Hello to all….
….Plan to hold up to 3,000 Evacuees at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod Massachusetts now on hold. Cape Cod Red Cross Securing Activation for the moment and Cape Cod ARES No Longer On Stand-By….
….Email Sent to ARRL National Headquarters Concerning Possible ARESMAT Deployment Plans….
Late last night, Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O, Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordnator and Red Cross Communications Offier and Ron Trainor-KC8CEV reported that the plan to house 3,000 Evacuees at the Otis Air Force Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts is now on hold. Cape Cod Red Cross has currently secured their activation for the moment and Cape Cod ARES is no longer on stand-by. Frank-WQ1O has delivered the following message to his Cape Cod ARES group, the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association, who offered support in this operation and the Eastern Massachusetts section:
By the time you read this, you will know that the plan to relocate evacuees has likely been suspended. It appears that the evacuees would like to stay closer to their home in the South. I was impressed by the outpouring of support from the local amateur community for this endeavor. I want to take this time to publicly thank the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association and its good members for the offers of logistical and human resources to support for the operation. It was great to see the swiftness of the response for the standby activation. I also wish to thank the Eastern MA Section Staff and the Cape&Islands ARES personnel for their continuing mission of emergency communications response. It was great to hear from Bob Courtemanche and Ralph Swenson for their “heads up” on the situation with offers of assistance. We came together as we would for any emergency that may face our area. My thanks to all of you!
We will keep everyone posted if this plan changes again. An article concerning this suspension of evacuees coming to Otis is available at the link below:
Concerning actual ARES deployment to the affected area, an email has been sent to NN1N-David Patton, special assistant to the ARRL CEO and Greg Sarratt-W4OZK to see if an ARESMAT from the Eastern Massachusetts ARES section is required and will follow the ARESMAT concept. An update will be posted once we receive a response from either Greg or David. Below are some links on the ARRL web site updating the national response to this incident:
Those are the latest updates concerning Hurricane the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort. Below is pertinent information from past coordination messages for the sake of completeness, another update will be posted as new information becomes available:
On Sunday and Monday 9/4-9/5, N1XRS-Tony Duarte and I spent several hours monitoring the SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) Net on 14.265 MHz and the Health & Welfare Net on 7.290 MHz on 40 Meters when propagation allowed it via the SEMARA Club Station, W1AEC. The SATERN Net was successful in facilitating several rescues over the past couple of days and had liaisons to MARS contacts. That net has been dealing solely with emergency and priority traffic. Its not clear when the net will shift to Health & Welfare if at all. SATERN has setup a web site concerning health and welfare traffic at http://www.satern.org/ where you can search by name or fill out a Health and Welfare form. The Red Cross has provided a family links registry on their web site at http://www.redcross.org to try and reunite families. Special thanks to Jim Ward-N1LKJ, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information.
Jim Ward also reports that 16 NTS traffic messages have been handled and sent into the affected area as a Health & Welfare traffic. It is not clear if those messages reached their intended destinations. On Monday September 5th, Fox-25 in Boston was looking for a Ham involved in such operations and Jim Ward-N1LKJ was interviewed and featured on Fox-25 News at 10 for his efforts. Special thanks to Jim for agreeing to doing the interview given that he was involved in efforts that attempt to reunite loved ones.
Eastern Massachusetts ARES made contact with Erin Sarris, Associate Director of Disaster Services Preparedness and Response, Sunday Evening September 4th. Thus far, only a small number of Red Cross personnel from Mass. Bay has been deployed. With the sheltering of evacuees taking place on Cape Cod, there is little direct involvement from Mass. Bay in that process. Mass. Bay Red Cross is not directly looking for communications deployments currently and recommended to continue following the ARRL/ARES path for deployments.
If you look at the national web site, at the following link:
You will see that they have made an update on how to sign-up for possible deployment to the affected area. They are now asking anyone who is interested to sign up via the following database link:
Those that have already signed up via the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org have already been forwarded to the appropriate personnel per what is stated on the national web site so you do not need to sign up again using the database link provided above if you’ve already sent an email to the ARRL address.
The database link http://katrina.ab2m.net/ will ask for similar information as what was asked for via the arrl.org email address. They will ask for name, call sign, contact information, equipment you can bring down and I’d also recommend providing training and previous experience in emergency communications for the mission in such a note. I would strongly recommend working through your ARES EC/DEC or myself before sending an email to that address. There are many things to consider including the fact that lodging and other conditions may be extremely poor and there will most likely be a lot of coordination issues given the fact that this is such a large disaster relief effort for served agencies to manage and our leadership wants to make certain you are aware of the risks and are fully prepared to be involved if you consider deployment. As Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, quoted from Westchester County Red Cross, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not get bent out of shape” and this very true for this major relief effort. Once that is complete and if you decide to accept such a mission and have signed up on the database link provided above, please copy your ARES DEC and myself to such an email so that we know you are being considered for going to the region and keep us posted on whether you are accepted for deployment. That way our leadership can assist in communication to your family and friends if required. It will also help to make sure that we do not displace too many resources to the region. As I’ve stated previously, hurricane season is far from over and there remains an ever present threat through at least the first week of October of a hurricane striking our region. We also need to keep in the back of our minds that ever present threat of terrorism to our region and having resources available to tend to that unexpected threat if it occurs.
Once again, there should be absolutely, positively, no self-deployments to the region. The situation down there is extremely tense and anyone who is down there without proper authorization despite their best intentions is likely to receive a very bad reception. Please work through our ARES leadership as we will continue to work very hard to keep you informed of changes in a situation that is changing by the hour and minute as the situation slowly becomes more stable and proper assistance can be provided.
Massachusetts Bay Red Cross has posted a status report via their web site that provides a good status on their response to this catastrophic disaster. The link appears below:
The Salvation Army also has status information and headlines via their web site. That link also appears below:
There are many other agencies providing support for this effort. The links above are intended to provide response information from 2 of the main agencies we deal with but there are dozens of others that are also providing support.
I would also like to thank one Amateur who has sent information to ARRL via the email address for possible acceptance of deployment and notified me that he had sent a note concerning possible deployment. I would also like to thank another Amateur who cannot deploy himself but has offered equipment to help someone deploy who may not have the equipment required to deploy down to the region. These Amateurs are showing the spirit of Eastern Massachusetts ARES by offering to help and also providing the ARES leadership with appropriate information on the help that they are offering. That teamwork and support is very much appreciated!
The ARRL has started an ARES E-letter that people can sign up for that gives updates on ARES happenings across the country. The ARES E-Letter is typically issued monthly but for Hurricane Katrina, a special e-letter was posted this morning and contains fantastic information on frequencies in the affected area and updates from each state affected by Katrina. It also features the response efforts of neighboring sections. The link to the ARES E-Letter is listed below:
For those interested in signing up for the ARES E-letter, please see the link below:
Please contact myself or your ARES DEC with any questions, comments or offers for support during this time period both here at home for any assistance that we can provide from here in the relief effort or for actual deployment to the affected area. On behalf of the entire Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff, we look forward to working with everyone to properly make a difference in this trying time for the United States caused by one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history.
Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: (508) 346-2929
Email Address: email@example.com