SATERN And Amateur Radio Partners Respond To Threat of Hurricane Matthew

October 02, 2016
William Feist - WB8BZH | bill.feist@uss.salvationarmy.org | (601) 421-1496

SATERN And Amateur Radio Partners Respond To Threat of Hurricane Matthew

NHQ SATERN (10/02/2016) –SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) and other partners in the amateur radio communications community are activating today [Sunday, 02 October] and tomorrow to monitor for weather reports and emergency communications as strong Category 4 Hurricane Matthew moves through the Caribbean Sea.

SATERN will begin to monitor its’ frequency of 14.265 MHz for emergency, priority and health & welfare messages at Noon (Eastern) on Monday, 03 October 2016.  The SATERN frequency will be monitored continuously during the daylight hours. 

The Hurricane Watch Net, a SATERN partner, will  monitor its’ frequency of 14.325 MHz during the daylight hours and then monitor 7.268 MHz during the night hours.  SATERN operators will also monitor the Hurricane Watch Net frequencies, particularly during the evening hours.  The Hurricane Watch Net will be activated at 5:00 PM (Eastern) on Sunday evening.

SATERN operators will also monitor the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 14.300 MHz during the daylight hours.  That frequency is an international emergency call frequency for all of the Americas.

National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, stated, “Because of Matthew’s forecasted track through numerous island nations in the eastern Caribbean, all of these frequencies will be monitored for the next several days.  Plans are being made to possibly continue monitoring these frequencies if there is significant needs in the Caribbean or if it appears that Hurricane Matthew poses a threat to the East Coast of the United States once it gets back into the Atlantic Ocean.”

Various national member societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) are also preparing to respond to the possible impact of Hurricane Matthew.  Arnie Coro, CO2KK, Emergency Coordinator for Region C (the Caribbean and Mexico) for IARU Region 2, reports that amateur radio equipment is being dispersed throughout eastern Cuba for emergency communications on the 80 and 40 meter amateur radio bands. 

Hurricane Matthew, which briefly made it to Category 5 status yesterday, is now a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 mph that extend 35 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm force winds that extend 205 miles from the center.  This dangerous hurricane is beginning to turn North towards Haiti and Hurricane Warnings have been issued for Haiti, Jamaica and eastern Cuba. Tropical force winds should reach Jamaica and Haiti late Sunday and hurricane force winds and landfall should occur on Monday. 

Matthew is expected to generate large amounts of rain with general totals of 15 to 20 inches across southern Haiti with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches in some areas.  Eastern Jamaica and Cuba and western Dominican Republic will receive 10 to 20 inches of rain with isolated pockets of 25 inches in some areas.  This will result in life-threatening flash flooding and landslides. 

The southern coasts of Haiti and Cuba are forecast to experience storm and tidal surge of 7 up to 11 feet with life-threatening surf and rip currents expected in many parts of the Caribbean.

Between the winds, the rainfall and the storm surge, Hurricane Matthew has the potential to cause serious to catastrophic damage as it passes through the Caribbean.

Technical Notes For SATERN / Amateur Radio Operators / Short Wave Listeners (SWLs)

For Amateur Radio Operators or Short Wave Listeners (SWLs) who want to participate or listen in, here are the frequencies that will or may be active for Hurricane Matthew:

International SATERN:     14.265 MHz         (USB)

Hurricane Watch Net:        14.325 MHz         (USB)

Maritime Mobile Net:         14.300 MHz         (USB)

Cuba (Primary):                   7.110 MHz           (LSB)

Cuba (Alternate 1):             7.120 MHz           (LSB)

Cuba (Alternate 2):             7.045 MHz

Cuba (Alternate 3):             7.080 MHz

IARU, Region 2:                  3.750 MHz           (Emergency Center of Activity)

IARU, Region 2:                  7.060 MHz           (Emergency Center of Activity)

IARU, Region 2:                  14.300 MHz         (Global Emergency Center of Activity)

IARU, Region 2:                  18.160 MHz         (Global Emergency Center of Activity)

IARU, Region 2:                  21.360 MHz         (Global Emergency Center of Activity)

IARU, Region 2:                  18.160 MHz         (Global Emergency Center of Activity)

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