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Hurry-cains, and Helpers

Paul-W5lz

Member
Jul 12, 2017
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Anyone been following the Harvey and Irma threads in the other forums? Seems to be lots of people (hams) wanting to help without the slightest idea of how to go about it properly. "I'll just load up and go down there and set up!", that sort of thing. No idea of what's required, what's wanted and NOT wanted. It seems like people think it's so simple...
 

Well, A few yrs ago, when I lived in the Punta Gorda Fl area, Hurricane Charlie (a strong CAT 4) arrived (on Fri the 13th BTW) and the eye went over my house.

There was little to no response from the local Amateur community. The only real help came from the SATERN group a few days later.

If you were not a trained member of Satern, they thanked you and turned you away
 
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I personally admire their heart and gumption. Should more planning be involved? Perhaps. But ask the one person, or persons, they wind up helping once they get there and get things figured out if their effort was worth it. I think we all know what the answer will be.

Hurry-cains? I think anyone who's lost a loved one, pet, their home or belongings and in need of help would be disappointed in such wordplay and the gist of the subject matter.


I have to agree with Paul-W5LZ. A lot of these eager-beavers have a gung-ho attitude and are in it as much for themselves as the people they supposedly want to help. In most cases of natural disasters they do NOT want unsolicited help arriving as it simply adds to the drain on existing resources. Anybody arriving for rescue operations should be able to be self sufficient for up to a week so as not to strain meager resources. They should also be WELL trained in communications protocols so as not to interfere with radio traffic or slow it down. The big thing to consider also is just how are they going to get there when commercial air traffic has been suspended to allow for disaster assistance flights as was the case in Haiti several years ago in the aftermath of the massive earthquake. Many of these hero-wannabe expect to fly in on a commercial flight, be able to walk into a disaster area and plug his radio into someones generator (if he does not expect his little Li-ion battery pack to last forever) and have someone serve him meals while he saves the day. I commend folks that actually do help as part of an organized effort however there are a great many people that simply have no business being there in that situation and are better at home listening to the traffic.
 
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Running down to a disaster area, especially in the midst or immediate aftermath of the disaster, with absolutely NO plan.... that does strike me as less than wise.
***********************

I'm reminded of a HAM that I once knew. 20+ years ago, a hurricane hit his area. This guy is an Eagle Scout, and takes the motto "Be Prepared " to the extreme. Thus, his house was the only house with power for the next couple of weeks. Also, he's got radio equipment. Lots of it.

Long story short, he invited the relevant government agencies into his house, they took him up on the offer, and his house became Command Central; they were able to use his radio equipment and power for communication purposes. Also, they drank his coffee and watched his televisions, lol.

He was quite delighted to have been of service. If he ever gets the opportunity, he'd do it again.
 
when george threatened here where i live in central florida they forced a mandatory evac,,,,,so me and my wife ended up in a red cross shelter,, i found out they needed a ham op to keep contact with emergency center and the eoc,,,so i went got the equip i needed and for 36 hours,,, every couple of hours gave the center a report on the number of people in shelter and how many sandwiches was served,, i aint gonna do that volunteering again,,,,,
 
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I'll buy that, Captain.
Wish Paul and W9cll had included such info in their posts.
I likely wouldn't have posted my emotional responses.
Just sounded like they were armchair quarterbacking.
Sorry fellows.

Paul and I both have been hams for longer than either of us would like to remember....or even CAN remember LOL...and have seen and heard a lot on the bands over the years. Organized efforts are great but wild cards are more of a hindrance most times.
 
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Usually the ones going down there like that end up needing rescue themselves.
SKYWARN Hams often live in these areas and report to the NWS directly; even the Floridian Hams will. Very few storm chasers chase hurricanes, since hurricanes are obviously not the same animal as a tornado - true. Warren Faidley and Jim Leonard are a couple of storm chasers that do chase hurricanes - come to mind. IIRC, both of them are accredited/accomplished hurricane chasers, who also have both the right gear and training to report the on-the-ground situation to the news media and the NWS.
 
Most of what we see here in FL after a hurricane is an influx of people with chainsaws and hammers..looking to make a quick $$$.

FL is pretty well organized for comms, what with all the snowbirds retired here and nothing better to do than overload the 2 meter repeater.

Here in N FL the amateur society is pretty active and a lot of clubs so comms after the storm get set up and working quickly. Wished could say the same about the electric power from the utility companies.

We have recorded the wettest year on record for rainfall this year, so the winds from IRMA will most likely down enough trees to the extent that power outage is going to effect millions. Ground saturation means those nice big old trees with loads of Spanish moss in them will be firewood by the middle of next week.
 
Most of what we see here in FL after a hurricane is an influx of people with chainsaws and hammers..looking to make a quick $$$.

FL is pretty well organized for comms, what with all the snowbirds retired here and nothing better to do than overload the 2 meter repeater.

Here in N FL the amateur society is pretty active and a lot of clubs so comms after the storm get set up and working quickly. Wished could say the same about the electric power from the utility companies.

We have recorded the wettest year on record for rainfall this year, so the winds from IRMA will most likely down enough trees to the extent that power outage is going to effect millions. Ground saturation means those nice big old trees with loads of Spanish moss in them will be firewood by the middle of next week.

Stay safe, wavrider.
 
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...(edit)... all the snowbirds retired here and nothing better to do than overload the....

We don't care how you used to do it up North.....;)

This one might be a really bad one.

I went thru CHARLEY as a CAT 4, in Port Charlotte.. just South of you in EL 86 which is "normally" 95% water.. might be less real soon.

Stay safe
 
Been down here since 81, been thru a few of the wind storms but each one is different, none of them are any good.
Gas cans filled up, generator serviced and working fine, refrigerators and freezer full of supplies, propane tank full on the grill, yagis lowered down, dipoles and wires lowered down.

Now just waiting to se how far West this ole girl goes.
 
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