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Molokai HAMS Needed for Emergency Drill

Hawaii ARES News Release

Calling all Molokai Amateur Radio operators or HAMS! On Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the Hawaii Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be hosting the Makani ‘Ino Hurricane Emergency Communications Drill.

Molokai residents are some of the most self-reliant people in the state. They have been cut off from each other many times in the past, from dangerous burning wildfires to flooding water, closing roads on the East End.

We also know that cell phone coverage is very limited as we drive around the island. Imagine what would happen if Molokai got hit by a hurricane?  The Police and Fire repeater antenna may be damaged, with Molokai General and Molokai Community Health Center both overwhelmed with our community members that have been injured.

How will we communicate with each other? Many HAMs are here to establish emergency radio communications in the event of severe infrastructure failure.  Makani ‘Ino is a drill to test the ability of volunteer Amateur Radio operators to establish emergency radio communications in the event of severe infrastructure failure. HAMs will use their radios and computers with the Winlink Global Radio Email system to send simulated messages around the islands including Winlink hurricane reports, check-ins, check-outs, field situation reports, damage reports, requests for assistance, and Red Cross shelter reports.

Hams interested in participating in the training exercise on July 16 are requested to pre-register at HawaiiARES.Net.

The statewide goal of this drill is to reinforce and test the operator’s ability to deploy stations using off-grid power (if possible), and work together to prioritize and push forward simulated reports and messages. As the simulated hurricane impacts each island, electrical power, Internet, and cell phone service are assumed to fail due to catastrophic weather. 

Hawaii ARES operators wish to be prepared to help people in our communities by supporting emergency communications in a worst-case scenario. Amateur Radio is not a replacement for normal communications channels (such as phone and internet) used by Public Safety or governmental agencies.  It acts to serve agencies in a subordinate capacity when those channels have been destroyed or compromised, enabling Public Safety agencies to focus on their primary role, maintaining critical services. 

Amateur Radio also serves private agencies such as American Red Cross and Salvation Army whose disaster relief efforts would be hampered by not being able to communicate effectively. For more information see HawaiiARES.Net. There are over 778,000 Amateur Radio operators in the United States, Guam, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, and over 3,800 in Hawaii.


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