Florida Division of Emergency Management Seeking Qualified Amateur Radio Volunteers
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Friday, August 30, 2019 18:53:00
Florida's Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has notified the state's Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES¨) groups that it's soliciting in-state Amateur Radio volunteers to assist with emergency communication in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. The storm is predicted to make landfall on the southeastern Florida coast on Monday. Volunteers must registerwith the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Interested volunteers must have completed IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 and have undergone a background check. There are no exceptions to these requirements. Radio amateurs should not self-deploy.
The ARRL Emergency Preparedness Department is sending two additional Ham Aid kits - one HF and one UHF-VHF - in response to a request from the West Central Florida Section ARES.
ARRL Headquarters remains in monitoring mode and has been in regular contact with ARRL's partner agencies. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has been closely watching the progress of Hurricane Dorian.
Over the past 24 hours, the hurricane's forecast track has shifted slightly, which will take the storm over the northern Bahamas before it strikes southeastern Florida.
As of 1500 UTC, Dorian was some 480 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas and about 660 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. Maximum sustained winds were 110 MPH (making it a Category 2 hurricane) and moving to the northwest at 10 MPH.
"The new forecast track does not look good," HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, observed. "The Bahamas are forecast for a direct hit late Sunday afternoon when Dorian is a Category 4 hurricane. Next stop is currently forecast to be near West Palm Beach as a strong Category 3 hurricane." Graves said that after it makes landfall, Dorian is expected to turn to the northwest and move up Florida's east coast.
"No matter the location of landfall, suffice it to say that unless something major changes, a huge area of Florida will be impacted by this storm," Graves said.
The Hurricane Watch Net will activate on Saturday at 2100 UTC and remain in continuous operation on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz.
According to the National Hurricane Center:
o Life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are likely in portions of the northwestern Bahamas, where a hurricane watch is in effect. Residents should execute their hurricane plans and heed advice from local emergency officials.
o Life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the Florida east coast by early next week, but it is too soon to determine where the highest storm surge and winds will occur. Residents should have hurricane plans in place, know if they are in a hurricane evacuation zone, and listen to advice given by local emergency officials.
o A prolonged period of storm surge, high winds, and rain is likely in portions of Florida into next week, including the possibility of hurricane-force winds over inland portions of the Florida peninsula.
o Heavy rains are expected over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States this weekend and into the middle of next week.