ARRL Headquarters is in monitoring mode, as powerful Hurricane Lane — a Category 5 storm — approaches Hawaii, ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said today, and Ham Aid Amateur Radio equipment is available for deployment.
Corey said the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has a team on standby to assist with communication between Hawaii and the mainland, if needed. Amateur Radio at the National Hurricane Center in Miami also is standing by to assist with communication between the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the National Hurricane Center. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN) is also keeping an eye on the situation but has not activated. The VoIP Hurricane Net is currently monitoring the situation and will reevaluate tonight.
As of 2100 UTC today (August 22), Lane was poised to move into the Central Pacific Basin as a Category 4 hurricane. The storm was 113 miles east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii, with maximum sustained winds of 140 MPH. The storm is moving west-northwest at 15 MPH.
The ARRL Hawaii Section is engaged with Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and on standby to assist with shelter operations, if that becomes necessary. Volunteers are also assisting the National Weather Service and state emergency managers. ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, is visiting Hawaii this week and has offered to assist and share his knowledge from the response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year.
Corey said that at this time, no personnel or equipment are needed. He asked that those in the affected area alert ARRL of any communication gaps that might evolve as well as any key information that could be shared via Amateur Radio networks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released preparedness and safety information for the public during hurricane season.
- Local authorities are urging the public to be prepared with 14-day supply of water and non-perishable food items.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, and listen to the radio for official news and instructions as they become available.
- Be familiar with evacuation routes, have a family communication plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for pets. Visit FEMA’s disaster readiness planning page (English) (Spanish) to learn these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
- Know your evacuation zone and be sure to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
- Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
- All businesses should prepare in advance of a potential disaster to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations. Businesses can review and update their business continuity plans and ensure their workforce knows what to do before and during a disaster. Resources are available on web sites such as Ready.gov/business and SBA.gov/disaster-planning.
- Get to know the terms used to identify severe weather, and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Know what to do for a tropical storm/hurricane or for flooding.
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