Disaster Freq List

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Fn/Form, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    A few months ago I compiled a list of disaster-related frequencies. I was originally focused on locating FEMA frequencies. I grew up in Southeast Texas and still live/travel in the greater area, so I was especially interested in hurricane-type frequencies. The purpose was to possibly be better informed about what's going on in the area.

    I found several hurricane/disaster frequency lists. I wish I had time during Hurricane Ike to check out the freqs, but I ended up working a lot of OT, some of it helping with enforcement in Galveston. Too bad, I had a great opportunity to listen/learn. Here's a link to my compilation (Excel spreadsheet), no login or membership needed to download:

    Free File Hosting Made Simple - MediaFire
     
  2. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

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    Net List

    Nice list. Almost all is on the High Frequency (HF) bands and several amateur radio frequencies are listed.

    To use this list, one will need a nice HF radio receiver. That receiver will need to be able to receive singlesideband (SSB). Something like this Kaito would be the MINIMUM I'd recommend. With it, you may hear some signals. With a better receiver and outside antenna, you will hear much more.

    Radio Reference is another resource. This list lets you look up the radio channels for your local public safety agencies. At Scan America, now owned by Radio Reference, you can listen to these resources, not in all places, without a scanner, as long as your internet holds out.

    While I recommend a nice shortwave receiver (and I have two), the LOCAL information, during a disaster, is what you want. Therefore, buy a scanner first, get your amateur radio license next, and then get on HF.
     

  3. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    kc5fm,

    Most Texas public safety agencies in large and mid-size municipal areas are on digital 800MHz systems or moving toward them. Some rural counties already have it, and there are a few digital systems that span several hundred miles. No news to you, I'm sure.

    Some of those agencies are always encrypted. I know my agency and other local agencies have tac/events channels not listed at Radio Ref. Those unlisted and several encrypted channels were used for local FEMA/resource coordination.

    Are you aware of any other commo avenues we can listen to? I hope to glean more specific info from the local amateur radio EMCOMM volunteers.

    Realistically, it will take a lot of time to make sense of what is being said, if you can quickly find a channel with the right traffic. But if we're waiting out the storm, we'll probably have time to sit and listen!
     
  4. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

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    Texas Listening

    If you are talking about listening to the High Frequency radio nets, 14.300 mHz is a good all day (as in daylight) net while 14.325 is a good hurricane net. Also, during the day, I would listen to 7.290 for the 7290 Traffic Net and 7.285 for the Texas Traffic Net.

    Click the link for schedule on the latter. There is a list of net schedules that may help you.

    As you mentioned, a number of agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, use encryption. While limited in scope so far, some amateur radio operators are beginning to use digital modes such as D-Star, P-25, etc. Locally, the hams are experimenting with digital modes but still use analog repeaters.

    Therefore, I would encourage you to, at least, listen to the local amateur radio operators on your scanner. You can find a list of local channels at Artscipub, Radio Reference, and USRepeaters.

    If these repeaters fail, try to learn from your LOCAL folks what the backup plan is. For example, 146.52 is the National Simplex channel. There are other simplex channels. Will the net move from the repeater to there or will they use the repeater output for simplex?

    I encourage nets to do a summary at a predetermined time so listeners can get the information they need and save what battery power they may have. Some do. Most don't.

    Also, I really do encourage you to get an amateur radio license so you can TALK on the nets. During a disaster and particularly when traveling, having an amateur radio license may very well be your only communication. The how-to of that has been posted here so many times, I won't repeat more than, it begins with the American Radio Relay League search for a local club, local class, and local test session.

    I hope that helps.
     
  5. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    Thanks for the additional info, Mr. Colston. I've had my amateur license since I was 14. VHF most of the time. Looks like getting involved in local EMCOMM is the ticket.
     
  6. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

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    Hams talk!

    Great news! Looking back through the thread, I had no way of knowing you already were an amateur radio operator.

    I am glad you are "in the fold", so to speak.

    Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated to the rest of you folks. :eek:
     
  7. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    How do I get started in amatur radio?, what's the first step?:confused::eek:
     
  8. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

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    Amateur Radio

    Assuming you are in the USA, visit the American Radio Relay League.

    Once there, get one of their study guides. The easiest license to obtain is the Technician Class. Start there.

    Many ARRL-affiliated clubs offer classes. Search for the club and class closest to you.

    When you are ready to take the test, there's even a search to find a test session close to you.

    I hope that helps.