Amateur Radio in Time of Need

  Hurricane Katrina Radar

   The Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net is a group of volunteer Amateur Radio operators (ham radio operators) that meet "on the air" nightly on frequency 3.935 MHz at 7:00 PM Central Standard Time (8:00 PM Central Daylight Savings Time) (or 01:00 Zulu time). The net meets every night of the year as long as a net control operator is available and propagation conditions permit.

  All you need to participate in this net is an Amateur Radio General Class license or higher and a willingness to pass traffic if requested to do so.

  The primary purpose of this net is to handle emergency traffic when an emergency exists. At other times the net functions as a routine traffic net maintaining liaison with the Interstate Single Sideband Net on 3.985 MHz

  This is a "directed net". Amateur Radio Operators are requested to not transmit unless directed to do so by the Net Control Operator.

  Early check-ins may sometimes be taken between 00:30 and 01:00 Zulu. At 01:00 Zulu, the net is officially announced, the preamble is read, and the roll call is made by the Net Control Operator of stations on the Active Roll Call List alphabetically by state, beginning with the state of Alabama.

    Amateur Radio operators can request to be added to the Active Roll Call List either during the early check-in period, at the end of the roll call, or when otherwise allowed by the Net Control Operator. The Active Roll Call List is a "dynamic" list: that is, a stations' name/call sign may drop off the list when check-in activity drops below a prescribed level. However, an active status can be reinstated by the Net Control Operator upon request.

 The Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net is one of the oldest nets on Amateur Radio serving the Gulf Coast region for over half a century.

 The Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net is listed on the ARRL registry of nets as a "wide coverage", emergency traffic net on 80 meters.

   ***FOR NON-HAMS: In the event of a storm event, be prepared in advance. If you are not an Amateur Radio operator, are located in a storm prone area, and cannot or will not evacuate for some reason, be sure to print the "Simplified Form for the Public" found HERE well in advance of the storm. You may not have internet access or power after the storm. Use this completed form to pass a short message to loved ones outside the affected area after the storm.  When conditions are safe after the storm, bring the completed form to your local authorities for their volunteer ham operators to broadcast your message into the traffic system.  NOTE: We do not recommend violating mandatory evacuation orders by your local officials!! 

   Our plans are to publish some of the actual messages (traffic) in the BLOG section of this website when practical. You can sign up for free, live e-mail updates to the BLOG on the right hand side of that section. When an article or message is posted you will automatically be sent an e-mail. The publication of messages in the BLOG is of course in addition to the direct contact with the intended recipient by an Amateur Radio operator or  designate. You can also follow us on Twitter or LIKE our Facebook page as all BLOG articles may be posted there as well. NOTE: Health and Wellness messages passed using this traffic net have no expectation of privacy as they are broadcast on unencrypted airwaves.

Our plans are to publish some of the actual messages (traffic) in the BLOG section of this website when practical. You can sign up for free, live e-mail updates to the BLOG on the right hand side of that section. When an article or message is posted you will automatically be sent an e-mail. The publication of messages in the BLOG is of course in addition to the direct contact with the intended recipient by an Amateur Radio operator or  designate. You can also follow us on Twitter or LIKE our Facebook page as all BLOG articles are also automatically posted there as well. NOTE: Health and Wellness messages passed using this traffic net have no expectation of privacy as they are broadcast on unencrypted airwaves.  - See more at: file:///C:/Users/George/Documents/My%20Web%20Sites/CGCHNet-2Blog/site-map.html#sthash.SR4k1MXP.dpuf
Our plans are to publish some of the actual messages (traffic) in the BLOG section of this website when practical. You can sign up for free, live e-mail updates to the BLOG on the right hand side of that section. When an article or message is posted you will automatically be sent an e-mail. The publication of messages in the BLOG is of course in addition to the direct contact with the intended recipient by an Amateur Radio operator or  designate. You can also follow us on Twitter or LIKE our Facebook page as all BLOG articles are also automatically posted there as well. NOTE: Health and Wellness messages passed using this traffic net have no expectation of privacy as they are broadcast on unencrypted airwaves.  - See more at: file:///C:/Users/George/Documents/My%20Web%20Sites/CGCHNet-2Blog/site-map.html#sthash.SR4k1MXP.dpuf

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  We cordially request that amateur radio stations conducting "recreational conversations" (rag chew) near 3.935 MHz respect our need for clear communication to facilitate traffic while the net is in progress.

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When All Else Fails, Amateur Radio Will Be There...

  When cell phones, regular phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, Amateur Radio still gets the message through.  Radio amateurs, often called “hams,” enjoy radio technology as a hobby. But it's also a service –a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed.

  Hams are at the cutting edge of many technologies.  They provide thousands of hours of volunteer community and emergency services when normal communications go down or are overloaded.  All of them enjoy being creators, not just consumers, of wireless technology.

Below is a video of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA, in 2005. There are two sections within the video. The first two minutes is a news report on the contribution of Amateur Radio operators in the chaos after Katrina.  After the two minute mark in the video, there is an actual recording of Hams in action. The video is old, but the message is timeless:


Visit the ARRL website for more info on Amateur Radio and obtaining your FCC license.