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Author Topic: Ham radio testimonial: Joplin  (Read 2748 times)
W0TLP
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Posts: 83




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« on: November 11, 2011, 07:32:42 AM »

We've all heard how many times amateur radio operators have been of great service to communities after disasters. Some of us have actually experienced it but I suspect most have not.

I'll add one more testimonial for the importance of radio emergency communications.

I work for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and am a member of the recently formed emergency response committee, which is charged with the responsibility of being the support liaisons for our parishes, schools and agencies in the event of a disaster. The committee was created after some tornadoes came through the area in the last year causing severe damage to a parish rectory, minor some damage to a parish church and much damage to the homes of parishioners.

One member of the committee works for Catholic Charities, a federation of charitable agencies that is part of the archdiocese. Since May 22, she has spent a sum of about about 3 months in Joplin, Mo. assisting that diocese's Catholic Charities with providing relief efforts for people impact by the tornado. The opening statement of her eloquent and very touching story of triumph amid devastation went something close to this:

"The first and greatest obstacle we faced in Joplin was communications. The telephone systems were down and the cellular networks were either destroyed or overloaded. The only reason we were able to provide the service we did is because of the ham radio operators, who were able to provide the only reliable communications among agencies and shelters. We must establish relationships with the local hams who will offer their services if we ever have a major disaster."

Amateur radio is indeed valuable in a real and practical way. We're not first responders zipping out with lights and sirens to save the day. But even if we just coordinate the distribution of supplies to shelters and relief centers or pass along welfare messages when the main communications infrastructure is compromised, people appreciate the service.

Teak
KD0KVV

« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 03:20:06 PM by KD0KVV » Logged
NX5MK
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 12:43:07 PM »

Excellent post Teak!

73,
Marcus
KD0JKM
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KF9ZA
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Posts: 48


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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 12:44:21 PM »

Thank you for the post Teak!   Smiley
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KC0UKR
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 04:33:32 PM »

I was there the 2nd week after it hit and it was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen.
I was working for Satern and it was an unbelievable environment to work in.
Our mission was to help the Salvation Army with Logistics and Communications any way we could.
I am lucky that I could go with little notice and that I have made preperations in advance to be able to support this type of effort.
I felt bad that I had to leave and suggest anyone try to help who can.

Good Topic Teak.

Ed
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 04:35:18 PM by KC0UKR » Logged
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