flooded and dangerous, state officials had not allowed
emergency or other units to enter the flooded zones.
A call for help that involved a combination of
cell telephone calls and Amateur Radio was instrumental in saving
15 people stranded by floodwaters on the roof of a house in New
Orleans. Unable to get through an overloaded 911 system, one of
those stranded called a relative in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That
individual, in turn, called another relative, Sybil Hayes in Broken
Arrow, Oklahoma, whose 81-year-old aunt Helen Elzy was among those
clinging to the roof along with other family members.
Hayes called the American Red Cross chapter, which contacted the
Tulsa Repeater Organization. Using the Red Cross chapter's well-equipped
amateur station, TRO member Ben Joplin, WB5VST, was able to relay
a request for help on the 20-meter SATERN net via stations in Oregon
and Utah to Louisiana, where the ARES net contacted emergency personnel
who rescued the 15 people.
"When all else fails, Amateur Radio works is more than a catchy
tag line," says TRO's Mark Conklin, N7XYO. "It's a lifeline."
He said as of late Monday evening, Elzy and the others on the roof
were safe at a Red Cross shelter.
National Public Radio interviewed Joplin about the experience for
its "All Things Considered" program on August 30.
Ben Joplin, WB5VST, in Oklahoma City, is interviewed by local
news media after getting word through to Louisiana officials
that 15 people were stranded on a roof there.
[Photo by Mark Conklin / N7XYO]
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will
provide a $100,000 grant supplement to ARRL to support Amateur Radio's
emergency communication operators in states affected by Hurricane
The grant will help to fund "Ham Aid," a new League program
to support Amateur Radio volunteers deployed in the field in disaster-stricken
areas. ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, expressed
gratitude to CNCS for its generous response. Ham Aid, she said,
offers a unique opportunity to support individual radio amateurs
helping to bridge the communication gap Hurricane Katrina has caused.
"For the first time in ARRL history, we will be able to reimburse
some of the expenses that hams incur in response to a disaster,"
she said. "We only wish that we could justify an expense reimbursement
program like this every time Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers
are called upon to help in a disaster or emergency, sometimes placing
themselves in harm's way."
In addition to providing emergency communication within and outside
the affected areas, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members
and individual radio amateurs are supplementing the communication
needs of emergency management and relief agencies, including the
American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Hobart said it's only
due to the scope of the unprecedented and tragic Katrina disaster
that CNCS agreed to help support dedicated Amateur Radio volunteers.
"But," she added, "we'd like to think of this grant
as a token of appreciation and a recognition of Amateur Radio's
value in past emergencies and disasters, such as 9/11."
Hobart says ARRL's Ham Aid program already has received some substantial
private donations. Those and the CNCS grant, she said, provide a
way for the League to "support our Field Organization as never
The CNCS Ham Aid grant is effective for operations established
and documented as of September 1, 2005, and the aid is earmarked
for Hurricane Katrina deployments only at this point. Guidelines
are being established that will permit volunteers who have been
involved in bona fide field support operations on or after September
1 to provide communication support to apply for a reimbursement
voucher on a per diem basis.
Trained Amateur Radio operators will be on site for the duration
of this disaster response, which could run into several weeks or
months. "Many will leave their jobs and families and travel
on their own expense, using their own equipment," Hobart points
Corporation funds may also sustain the Ham Aid program and help
to rebuild the emergency communications capabilities in Louisiana,
Mississippi and Alabama to ensure that the Gulf Coast is prepared,
should disaster strike again.
The CNCS grant is an extension of ARRL's three year Homeland Security
training grant, which has provided certification in emergency communication
protocols to nearly 5500 Amateur Radio volunteer over the past three
"CNCS grants helped make it possible for the ARRL to train
America's hams and make them the best all-volunteer emergency radio
service ever seen," Hobart said. "Now they are making
it possible for the hams to use that training."