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Membership Information

Thank you for your interest in the Hurricane Watch Net

About our history:

The Hurricane Watch Net, founded by Jerry Murphy, (Amateur radio call sign K8YUW), was formed in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy, as an informal group of radio amateurs who recognized a need to provide communications to and from hurricane affected areas. The Hurricane Watch Net has continued to operate during every hurricane threatening land in the Atlantic, Caribbean Basin, and Gulf of Mexico, and has acquired a formal, direct association, with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL since that time. To this day, the Hurricane Watch Net activates on 14.325.00 MHz, as well as 7.268 MHz, whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of projected landfall or becomes a serious threat to a populated area.

The Hurricane Watch Net consists of a group of licensed Amateur Radio Operators trained and organized to provide essential communications support to the National Hurricane Center during times of Hurricane emergencies. Our primary mission is to disseminate tropical cyclone advisory information to island communities in the Caribbean, Central America, along the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S., and throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas. We also collect observed or measured weather data from amateur radio operators in the storm affected area as well as any post storm damage, and convey that information to the Hurricane Forecasters in the National Hurricane Center via the amateur radio station in the center (WX4NHC).  In addition, we provide the same service for the Canadian Hurricane Centre whenever a hurricane threatens their country.

The purpose of the Net is to:
  • To disseminate the latest hurricane advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL for marine interests, Caribbean Island and Central American nations, and other interests where public media is not readily available.

  • To obtain real-time ground-level weather conditions and initial damage assessments from amateur radio operators in affected areas and relay such to the National Hurricane Center by way of WX4NHC, and when required, the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

  • To function as back-up communication for the National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service Forecast Offices, Canadian Hurricane Centre, Emergency Operation Centers, Emergency Management Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, and other vital interests (which can involve military relief operations involved in the protection of life and property before, during, and after a hurricane event).

  • To relay initial damage assessments of hurricane damage to the National Hurricane Center, and when required, the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
The Hurricane Watch Net is looking for a few well-qualified, dedicated new members.

Over the years, we have maintained an open Membership Application process that has attracted several hundred wishful and interested participants.  Unfortunately, many have failed to recognize what our particular membership requirements entail.  Consequently, those persons have been turned away with little or no satisfaction.

Before you venture into our Membership Application process, let's define the role and what it means to be an active member.

If your interest is solely to provide observed or measured weather reports from your location when a hurricane threatens, or if you are volunteering to provide relay assistance as required, then membership is NOT a consideration.  The primary reason for our overwhelming success over the years of our existence is due to those hundreds of fellow amateur radio operators in the affected area who monitor the storm's progress and voluntarily bring to us that data which is so vitally important as an element in the data base used by the hurricane forecasters in the National Hurricane Center in Miami.  You need not be a member to enable those vital reports to us.  Additionally, we often find ourselves needing relay assistance to capture essential information.  We request however, that folks respond only when specifically solicited for assistance by our net control station.  Membership is NOT required in order to participate when relay assistance is requested.

Being a Net Member of HWN means that you are expressing a desire to join in the Net Control responsibilities of the Net, which can entail endless hours of dedicated duty, primarily ensuring that all received weather reports can be effectively communicated to the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center in Miami (WX4NHC).  At times, such reports require multiple relays between our net control stations who simultaneously maintain constant contact via our private chat room for essential command and control operations.  When not fully occupied with on-air activity, our members often find themselves limited to chat room only engagement for hours at a time, to help with the flow of information into and out of Miami.

Our primary net operations occur on 14.325.00 MHz, beginning when a hurricane is within 300 miles of forecast landfall.  Since hurricanes can, and do, make landfall at night, our net moves it operations to 7.268 MHz when propagation on the twenty meter band fades away.  Depending on the location and path of the particular storm, HWN net members have often found themselves required to maintain operations round the clock, at times for days on end.

We have purposely painted this picture as a worst-case scenario so that no one can get the idea this is an easy role to fill.  The nature of the beast dictates that we cannot assign net control responsibilities on a specific timetable.  Rather, we must be prepared to work as a cohesive unit, passing control as the situation dictates, and making ourselves available for as much time as it takes to get the job done.

If you are one who can endure and dedicate yourself to the rigors expressed above, and if you feel you meet the requirements and qualifications, then we welcome your initiative to go to our "Membership Application".  Please, carefully read and understand all that is presented there, and then complete and submit the form.

Be advised that while we are normally in receipt of multiple applications from aspiring members, we maintain that for the minimal number of openings we are in a very unique position of having the ability to be quite selective.  By that, we mean that only the most competitive resumes will surface to the top.  If you feel you have a strong position from which you feel you should be among the top of the competition, then please let us know in your submitted request.

In summary, if you desire to be a reporting station with observed and/or measured local weather data during times when a hurricane threatens your area, or if you are volunteering solely to act as a relay station (click here).  If you feel you have all the right stuff, desire, and commitment to be a Net Control Member, then please continue to our Membership Application process (click here).

Thank you for taking the time to visit our web site, and thanks also for showing your interest to be involved.

Bobby Graves
Net Manager
Hurricane Watch Net