We are ready to help!
This is an update regarding the traffic system, Tropical Storm Laura, and Hurricane Marco.
The forecast cones continue to change as new data comes in. Hurricane Marco is now expected to make landfall late Monday in Southeast Louisiana, turning west, and following the coast before moving inland to the South Texas Section as a tropical depression. Here is the latest forecast cone for Hurricane Marco.
Tropical Storm Laura will make landfall late Wednesday in Southwest Louisiana, moving north until reaching the Louisiana/Arkansas border as a tropical storm, and then turn northeast. Here is the latest forecast cone for Tropical Storm Laura.
Warnings have been issued for the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts related to Hurricane Marco. No warnings have been issued related to Tropical Storm Laura at this time.
Today I again met with net managers and official relay stations in our Section to review these developments and our action plan should we see storm-related traffic. Information has also been sent to net control stations discussing these plans and how additional information will be provided should any actions outside of normal net operations be needed from them during traffic nets. The traffic system already categorizes traffic based on whether it is Emergency, Priority, Welfare, or Routine (general) traffic, and we will treat any storm-related Emergency, Priority, and Welfare traffic coming from affected areas with significant regard.
I have also heard back from other Section Traffic Managers, including Helen Straughn, WC4FSU, the Section Traffic Manager for the ARRL Northern Florida Section, who has offered her assistance to us given how these newer storm forecasts have them moving into our area instead of Florida.
Based on how these forecasts have evolved and the intensity these storms are expected to have when making landfall, we do not expect a large influx of storm-related traffic. However, if the need does arise, the traffic system is standing by and ready to assist.
Also worth noting, Greg Evans (K5GTX) our Section Emergency Coordinator has updated the Amateur Radio Emergency Service section status to Readiness Review. Just as I have asked traffic handlers to prepare for and monitor these storms, Greg asks that all ARES members check their equipment and readiness, including verifying their go-kits are well stocked and that batteries are charged. If ARES members have any questions, please reach out to your ARES Emergency Coordinator for more information.
Given the Traffic System, both inside our Section and in surrounding Sections, has reviewed these storms and is now standing by for any storm-related traffic, this will be my last update for now. Should we see large amounts of storm-related traffic come from affected areas, I will provide further updates on our activities, and net managers will update their teams with new information.
And as always, my thanks to traffic handlers and net managers here in our Section for working to move traffic on a daily basis as part of practicing and preparing for emergencies, and for working so diligently to prepare ahead of these storms. We are ready to help!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on the air, or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron | K8AMH