Amateur Radio Emergency Service and SKYWARN Respond to Major Nor’easter

ARES logoFrom ARRL:

10/28/2021–A major nor’easter struck eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island this week, with ferocious winds stronger than those that Tropical Storm Henri brought to the region in August.

Starting on the evening of October 26, eastern Massachusetts amateur radio operators on the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) and National Weather Service (NWS) SKYWARN™ storm spotter teams joined forces to help emergency services provide a focused and effective response as the powerful nor’easter caused widespread damage. Tree and wire damage, trees falling on homes and cars, and a few cases of direct structural damage to weakened structures have been reported. ARES and SKYWARN operations will continue until the impact of the weather system subsides.

“We have handled several hundred reports of damage, and photos of damage are streaming in from ARES and SKYWARN operators to support damage assessment efforts and to keep the NWS in Norton apprised of the severe weather conditions affecting the region,” said Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator and ARES-SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Boston/Norton.

ARES-SKYWARN operators relayed reports of hurricane-force wind gusts reaching 94 MPH in Edgartown, Massachusetts, at Chappy Ferry Point; 84 MPH in Dennis, Massachusetts; 79 MPH in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and 78 MPH in Rockport, Massachusetts. Amateur operators with WX1BOX, the amateur radio station at NWS Boston/Norton; Cape Cod ARES and SKYWARN, and South Coast SKYWARN completed overnight operations, when the peak winds occurred.

“The dedication of our volunteers to provide this critical information in a major storm like this one to the NWS, media, and emergency managers during such a grueling stretch is very critical to inform people what is happening during such a significant storm when they wake up in the morning, so they will hopefully make safe decisions to avoid being out in a significant severe wind situation,” Macedo said.

Cape Cod ARES was activated by the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) to staff the Multi-agency Coordination Center (MACC) at the Barnstable County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The damages, power outages, and intermittent cell service from some providers could mean an extended activation for ARES members in Cape Cod and the Islands, Macedo explained.

According to the Cape Cod and Islands ARES District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, “Damage assessments in the region will give us a better sense of how long it will take to restore power and in some cases communication service to the Cape [Cod] and Islands area, and that will determine how long Cape Cod ARES will be needed, and if additional support from Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be needed.”

Macedo called the nor’easter “one of our more extraordinary weather systems within the last few years, and the most severe of several other major SKYWARN/ARES activations in this past year.”

As many as 500,000 customers lost power in the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section, with hardest-hit areas in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, and the Cape Ann area north of Boston, where hurricane-force wind gusts pummeled the region for several hours. Maximum sustained winds were 50 and 65 MPH. Rhode Island reported nearly 93,000 customers without power at the peak. These outages were an order of magnitude greater than during Tropical Storm Henri in Rhode Island, and about five orders of magnitude more severe than Henri in Massachusetts.

Storm conditions wound down toward the evening of October 27, allowing the process of more widespread power restoration to begin.


Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Combined SET, JOTA & POTA for Fun-Filled Weekend

Greater Bridgeport ARC loogo

Members of the Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club combined the best of a Simulated Emergency Test (SET), Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), and Parks On The Air (POTA), while operating from three state parks on October 16, 2021: 

  • Sherwood Island SP (Park K-1715)
  • Silver Sands SP (Park K-1716)
  • West Rock SP (Park K-1727) (2 stations)

“Our goal [was] to provide community outreach for ham radio, and to help train our new operators,” explained GBARC president Emily Clarke, N1DID.   

During the POTA Event the groups also participated in the CT ARES SET using simplex VHF/UHF as well as DMR.

“I wanted to do the SET from a distance away from our ARES region (Region 1)  so we could simulate simplex communications outside our region.   I was in Region 2, and all our other stations were in CT State Parks in Region 1 or were mobile enroute.  After the SET we turned our attention to our main reason for being in the park, our POTA event,” says Clarke.
According to N1DID, the JOTA contact wasn’t actually planned. 
“We were doing HF communications for POTA when a huge troop of Scouts walked by.  We asked, ‘Does anyone want to learn about ham radio?’ and they all ran and formed a very disciplined semi-circle around us.  I gave them an explanation about HF communications, then gave a short talk explaining how we and other radio amateurs were active on the air promoting our beautiful state parks.”
“We gave additional information about emergency communications. how parents and even scouts can get their technician licenses, and about how they can reach out to local clubs for help with their radio merit badge.  
Clarke and her group took  questions from the kids and parents and got a big thank you.  Clarke encouraged them to reach out to the club in the future. “Afterwards the Scout leader came up and took my email address and said ‘I always wanted to do this.’”
Although N1DID and the other GBARC members got to interact with the public at the other parks “The 40+ Scouts and parents we met  was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day in the park.”
Scouts at GBARC POTA event
Scouts visiting Greater Bridgeport ARC Parks On The Air event

The 2021 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is Just Ahead

ARES logoARRL Bulletin 24  ARLB024
From ARRL Headquarters 
Newington CT  September 23, 2021
To all radio amateurs

ARLB024 The 2021 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is Just Ahead

The weekend of October 2 – 3 is designated for holding the annual ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET), although local and Section-level exercises may take place throughout the Fall. The SET is ARRL’s primary national emergency exercise and is designed to assess the skills and preparedness of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers, as well as those affiliated with other organizations involved in emergency and disaster response.

The SET encourages maximum participation by all radio amateurs, partner organizations, and national, state, and local officials who typically engage in emergency or disaster response. In addition to ARES volunteers, those active in the National Traffic System (NTS), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), National Weather Service (NWS) SKYWARN, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and a variety of other allied groups and public service-oriented radio amateurs are needed to fulfill important roles in this nationwide exercise.

The SET offers volunteers an opportunity to test equipment, modes, and skills under simulated emergency conditions and scenarios. Individuals can use the time to update a “go-kit” for use during deployments and to ensure their home station’s operational capability in an emergency or disaster. To get involved, contact your local ARRL Emergency Coordinator or Net Manager.


George Lillenstein, AB1GL, Appointed New Connecticut Section Emergency Coordinator

CT ARES logoCongratulations to George Lillenstein, AB1GL, who has been appointed Section Emergency Coordinator for the Connecticut Section.  Lillenstein was formerly the District Emergency Coordinator for District 3 in Connecticut. He replaces outgoing SEC Mike Walters, W8ZY, who resigned the post after accepting employment at ARRL Headquarters. 

FEMA Announces HF Interoperability Activity on 60-Meter Channels 1 and 2

ARRL logoFrom ARRL News:

08/30/2021 – Channels 1 and 2 on 60 meters will be available starting on August 30 for interoperability between US government and US amateur radio stations involved in Hurricane Ida emergency communications. This situation will remain in place until the storm has passed and the need for these channels no longer exists, or on September 6, whichever comes first.

These frequencies will be used: Channel 1 Primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5 kHz USB voice; and Channel 2 Digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHz USB with 1.5 kHz offset to center of digital waveform. Stations on 60 meters are asked to yield to operational traffic related to Hurricane Ida.

Newport County (RI) Radio Club Members Participate in Portsmouth EMA Disaster Assessment Exercise, August 25, 2021

From the Newport County Radio Club Facebook page:
Last night Norfolk County (RI) Radio Club members participated in a RIARES-managed communications and disaster assessment exercise with the Portsmouth EMA, and the Common Fence Point Community Association in conjunction with the Portsmouth EMA Communications Team.
Key players included: Paul W1PJS, Teri W1PUP, John N1ZO, Scott WX1X, Jeremy K1JST, Charles W1CRB, Adam KC1KCC, Mike K1NPT, Bob WB4SON, Brian N1TBT, Rob KB1ZZU, & Ted W1GRI for filling out the roster for the exercise. Paul K1YBE helped with pre-event planning.
Photos are available in the share album:

American Red Cross Thanks Amateur Radio’s TS Henri Efforts

ARES logoMike Walters, W8ZY, writes on the ct-ares mailing list:

FYI, [here is] a nice “thank you” from the American Red Cross:


It looks like we had minimal residential damage from TS Henri.

Red Cross is in the process of closing shelters as the flood watches and warnings are expiring. 

With that, Red Cross is Standing Down the AREA activation request.

If you are aware of any storm related damage, please let me know.  Please ask the hams that check into this evening’s nets and on the alert groups.

I thank the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and SKYWARN for the hams’ support of the American Red Cross Disaster Response to Tropical Storm Henri. Amateur radio’s support of the humanitarian response to help our neighbors is greatly appreciated.

Please pass on Red Cross thanks to the hams that are on the nets and you Alert groups.

Stay Well!


Rosty Slabicky | Disaster Services Technology Regional Program Lead | Disaster Cycle Services

American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region | 203.788.6451 |


[RI-ARES] RI ARES Form 205 for Henri, Storm 8/22/2021

RI SEC Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS, writes to RI ARES Members:

Attached please find the form 205 for the Hurricane Henri situation.

It includes the repeaters on VHF and the HF frequencies, plus the simplex frequency 147.420 which we use for our simplex nets.

All communications will take place on the NB1RI repeaters as long as they are functional. Then we go to Simplex VHF. If the link goes down, we can use
the repeaters as standalone, and the 147.42 frequency as needed. HF is included, should it be needed.

Please prepare for the storm, first by taking care of yourselves and your families. Next, be sure any auxiliary power you have is charged and ready.

Someone will be actively monitoring the repeater network and the simplex frequency throughout the storm.

Note that the Cumberland machine, 145.170 remains delinked, but can be re-linked if need be.

If you have questions, please feel free to ask.

Please also review the Preparedness and Training Guide, also attached, for an idea of how to find some useful information if you may need it.

Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS
RI Section Emergency Coordinator
RI Association of Emergency Managers
     Chair, Radio Communications Committee
All Hazards FEMA RIEMA ComL
Air Force MARS
NESMC RI Director
Portsmouth EMA Communications Leader
646-522-2262, HH 4224


Paul, W1PJS
RI Section Emergency Coordinator


Ham Operators Needed for CT Regional Shelters for Henri Event

Tim Rodgers, KC1TWR, writes on the Radio Amateur Society of Norwich mailing list on August 20, 2021 at 8:57 PM:

To ARES members and local amateur radio operators,

Tropical Storm Henri, soon to be a hurricane, is coming and local communities have decided to open some of the Regional Shelters in preparation for the storm. The shelters decided upon for now will open at 1800 on Saturday. The logic there is that with the predicted heavy rainfall and flooding the shelters will be ready if neighborhoods, trailer parks, RV Parks, etc get flooded out and have to evacuate. Better to have a shelter open than to try and open one in the height of the storm.
As such we are looking for amateur radio operators for the Regional Shelters which do open. Preferably at least two per shelter so one operator can be relieved to get some sleep Sunday night while the storm is still going on. You can bring your own 2 meter radio or just come to the shelter.  A 2 meter radio, power supply, antenna, and tripod have been pre-positioned in each shelter along with instructions, and the Emergency Communications Frequency Chart. The assigned amateur radio operators will need to set up the equipment.  (Not a big deal)
Currently Red Cross and city officials will be opening the following shelters. East Lyme, Groton, Stonington, and Killingworth.
If you can volunteer to work at one of the shelters please contact Tom Scott WA2RYV or myself at As time proceeds and the storm predictions are better defined the timing for setting up radio stations may slide to Sunday morning. These decisions will be made by early afternoon Saturday. 
Here is the Henri cone of probability and timing as of 8 PM Friday.
Hurricane Henri cone of probability