SATERN International Amateur Radio Network Activated For Hurricane Willa

October 25, 2018
William Feist | | (601) 421-1496

NHQ, Alexandria, VA (10/23/2018) – The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) activated its International SATERN SSB (Voice) and Digital Nets for Hurricane Willa all day on Tuesday, 23 October and briefly on Thursday, 24 October.

During their activation the International SATERN Nets had 174 check-ins from 108 individual amateur radio stations located in 35 different states. 

The primary missions of the SATERN Network were:

  • Receipt and delivery of Emergency, Priority or Health & Welfare messages outbound from the impacted areas of west-central Mexico for delivery to people outside of the impacted area in the United States.
  • Support of The Salvation Army if needed or requested.
  • Support of our partners, including emergency communications partners, if needed or requested.

Because Hurricane Willa was forecast to make landfall on the west-central Pacific coast of Mexico as a major category 4 hurricane, the Net was activated per SATERN’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Hurricanes.  The SATERN Hurricane Activation Protocol calls for activation whenever a major (category 3 4 or 5) hurricane is about to make landfall within SATERN’s coverage area. 

Willa brought hurricane force winds of 130 mph with higher gusts to west-central Mexico along with strong storm surge, heavy surf and torrential rain that was likely to cause life-threatening floods and landslides. 

Hurricane Willa rapidly diminished in intensity as it moved inland.  It was a Tropical Depression by the time it reached the Mexican border with southwestern Texas.  Areas in southern Texas and the southern parts of the states along the Gulf of Mexico all the way into southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle have been impacted by various amounts of rain in areas already impacted by heavy rain, flooding, severe weather and Hurricane Michael over the last several weeks.

The national amateur radio organization for Mexico, Federación Mexicana de Radioexperimentadores or FMRE was also on the air.  It put out a request for other amateur radio operators to keep their emergency frequencies of 7.060, 7.130, and 14.120 MHz clear for emergency communications.

National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) expressed his gratitude to all of the SATERN operators who participated in this activation.  He especially appreciated the hard work and dedication of International SATERN SSB Net Manager Ken Gilliland (AG6SV), International SATERN Digital Net Manager Ken Standard (AD5XJ) for organizing their Nets’ responses and to Phil Fleming (N9HWO) who made frequent announcements for the SSB Net in both English and Spanish.

SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) is an international group of Salvation Army Emergency Disaster (EDS) volunteers who are licensed amateur radio operators that support The Salvation Army EDS ministry with auxiliary and emergency communications.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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