Amateur Radio Club HAM Operators Support Irma Response

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Amateur Radio Operators
Amateur Radio Operators

Amateur Radio Operators located at the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) are utilizing the 60M Radio Band/CH2 (5346.5 USB) to coordinate emergency communications in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The net is continuously monitored and conducts scheduled SITREPS at 1200z and 2200z. The St. Croix Emergency Operations Center (EOC) — with an actual call sign of NP2VI and a tactical call sign of “St. Croix EOC” — serves as the Net Control Station. Participants in the net call are the Virgin Islands National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, National Guard Task Forces and VITEMA EOCs located on both St. Croix and St. Thomas. Three Puerto Rico ARMY MARS are participants in the updates. ARMY MARS operators located on U.S. Navy vessels have also participated in the scheduled net calls.

Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma on the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Amateur Radio operators on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John have been called into action. HAM radio operators have been instrumental in passing critical safety-of-life communications in the days immediately following Hurricane Irma using the 2-meter band from the VITEMA EOC.  

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Operators have quickly disseminated important relief information (curfew hours, points of distribution information, weather bulletins, seaport status, shelters, etc.) and served as the relay between EOCs and ESFs, and St. John Rescue on St. John and St. Croix using the 2-meter repeater.

Assistance has been provided by operators in coordinating private and military rotary wing landing for supplies and medical evacuations at the St. John Medical Center.

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