Maria Still a dangerous storm


Hurricane Maria:

“Extremely dangerous” Hurricane Maria is 70 miles North of the Dominican Republic and 220 miles SE of Grand Turk Island moving NW at 9 mph. Although weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it passed over Puerto Rico, it has restrengthened to a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 115 mph and may continue to strengthen through the weekend... Maria‘s center will pass just to the North of the Northeast Coast of the Dominican Republic today as it begins a turn to the NNW on Friday moving towards the Turks and Caicos and Southeastern Bahamas. The storm is about 300 miles wide.

At this time, Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the Northeastern Coast of the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas.. Hurricane Watches are in effect for St. Maarten and parts of the Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the Suthwestern Coast of the Dominican Republic and part of the Northern Coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic.


At this time, it is appears that Hurricane Maria will not directly impact the United States but it may increase surf, rip currents and off–shore winds similar to what Jose has done.

Hurricane Jose:

For Hurricane, now Tropical Storm, Jose continues to travel in a relatively tight circle just off the coast of New England. Jose is approximately 460 miles wide and tropical storm force winds continue to impact parts of New England. This should begin to wane later today, however.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017:

Both the International SATERN SSB Net and the Hurricane Watch Net were quite active on Wednesday as stations from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico began to check in following Hurricane Maria’s passage through those islands yesterday.

Virgin Islands:  Although the U.S. Virgin Islands were heavily damaged, it was apparent that they had some limited communications capabilities and other resources.

Puerto Rico:  All of the Puerto Rican operators reported that there was an island–wide power and communications blackout. It was reported that amateur radio seemed to be the only communications that were operational and that was somewhat limited as many 2 meter repeater systems were still not operational. There is no operational public water system and many local roads are impassable although some major roads have been cleared.

Dominica:  International SATERN SSB Net Manager Ken Gilliland (AG6SV) reports at 1620 (CT) / 2120 Z a Florida station (N8PR) checked into the net and reported that amateur radio operators on Dominica have set up an email station to handle individually identified Health & Welfare messages as soon as they get set up. Email can be sent to: WelfareDominica(at)cewn(dot)org.

All of this information was forwarded throughout the day to both the Eastern Territory and National Headquarters (NHQ). NHQ, in turn, forwarded this information to the FEMA National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) which, according to National Disaster Services Specialist Flo Knox (KB3YAT), recognized the contributions of The Salvation Army and SATERN in its Situation Reports. Michael Schartz, EDS Director for the Empire State Division who is helping Eastern Territory Disaster Coordinator Mike Orfitelli said in an email to National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) yesterday, “I want to let you [know] how much I appreciate and recognize the capacity of SATERN. This is the exact reason why we need it. When all other lines of communication are down, Ham [Radio] gets through.”

Thursday, 21 September 2017:

The International SATERN SSB Net will continue to be in a Delta II (extended monitoring) status from 0900 (CT) / 1400 Z until 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z. This same schedule will continue through at least Friday, 22 September. It is possible that this same schedule will be continued longer depending upon (a) the level of threat posed by Hurricane Maria, and (b) the needs of The Salvation Army.


Stations interested in signing up for one or more one hour slot(s) between 1100 (CT) / 1600 Z through 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z to be either a Net Control Station or Assistant Net Control Station should contact Net Manager Ken Gilliland (AG6SV) at AG6SV(at)ATT(dot)net and Assistant Net Manager Bob Rogers (WA5EEZ) at BobRgrs(at)Hotmail(dot)com.

Net Controls & Net Relay Stations and stations checking into the Net should be pausing for a few seconds between transmissions throughout the Net period including the comment session. During that pause Net Control and Net Relay Stations will be asking for any stations with emergency, priority or Health & Welfare messages to check in. All other stations should listen closely and be prepared to relay weak stations with such messages.

Stations checking–in from the potentially impacted areas will be asked to provide the Net Control Station with the following information:

  1. Any emergency, priority or Health & Welfare messages that may come out of the impacted area(s)
  2. A brief situation report from the stations’ location that includes:
    1. Salvation Army Eastern Territory Headquarters which is responsible for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, have specifically asked for any information amateur radio operators on Puerto Rico can provide SATERN about the condition of the San Juan Airport including when it will be open for incoming aircraft. It is presumed that this information is needed so that The Salvation Army can begin sending in relief personnel and supplies.
    2. Is there any hurricane wind damage? If so, is it minor moderate or severe?
    3. Is there any flood or storm surge damage? If so, is it minor moderate or severe?
    4. Are there any power outages? If so, how wide-spread?
    5. Are there any communications disruptions? If so, what kind and how wide-spread?

SATERN Net Control Operators, Assistant Net Control Operators and members should listen closely for any stations coming out of the impacted areas. Eastern Territory SATERN Coordinator Maj. Tom Dingman (K2QMU) made telephone contact yesterday with two (2) SATERN volunteers in Puerto Rico (WP3ZZ and WP4WV) who may or may not be able to check in post-storm.

Neither the SATERN Net nor will be accepting Health & Welfare INBOUND Health & Welfare messages (That is, Health & Welfare Messages inquiries going to people inside an impacted area). INBOUND Health & Welfare Inquiries should be referred to the American Red Cross Safe and Well program at: Inbound Emergency Messages (e.g. messages affecting life–safety) should be handled as an emergency and assistance given to the best of the Net’s ability.

All OUTBOUND Emergency, Priority and Health & Welfare messages (e.g. messages coming OUT of a potentially impacted area) will be accepted.

ALL situation or damage reports should be sent to National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) at as quickly as possible so that he can keep The Salvation Army fully informed in a timely manner.

Both the International SATERN SSB Net and the Hurricane Watch Net strongly encourage the participation of bi–lingual (English & Spanish) amateur radio operators on their Nets.

Hurricane Maria is a potentially dangerous storm which will bring Category 2 and 3 winds, storm surge and torrential rain to numerous Caribbean Islands that have already been severely damaged by last week’s Hurricane Irma.

International SATERN Digital Net:  There are no current plans to activate this net at this time.

Southern Territory SATERN SSB Net:  There are no current plans to activate this net at this time.


Hurricane Watch Net (HWN): The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) ended operations last night. National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) sincerely thanks HWN, its Net Managers, Net Control Operators and other operators for all of their assistance, cooperation and information they provided.

VoIP Hurricane Net: The VoIP Weather / SKYWARN Net ended operations yesterday. National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) sincerely thanks the for the information it has provided SATERN and The Salvation Army.

ARRL: It is not known if W1AW will continue to be monitoring the SATERN Net today and tomorrow or not.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Rev. 1.00 2017-09-21 AD5XJ