ARRL EMA Section Field Day Directory
Field Day Safety and Weather Safety

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This file discusses Field Day Safety

Weather Safety.

Sections in this document on Weather Safety

Site Safety

See related pages for non-weather site safety:

Special SKYWARN Announcement for Field Day Sites 2009

Skywarn/ARES Lightning Safety Week & Field Day safety messages for 2004/2005

Subject: Amateur Radio Field Day Weather Coordination Message #1
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 07:26:01 -0400
From: "SkyWarn Announcement List"

Hello to all.....

.....The following is the first in a series of weather coordination messages
for Amateur Radio Field Day. For Non-Amateurs, a description of Amateur
Radio Field Day is in the first paragraph of this coordination message....
.....Intense Heat and Humidity is expected this weekend for Amateur Radio
Field Day over most of Southern New England. Heat indices could rise to
around the 100 degree range with high temperatures well into the 90's.
Amateurs are urged to use extreme caution in the heat and drink plenty of
liquids during the setup and take down of equipment this weekend and while
operating in the field....
.....With the intense heat and humidity and the potential for a weak cold
front to enter the atmosphere, scattered thunderstorms will also be
possible. It is very uncertain this far out to determine the convective
potential but at least garden variety thunderstorms with lightning could
pose a threat to Field Day sites and the Storm Prediction Center has
highlighted the potential for isolated severe weather in their Day-3
convective outlook for Saturday into Sunday Morning....
.....Amateurs are urged to follow safety instructions for lightning and for
severe thunderstorms should they occur during Field Day. SKYWARN
Coordinators will guard Field Day sites from significant weather this
weekend and monitor local SKYWARN repeaters to provide support and
coordination if thunderstorms threaten. A lower threshold for NWS Taunton
Ham Operations will be utilized this weekend to support this endeavor and
Ops at the SEMARA Club Station, W1AEC could also be utilized pending the
timeframe and area affected by any thunderstorm threat...

For the non-Amateur Radio Operators on the email list, Amateur Radio Field
Day occurs on the 4th weekend of June every year and is a time where local
Amateur Radio Clubs and individual Amateurs across the United States set up
Amateur Radio stations across the region and work other Amateurs in a 24
hour contest that practices some radio operator skills, practices setup of
Amateur Equipment in the field at various locations for the Amateurs who
elect to setup equipment versus operating their home or pre-installed club
stations and is an overall fun event that Amateurs enjoy. The field stations
put on by Amateur Radio Clubs and other groups allows the public to see
Amateur Radio Operators perform their duties in a fun atmosphere. Any
non-Amateurs in Eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut, that are interested
in visiting the various Field Day sites can see a map of the sites that are
open to the public via the following links:

Non Amateurs in Rhode Island and New Hampshire that are interested in
visiting Field Day sites that may be open to the public can check for Field
Day listings at individual clubs listed on the following ARRL links:

This weekend will be featuring a very hot and humid atmosphere that will
continue through the early and middle part of next week. Temperatures on
Friday, where some Field Day stations will be setting up will soar through
the 80's to near 90 degrees with low temperatures Friday Night in the 60's.
On Saturday, temperatures are expected to soar into the 90's with even more
humidity. Heat indices are expected to rise to near 100 degrees with the
increased humidity. Low temperatures Saturday Night may only fall into the
mid 70's Saturday Night with highs on Sunday while possibly slightly cooler
still reaching the mid 80's to low 90's across the region at a minimum. The
only area that may escape the heat and humidity to some extent will be South
Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island where southwest winds off the ocean
may keep temperatures in the 80's. The Southwest flow will get modified
inland and not cool off this very hot and humid air mass. This heat and
humidity can pose significant stress on Amateurs working in the field to
setup and operate their stations. NWS Taunton has issued a Special Weather
Statement concerning the threat that such heat and humidity can cause. That
statement is listed in this coordination message. Please remember to drink
plenty of liquids and remember the dangers that the heat can pose. The
National Weather Service has information dedicated to the dangers of intense
heat and humidity. Those links are listed below:

In addition to the heat, a weak cold front may push into the region some
time late Saturday and into Sunday. With such an unstable atmosphere in
place, it will not take much to get thunderstorm activity to fire in the
region. Thunderstorms are a significant safety threat to Field Day sites.
Non-severe thunderstorms with intense, cloud-to-ground lightning could cause
significant impact to Field Day sites particularly those in open fields
where the highest point on that open field could be the antennas that are
setup for Field Day. It is important to exercise extreme caution should
thunderstorms be in the area. If there is enough time, bring down the
antennas to avoid damage, if there is not enough time for that, get away
from the antennas and equipment and try to sufficiently cover radio gear
from the elements and move away from the site into your vehicles, a building
or sufficient structure until the weather has passed. If thunderstorms were
to reach near or above severe limits, strong winds can pose a significant
threat to any outdoor Field Day site and may also bring large hail as well.
Take all thunderstorm risks seriously if you are out in the field. Don't
become a victim of lightning or if a thunderstorm were to reach severe
limits, a victim of the strong winds and large hail that a severe
thunderstorm could also produce. The Storm Prediction Center has indicated a
5% risk of severe weather for much of the region. This essentially means a
risk for isolated severe thunderstorms across a large portion of Southern
New England away from coastal locations with the chance for garden variety
thunderstorms and their lightning risk. The SPC Convective Outlook has also
been posted as part of this coordination message.

As has happened in year's past, Field Day is occurring near the time of the
National Weather Service's Lightning Safety Awareness Week. A link to the
NWS web site dedicated to the hazards of lightning is listed below:

In addition, Eastern Massachusetts ARRL has posted some of the safety
messages from Field Day to the web and that information can be seen at the
following link:

In addition, NWS Taunton has posted several Public Information Statements on
the threat lightning poses and will post one to two more statements between
today and Friday. Those statements are also listed as part of this
coordination message.

Another update on Field Day Weather will be posted either tonight or
tomorrow morning. Below [are links for]
the Special Weather Statement from NWS Taunton concerning the heat and humidity,
the Hazardous Weather Outlook,
the SPC Day-3 Convective Outlook
and Public Information Statements concerning lightning for Lightning Safety Awareness Week:

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator

= = = = = = = = = = = =

Subject: Amateur Radio Field Day Weather and Safety Tips Update #1
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 23:45:34 -0400
From: "Rob Macedo" <>

Hello to all....

Amateur Radio Field Day is rapidly approaching. Amateur Radio Field Day, for those on the email list who may not be an Amateur Radio Operator and not
familiar with the event, occurs every year and is where Amateur Radio Stations get on the air from home, from EOC's, club stations and from outdoor
locations in state parks and at places of elevation etc. to make as many contacts in a 24 hour period as possible. Field Day begins at 2 PM Saturday June
26th through 2 PM Sunday June 27th [2004 -- dates for 2005 are 25th & 26th] with setup starting either Friday or Saturday Morning and takedown of most setups Sunday Afternoon and Evening.
Field Day is an opportunity for Amateur Radio Operators to enjoy themselves as well as practice setting up an Amateur Radio station and staffing it for a full
24 hour period if desired by groups of Hams or Amateur Radio Clubs.

While it is way too early to definitively state the forecast for this weekend, long range models are hinting at the potential for some thunderstorm activity this
weekend. It is far too early to know what parts of the region may be impacted, whether or not it will be severe and whether or not thunderstorms will actually
occur. Nonetheless, now is a good time to review lightning safety rules in case thunderstorms occur this weekend. In addition, SKYWARN Coordinators and
Net Controls that are not involved in Field Day will be active in offering "SKYWARN Protection Services" to all Field Day sites in the NWS Taunton County
Warning Area. This includes liaison by either me or designated Amateurs not involved in Field Day at either NWS Taunton or the SEMARA (Southeast
Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association) if thunderstorms threaten an area. This includes "garden variety" summer type thunderstorms which pose a
threat to outdoor Field Day sites because of the potential for intense, frequent lightning.

All groups and clubs involved with Field Day and have outdoor setups in particular are urged to bring a NOAA Weather Radio with them and have a 2
Meter/440 MHz radio on their local SKYWARN repeater. The frequency listing for SKYWARN Nets can be found at the link below:

Please note that the list needs to be updated to reflect the fact that the 146.790-Vernon, CT Repeater is now the primary repeater for SKYWARN in Hartford
and Tolland Counties in CT and the 147.000-Soapstone, CT Repeater is now a back up to the 146.790-Vernon CT repeater.

Field Day falls on the same week as the National Weather Service's Lightning Safety Awareness Week. This happened last year as well. The National
Weather Serivce Forecast Offices are putting out Public Information Statements concerning the threat of lightning everyday this week. In addition, the
National Weather Service has a whole web site dedicated to lightning safety. Below is the link to that web-site:

Another update on Amateur Radio Field Day Weather and Safety Tips will be posted either late Thursday or Friday with more statements on lightning safety
and updated look at the weather and any potential for thunderstorms/severe weather for Field Day Weekend. Below [are links to the ] statement[s] on lightning safety awareness week from NWS Taunton:

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Southeast Massachusetts ARES District Emergency Coordinator
SAMARA ARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address:

[Replaced with links to 2005 statements -- n1vux]


For more information on lightning safety, go to www.Lightningsafety.NOAA.Gov

For the full set of 2004 Lighting Safety Week announcements see also ARES FD Page

Kentucky ARRL Heat Stress Tips

Noticed [heat advisories] in the weather forecast. All Field Day op's should be prepared to stay well hydrated this coming weekend if this comes to

Hydrated constitutes: Water, Gatorade etc. The ever popular "807's" as the OT's called them (alcoholic refreshments) should be kept to a minimum as it tends to hasten dehydration. Yep, I know, I'm a party-pooper! ;^). Have fun, but stay safe!



High temperatures and humidity stress the body's ability to cool itself, and heat illness becomes a special concern during hot weather. There are three major forms of heat illnesses: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, with heat stroke being a life threatening condition.

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are muscle spasms which usually affect the arms, legs, or stomach. Frequently they don't occur until sometime later after work, at night, or when relaxing. Heat cramps are caused by heavy sweating, especially when water is replaced by drinking, but not salt or potassium. Although heat cramps can be quite painful, they usually don't result in permanent damage. To prevent them, drink electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade during the day and try eating more fruits like bananas.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It occurs when the body's internal air-conditioning system is overworked, but hasn't completely shut down. In heat exhaustion, the surface blood vessels and capillaries which originally enlarged to cool the blood collapse from loss of body fluids and necessary minerals. This happens when you don't drink enough fluids to replace what you're sweating away. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include: headache, heavy sweating, intense thirst, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, impaired judgment, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, tingling in hands or feet, anxiety, cool moist skin, weak and rapid pulse (120-200), and low to normal blood pressure.

Somebody suffering these symptoms should be moved to a cool location such as a shaded area or air-conditioned building. Have them lie down with their feet slightly elevated. Loosen their clothing, apply cool, wet cloths or fan them. Have them drink water or electrolyte drinks. Try to cool them down, and have them checked by medical personnel. Victims of heat exhaustion should avoid strenuous activity for at least a day, and they should continue to drink water to replace lost body fluids.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a life threatening illness with a high death rate. It occurs when the body has depleted its supply of water and salt, and the victim's body temperature rises to deadly levels. A heat stroke victim may first suffer heat cramps and/or the heat exhaustion before progressing into the heat stroke stage, but this is not always the case. It should be noted that, on the job, heat stroke is sometimes mistaken for heart attack. It is therefore very important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke - and to check for them anytime an employee collapses while working in a hot environment.

The early symptoms of heat stroke include a high body temperature (103 degrees F); a distinct absence of sweating (usually); hot red or flushed dry skin; rapid pulse; difficulty breathing; constricted pupils; any/all the signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, but more severe; bizarre behavior; and high blood pressure. Advance symptoms may be seizure or convulsions, collapse, loss of consciousness, and a body temperature of over 108° F.

It is vital to lower a heat stroke victim's body temperature. Seconds count. Pour water on them, fan them, or apply cold packs . Call 911 and get an ambulance on the way as soon as possible.

Anyone can suffer a heat illness, but by taking a few simple precautions, they can be prevented:

1. Condition yourself for working in hot environments - start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days.

2. Drink lots of liquids. Don't wait until you're thirsty, by then, there's a good chance you're already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and pop.

3. Take a break if you notice you're getting a headache or you start feeling overheated. Cool off for a few minutes before going back to work.

4. Wear light weight, light colored clothing when working out in the sun. Take advantage of fans and air-conditioners.

5. Get enough sleep at night.

With a little caution and common sense, you can avoid heat illnesses.

Pages in FD web: EMA FD Home! § Directory! § Site List § Tour Plans
§ FD and ICS/NIMS ! § FD Planning,Rules, Scoring, & ARES § Safety: Safety Officer, Lightning, Heat, Resources!
EMA FD History 1999-2021 § About (Notes, Credits)