Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N7ROW, Oct 12, 2018.
Just to clarify, back when I shared my story, we were a few short years forward of the LA Riots. Everyone's Spirit was ill-at-ease then. Healing takes time.
One thing you can do if you are outside the disaster area, with power, Internet and phone service, is to listen for traffic from the disaster area and be prepared to relay messages. This may be most suited for those with good HF stations located around one hop away from the affected area. Stations needing relays may have limited power and improvised antennas.
Being at the other end of the kind of message that W0IS describes is a way to serve without putting yourself and others in harm's way and without straining scarce resources in the affected area.
Everyone loves a competent relay station.
I just pray everyone gives a damn about us when the big earthquake flattens this region. Or that there are any relief supplies left.
I also pray it doesn't happen in winter.....
God help the weather affected.
I have done hurricane relief work as part of my job.
#1 advice for would-be volunteers is STAY AWAY. Fuel, food, lodging, cell bandwidth, pretty much everything, is in very short supply in a disaster area. We had a hard time organizing things ourselves and we had a lot of authority you don't have. You will get in the way, cause problems, and divert resources from people who really need them.
Want to help - join an organization and be part of organized relief work. Red Cross, Salvation Army, Civil Air Patrol, RACES, local SAR team, or whatever else looks interesting. NO ONE needs some random guy with a 2 meter radio showing up. One more thing - the living can be brutal. If you have any health issues at all, STAY AWAY.
Volunteering is not a random individual person effort, it's a coordinated team effort.
It's all staged, planned and coordinated with emergency management officials according to a decision tree of priority, available resources and need. So as a volunteer, you don't get to choose or make those decisions because they do.
So no, it's not a wild west situation where people start showing up and start doing anything or whatever they want. People who do that are putting themselves at risk and it also places additional strain on limited resources. That's what they mean by "getting in the way." They simply don't want any people showing up only to become victims themselves. That just adds to the chaos and your presence means you may have taken a meal or a bed away from someone else who really needs it.
If you like to volunteer great, but do so under the umbrella , direction and supervision of a credible volunteer group who are in direct contact and coordinating efforts with local emergency management officials.
Well said Charles. I still think the Red Cross is one of the best places for hams to provide their resources and assistance. The Red Cross has a well coordinated set of protocols for operating in disaster areas and well trained amateurs are a valuable resource. Hams, supporting the Red Cross in providing health and welfare information and support, take a lot of the burden off of first responders who are dealing with real emergency situations. When I lived in Florida I helped the Red Cross deal with two hurricanes and three big tropical storms and I know the value of the services they provide.
I don't like whackers and wannabees who try to insert themselves where they don't belong. They get in the way and do more harm than good. The services provided by the Red Cross may not seem glamorous but they are important and valuable to the community, and also to the families of people in the affected areas by providing information about their loved ones. Wanna help, contact the Red Cross in your area, they will provide training and give you an opportunity to put your radio skills to good use.
I'm back in the home I first slept in, in 1964. I'm taking care of Mom till Dad gets her back.
We have grid power...it will mean "Nada" after the dust settles, the waters recede, the Blue Skies return, now as winter approaches the Pacific South West, I see the Sun differently.
I have an FT-991, 100 watts of solar power and 35 Amp hours of battery power. I do have reliable grid power, even though we did have a black out this evening.
Seems everyone in the neighborhood knows I'm that "radio guy"