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Ham Talk Live #89 -- Puerto Rico with Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L:

D Neil Rapp (WB9VPG) on November 7, 2017
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Thursday at 9 PM Eastern on Ham Talk Live!, it's your chance to call in and talk to Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L about the trip to Puerto Rico for disaster communications. She will talk about the work that was done, and give us a first hand insight into how things are on the island.

Tune into Ham Talk Live! Thursday night at 9 pm Eastern time by going to When the audio player indicates LIVE, just hit the play button! If you miss the show live, you can listen on demand 24/7/365.25 also at; or a podcast version is on nearly all podcast sites a few minutes after the live show is over. Some sites include Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud, and iHeart Podcasts; and it's also available on YouTube.

Be sure to CALL in with your questions and comments by calling 812-NET-HAM-1 live during the show, or by Skype. Our username is hamtalklive. You can also tweet your questions before or during the show to @HamTalkLive.

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Ham Talk Live #89 -- Puerto Rico with Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L  
by NY9A on February 13, 2018 Mail this to a friend!
Valerie Hotzfeld NV9L was the speaker at February 13th's, 2018, meeting of the Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA) in White Plains NY. She appeared via SKYPE and provided a compelling presentation of the valiant ways the 50 or more amateur volunteers triumphed over the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. More than 800 cell towers were destroyed, all traffic lights, all power and telephones lines were downed, and only local amateurs had any radio capability. None of the "professional" disaster people had communications for the first 2 weeks after the storm. But, the volunteers quickly established ham posts at hospitals, fire and police stations, becoming the vital link to FEMA and military services at the central command location. "There were 800 desks manned by all services there, but only we amateurs had communication equipment and we were in great demand," says Val. Many people were saved and families reunited thanks to the ham volunteer effort. Thanks to the hams were expressed by leaders, including vice president Mike Pence, who toured Puerto Rico to see the devastation of the island firsthand. Val's husband, Jerry, also an amateur, was deployed in Puerto Rico as a volunteer, as well.

The presentation included a Q & A period which attendees used to sharpen their own views of emergency readiness from NV9L's personal experience. One asked her why she and her husband volunteered. "It goes to what we all are," she said. "We are amateurs... we do it for love."

Reported by George J. Whalen, NY9A
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