delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 11

Ham Radio News

...because we don’t live in a vacuum.

 Hams and Hurricanes

We’ve all heard and read about amateur radio in the aftermath of hurricanes this fall.  DELARA members got a special insight into how it ~really~ was in the Caribbean when George Reidel, N1EZZ, brought his pictures to our October meeting.  George was assigned to one of the hardest hit islands, St Johns, where there was no communication (and little else).  George told us about just getting set up, when an even stronger hurricane smashed through the same area. George operated daily as the only communications resource from that island. The subsequent hurricane caused another problem: there was no way for George to get back to the states. After an extra week in place, George was treated to a return trip by none other than Kenny Chesney, who was flying supplies into the islands. George’s pictures gave us all an eyewitness account of the dramatic devistation. George wasn’t alone in representing Ohio.  Several other operators deployed in the wake of the storms: ARES District #3 John Probst KA8RVI  Shelby County For OH-5 DMAT. Porto Rico. Gary Clark II  KC8TND Montgomery county Hurricane Harvey Deployed to Texas. IRMA to Florida for Red Cross Michael Carter  W8BSI  Montgomery county Deployed with OHTF-1 for Hurricane Harvey District #5 George Ridel  N1EZZ  Summit county deployed to St-Johns for IRMA and Maria   District #7 Mory Fuhrmann, N8KKW deployed to Puertro Rico with the Red Cross
Wrapping up a 2-day visit to Puerto Rico on Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, recognized Amateur Radio volunteers as he praised those who turned out to help the stricken commonwealth in the wake of Hurricane Maria. "[T]he worst of tragedies can also bring out the best in people. I saw that firsthand during my 2 days in Puerto Rico," Pai said. "Everyone is pitching in: the people of Puerto Rico helping their neighbors, hardworking Federal Emergency Management Agency staff -- including communications personnel in Emergency Support Function #2 -- the dedicated regulators of the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board, and the FCC's own Roberto Mussenden, who has spent the past month away from his family on the mainland in order to help the island where he grew up." "Additionally, Amateur Radio operators, broadcasters, cable operators, fixed wireless companies, wireline carriers, and mobile providers have stepped up to the plate, working overtime to connect the disconnected," Pai continued. "All of this work reflects the ethos I saw on many signs and t-shirts during my time on the island: 'Puerto Rico Se Levanta' [Puerto Rico is Rising]." Pai said recovering from Hurricane Maria will require an all-hands-on-deck effort, and the FCC "remains committed to doing everything we can to help restore communications networks as quickly as possible." In October, the FCC granted ARRL's request to waive current Amateur Radio rules to permit data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than currently permitted, in order to facilitate hurricane relief communications between the continental US and Puerto Rico. The temporary waiver will enable the use of PACTOR 3 and PACTOR 4. "The path to recovery has met several challenges, most notably the lack of power and functional infrastructure," Pai said. "One thing is clear: overcoming these challenges won't be easy." -ARRL Letter
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH