NHQ (09/05/2017) – As “potentially catastrophic” Category 5 Hurricane Irma begins moving through the Caribbean in route to a possible U.S. landfall, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) is activating its International SATERN Net. SATERN volunteers – amateur radio operators licensed by the Federal Communications Commission – have been instructed to begin monitoring the International SATERN frequency of 14.265 MHz from 9:00 AM (Central) through 6:00 PM (Central) each day beginning Wednesday, 06 September 2017 through at least Saturday, 09 September 2017. Depending upon the needs of the situation and The Salvation Army, SATERN may continue to monitor that frequency beyond Saturday into the following week.
Amateur radio stations reporting into the Net will be asked to provide local information about any damage caused by the wind, storm surge, flooding, tornados as well as power outages and communications disruptions. Net operators will also be available to handle any emergency, priority or health & welfare messages coming out of areas impacted by Hurricane Irma.
SATERN will not be accepting health & welfare inquiries – that is, requests from people outside of the impacted areas to determine the welfare of specific people within those areas. People outside of the impacted areas wanting to obtain such information should go the American Red Cross Safe and Well website at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/.
Net Manager Ken Gilliland (amateur radio call sign AG6SV) says, “There is still a need for Net Control Stations to assist this operation.” Experienced Net Control operators interested in helping should contact Gilliland at AG6SV@ATT.net or Assistant Net Manager Bob Rogers (WA5EEZ) at BobRgrs@hotmail.com
National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) reports, “SATERN has partnered with several amateur radio groups focused on hurricane response such as the Hurricane Watch Net, the Voice-Over-IP Weather Net and Region 2 of the International Amateur Radio Union. These partnerships allow SATERN to share information and resources and assist each other in our respective tasks.” The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the Voice Over IP Weather (VoIP WX) Net provide on-site weather and situation reports from local amateur radio and amateur weather stations in the impacted areas to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and its amateur radio station WX4NHC. These reports, in addition to the situational information gathered by the International SATERN Net, are forwarded to The Salvation Army to support them in their planning efforts.
The two nets also disseminate official hurricane forecast information from the National Hurricane Center to amateur radio operators at sea and in the impacted areas.
When the International SATERN Net ends its operations each night at 6:00 PM (Central), SATERN operators are encouraged to monitor the Hurricane Watch Net on either 14.325 MHz or 7.268 MHz in the evening hours.
All amateur radio operators are invited to check in to the International SATERN Net on 14.265 MHz between 9:00 AM (Central) and 6:00 PM (Central). They do not need to be a SATERN volunteer or a member of The Salvation Army. All amateur radio operators are welcome.
SATERN is also monitoring Tropical Storm Jose in the mid-Atlantic following closely behind Hurricane Irma and Tropical Depression 13 in the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico which is expected to become Tropical Storm Katia.About The Salvation Army