As Hurricane Florence starts to make landfall today, it is expected to have a serious impact on coastal South Carolina and North Carolina. Florence is currently a category 2 hurricane, but they expect wind speeds to diminish quickly upon landfall. No doubt, we’ll remember Florence for the tremendous amount of rainfall she packs–there will be significant flooding in her path.
A few readers have asked about frequencies to monitor as the storm approaches.
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN)
The Hurricane Watch Net is a group of amateur radio operators who are trained and organized “to provide essential communications support to the National Hurricane Center during times of Hurricane emergencies.” The HWN focuses on “ground truth” observations (much like SkyWarn nets).
The Hurricane Watch Net is activated when a hurricane is within 300 statute miles of expected land-fall. The HWN covers the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Mexico, Eastern Canada, and all US Coastal States.
The HWN operates in both English and Spanish, and is active on 14.325 MHz (upper sideband) during the day and 7.268 MHz (lower sideband) at night. The HWN is known to operate on both frequencies if propagation allows.
Please keep HWN frequencies clear
If you’re an amateur radio operator, please avoid using 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz anytime the HWN has been activated.
If you have a shortwave radio with a BFO/SSB mode–and you live within the propagation footprint–you can monitor the Hurricane Watch Net.
Note that you’ll need to use upper sideband on 14.325 MHz and lower sideband on 7.268 MHz.
You can also monitor the Hurricane Watch Net via a number of WebSDRs on the KiwiSDR network and even potentially via the U Twente WebSDR in the Netherlands (although a WebSDR in North America would be preferable).
At time of posting, there are a number of tropical storms in the Atlantic. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tropical storms and other natural disasters, please keep an emergency kit fully-stocked and at the ready. Click here for some ideas about building your own simple kit.