Hurricane Irma is currently progressing through the USA state of Florida and Hurricane Jose is still threatening the Carribean. At the same time Mexico is still dealing with the after effects of the Earthquake which affected that country earlier this week and the remains of Hurricane Katia. To add to the problems, an X8.2 solar flare is causing a major HF blackout in the Americas which will potentially affect communications until Monday (UTC).
As Hurricane Irma progresses through Florida there will be more HF frequencies in use by local ARES groups but these will lie mostly outside the IARU Region 1 band allocations ( West Central Florida planning to use 3940, 3950 and 7247 kHz for example ). More information on this should come from the ARRL .
Updates to frequencies in use are;
7060 and 7080 kHz to deal with the Earthquake and Hurricane Katia
14290 and 7190 kHz ( Voice or PACTOR )
US Wide Area traffic handling
14115, 7115 and if necessary 10115 kHz ( all CW )
Carribean Emergency and Weather Net ( CEWN )
3815, 7188 and possibly 7162 kHz
FNRASEC in France are reaching out to French speaking areas in the Carribean on 14132kHz.
As Irma moves away from the Carribean islands, Radio Amateurs are entering the area to help. The Red Cross asked for assistance on Sint Maarten where communications had been badly affected. Tom Braam PJ2DD volunteered for this task and left September 8th on one of the first relief flights to Sint Maarten with a Pactor HF station and 9 VHF/UHF handheld radios to start providing communications. Frequencies in use are as above.
Enquiries about persons in the affected areas should be referred to the various Red Cross websites set up for this purpose. ‘Welfare’ messages from outside the area are not expected to be handled for at least three days, with thousands of displaced people, locating them for message delivery is difficult.
As always, please listen carefully and avoid causing QRM to frequencies in use for distress and emergency traffic. The operators in the affected areas already have a difficult job, please give them as much room as possible to work.
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