Amateur radio operators, weather enthusiasts, and public safety officials from throughout New England turned out in numbers for the 2007 Hurricane Awareness Tour, hosted by the National Weather Service in Taunton, MA at Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, RI on April 30, 2007.
The day featured tours by the personnel of the NOAA WP3 Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft which was open to the public. The Tour marked the start of an annual campaign to raise awareness and preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.
Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY coordinated the efforts of nearly 40 ham volunteers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut to provide communications support throughout the event. A special Winlink station operated by hams demonstrated e-mail communications via Amateur Radio in lieu of the internet. EchoLink contacts also highlighted Amateur Radio’s emergency communications capabilities. Macedo assisted in establishing communications via Amateur Radio between Bill Prozena, Director of the National Hurricane Center with Prozena’s office in Miami, Florida.
Nine members of the Taunton Area Communication Group demonstrated Amateur Radio capabilities by operating two 2-meter FM stations and one HF station. TACGroup established stateside QSOs, as well as DX contacts with Italy, the Netherlands and Russia. They also made contacts with area hams via local repeaters.
[Seated, left-right: Hurricane Specialist Michelle Mainelli; Rob Macedo, KD1CY; Dan Roy, KA1BNO, Bulletin Manager, R.I.]
–Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, May 2007