USGS

Feature Article: Filling the USGS 'Donut Hole'

By Adam Davidson, W9ASH

On July 2nd , shortly before midnight local time in Hawaii, a dozen Amateur radio operators did something nobody had ever done before, something that shows the best in amateur radio and could herald a transformation in the role Hams can play in emergencies. They felt an earthquake and sent detailed reports that were immediately used by the United States Geological Survey to assess the magnitude and damage done by this latest tremblor. Their reports used a special email program, Winlink Express, that operates through high frequency radio even when normal communication channels are down.
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New Winlink Form Submits Earthquake Data Directly to USGS Database

4 July 2020 -- Today, on the one-year anniversary of the M7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake in Southern California, Winlink presents "Did You Feel It for Winlink Express". Through cooperative efforts with the United States Geological Survey, Amateur radio operators worldwide can now report the effects of an earthquake at their location directly to the USGS. No infrastructure required.

The Did You Feel It (DYFI) system was developed by the USGS to tap the abundant information available about earthquakes from the people who experience them. By taking advantage of the vast number of Internet users, and Amateur operators with Winlink radio clients, the USGS gets a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of an earthquake, and the extent of damage. And best of all, with Amateur radio's help they can do so rapidly.

By providing a DYFI report when you can do so safely after an earthquake you contribute to citizen science and further the understanding of earthquakes. You also ensure that your area has been represented in the compilation of the maps of shaking. This is a two-way street: not only will you add valuable information on the extent of ground shaking and damage, but in the process we hope you will learn more about how other communities fared and gain a greater understanding of the effects of earthquakes.

The HTML form is available in the Standard Forms library in the USGS folder. Direct questions about the form and its use to: K6OLI Oliver Dully, [email protected].

More information on the USGS "Did You Feel It" program is at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/dyfi/ and in the document downloadable using the link below.

--The Winlink Team

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