I know that this hurricane season has been a long, tedious, overwhelming series of storms. And I'm very sorry for the people affected by these storms. They have been somewhat (but not entirely) unpredictable and the damage has been in some cases unprecedented. But there is one thing that I feel must not go unsaid and I'll say it again here:
If you are told to evacuate, do so!!!
Don't have a hurricane party!Don't say "we've been through one before and it wasn't too bad"!
And especially don't expect government officials at any level, including the military, to rush in at the height of a storm to rescue you. It won't happen and the decision you make to stay in a place that is in a direct line for a hit from a storm could be your last one.
I'm in the Search and Rescue business. For the most part, it is a volunteer organization. SAR, the Red Cross, FEMA, and other groups will come to your aid eventually. If you make the decision to ride it out, be prepared to take care of yourself for several days.
Ask yourself if you would go out on a dangerous mission in a helicopter with winds still raging to rescue someone who could have taken shelter and didn't!
Emergency Service personnel are a different breed of people. They take risks that others wouldn't, but there comes a point when they have to think about themselves and their own families.Don't put others at risk by choosing to stay when you've been told to go!
Houses can be rebuilt and cars replaced. Lives are irreplaceable and those left behind will forever wonder "why"!
Please don't take a chance, get out while you can!
Amateur Radio Emergency Services groups are volunteers who play a major role in many disaster situations around the world. When Emergency teams can not talk to each other through the normal frequencies because many agencies are on different frequencies, Hams are able to keep up the chatter. There is much discussion about the problems associated with getting FD, Police and other emergency agencies on the same frequencies. But the solution is right in front of their noses. You take a Ham operator and stage them with the head of the Emergency Operations and you put several operators in the field. The messages are then relayed thru amateur radio frequencies and everyone knows what the other is doing.
Amateur radio frequencies are the same the world over. Through repeaters stretched across the world, ham operators are able to relay messages of health and welfare to countless numbers of people. During the recent hurricanes I've heard numbers of up to 800 + operators volunteering their time to work at American Red Cross shelters and other places, making calls to reassure family members far away that their loved ones are okay!
When telephones don't work, emergency depts. can't communicate with each other, and chaos reins, Amateur Radio Operators step in and fill a big gap in communications. They are the silent groups behind the scenes. Let us not forget the good that these volunteers do.
78's, KD5KTY New Mexico