The entire State of Florida now is under an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Level 1 — or full — activation as Hurricane Matthew heads for landfall in the US. The deadly storm already has caused 16 deaths, most of them in Haiti, as it moved northward through the Caribbean. Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Strait Hollis, KT4YA, will oversee the ARES activation for the entire state. The Northern Florida ARES Net, under HF Net Manager Don Duckett, N9MN, has been called up on 3950 or 7252 kHz — depending upon propagation — starting at 1300 UTC and will remain operational for the duration of the threat.
“This net is for life safety communications,” ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager Steve Szabo, WB4OMM, stressed. “This net is not for collecting weather data, idle conversations, or ‘chit chat.’” Szabo called on operators outside of the Northern Florida or Southern Florida sections having “good solid access to HF” to contact Duckett with their availability to serve as net control stations and to check into the net.