- Posted July 4, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Hurricane season 2014
Student at CSU-Pueblo Aids is Emergency Communications for Hurricane Arthur
According to the organizations website www.voipwx.net, "Dustin has been involved with the VoIP Hurricane Net since 2009 as a Net Control Operator and assisted Jim Palmer-KB1KQW with scheduling. In the past 1-1.5 years, Dustin has assisted the overall net including providing scheduling for net controls and support for net controls during Hurricane Irene's impact along the US east coast due to Jim Palmer-KB1KQW and Rob Macedo-KD1CY being directly impacted by Hurricane Irene in New England. Dustin continues to support the net particularly during net activations with scheduling, net control support and administration."
What is a net control operator? "A net control operator is basically a dispatcher taking information and relaying it via radio and online report forms," said Dustin. I really enjoy serving the nation and being that I am inland away from the hurricane zones makes me even more valuable, Dustin continued.
How do you do this being so far away from the coast? "It's actually pretty simple, you just need a ham radio license from the FCC and a computer, iPhone, or iPad with an internet connect and a VoIP software called Echolink and you are on," said Dustin.
The purpose, and our primary objective of the VoIP Hurricane Net on ham radio, is to help save lives and property through the identification and cautious field evaluation of threatening or dangerous weather and hazardous conditions and facilitating the timely gathering and dissemination of this information. Once we receive a report we pass it on to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center via a web form and they use it as part of the updates in the advisories.
Dustin is just one of several Amateur Radio Operators who serve with this organization but he is the only one that is currently attending school and help his community at the same time. Dustin said that the hurricane net attempts to recruit as many operators from the inland areas as possible to be sure that there is coverage when the primary net management team is a hurricane warning area and is unavailable to help.
During hurricane Irene, Dustin along with another operator assisted with gathering crutial reports for the National Hurricane Center over the course of 72 hours without the assistance of others. This was quiet the task for just two people. Dustin has now been one of the Assistant Directors of the Net Operations since 2010 and plans on continuing to serve the community for as long as possible.