ARRL Headquarters is deploying Ham Aid kits to Hawaii as ARES volunteers stand ready to activate in the wake of the massive Puna volcanic lava flow that has been threatening some communities on the Big Island of Hawaii. The lava originated from new “vents” in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which began erupting more than 30 years ago. ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, said Tuesday that while he doesn’t believe an ARES activation is imminent, lava flows can be unpredictable, and things can change rapidly.
“Lava is a slow-motion disaster,” he said. “It’s not like a volcano, where the thing just blows up. It’s like a pot of soup.”
ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said the Ham Aid kits going out to Hawaii include HF gear as well as VHF and UHF equipment. “We’re deploying an HF kit — an IC-718 transceiver, a tuner, and a dipole — and a VHF/UHF kit.” The latter includes a mobile transceiver and power supply as well as several handheld transceivers that have been programmed with local frequencies that may be needed before they’re shipped. Corey said the Ham Aid kits are a resource available to ARRL section leadership to add capacity during a disaster or emergency response.
Schneider said that while there is no immediate need for the kits, “if they have it out there, and this thing changes, we’ll be prepared. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
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