Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers in Puerto Rico continued over the weekend to report for daily duty at an American Red Cross (ARC) distribution center in Mayagüez and at ARC Headquarters in San Juan. The two sites are at the ready to provide a “Plan B” communication backbone in the event the seismic situation worsens. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southwestern Puerto Rico on January 7, fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before, damaging homes in Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and Guánica. ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, told ARRL this week that the situation is relatively “calm and quiet” for now and starting on January 22, volunteers would begin monitoring from their homes or vehicles, permitting most, including Resto himself, to get back to their jobs and homes.
ARES volunteers had been deployed to an ARC distribution center in Yauco, but that part of the operation was shifted to Mayagüez over the weekend, because it was considered safer there. An ARRL-provided VHF/UHF radio and antenna have been set up at the Mayagüez facility. Resto said a second operating position is being added at the San Juan ARC Headquarters site.
Resto said Red Cross officials know that they can rely on Amateur Radio, if the situation calls for it, but for now, commercial communications are fully operational, although aftershocks from the January 7 quake persist. “In case the situation escalates, the ARES team will immediately mobilize at the ARC sites and establish communication (VHF/UHF or HF) as required,” Resto said.
Last week, the Red Cross had requested assistance from the ARES volunteers as well as volunteers from the CB radio and GMRS communities, to identify undeclared refugee camps and to report on close or damaged roadways and bridges. Resto said the ARES volunteers “did a marvelous job” that earned praise from Red Cross officials.
Resto said about two dozen volunteers have made themselves available in the Mayagüez area. In the event they’re needed, Resto said, he has seven or eight HF radios and 15 VHF/UHF transceivers left over from the Hurricane Maria emergency response. He said the HF equipment has been safely stowed for use in case of another major earthquake, when they might be needed.
He was expecting additional antennas and feed lines provided through ARRL’s Ham Aid program to show up this week.
Nick, KC3PWJ, has a flagpole and also a pole that holds up his VHF/UHF discone. He’d like to string a 20m dipole between the two poles, but is w... Read more
A slightly different form of hybrid is the Chameleon Emcomm II.The Emcomm II is a portable antenna, which can also be very good to use as a base stati... Read more
Check out this CompacTenna dual band ham antenna, only 7.5″ tall and can be used for mobile OR base applications. I also have the CompacTenna Sc... Read more
Brand new from Wouxun is the KG-UV8H Handheld, which features a different screen than earlier models, an 8-watt output power, and a 3200mAH battery. L... Read more
Best GMRS Handheld Radio 2021 – GMRS Radio Comparison Read more
JH1CBX Masaco introduces AH-705 designed for IC-705. Descriptions ・Covers the 1.8 MHz to 50 MHz bands 30 m, 98.4 ft or longer antenna: 1.8 – 54 MHz, 7... Read more
The Finger Morse CW Straight Key is a very simple product that allows you to easily continue operating your Morse Code QRP Ham Radio while walking aro... Read more
QSO Today Expo March 2021 – Dan N7HQ gives us an overview of the PGXL and its features. Read more
How to use an automatic antenna tuner with the Yaesu FT-891. In this video I show you the steps to set up and configure the LDG Z11 Pro II auto tuner... Read more
World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) 2021 is Sunday, April 18. On that day in 1925, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed in Paris. Today,... Read more
Following its decision earlier this year to cancel the in-person Dayton Hamvention® in May, Hamvention has announced a series of 2021 Hamvention weeke... Read more