Thursday, September 28, 2017

The American Red Cross Asks ARRL for Assistance with Puerto Rico's Hurricane Relief Effort

As an FCC licensed amateur radio operator (ham radio), I hope to assist in conveying emergency communications information given the power and communications blackout in the Caribbean. Ham radio operators are mobilizing to assist the Red Cross with health and welfare messaging between family and friends in a post hurricane/recovery environment. You may find the following information of interest:

The Red Cross is operating many relief shelters in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The Red Cross is also requesting up to 50 FCC licensed ham (amateur radio) radio operators to assist with the relief effort. If you are a ham and can volunteer on-site assistance in Puerto Rico, click on this link:

To contact family or friends unreachable after the recent hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, Maria, click on the Red Cross Safe and Well link below. In the upper right select English or Spanish language format. Click on “list myself as safe and well” or “search registrants” to locate someone who has posted a safe and well listing with the Red Cross. The Red Cross will coordinate these message postings and respond via email if possible.

If you think your friends or family have left their home and are in a Red Cross Shelter, you might want to search for the shelter location nearest their home or business.

To find active (open) RED Cross Shelters in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean (and globally). Click on the link below. Click and drag to the portion of the global map of interest. Click on the specific area of interest. Zoom in (mouse wheel) to see the area’s active Red Cross Shelters. Click on the shelter’s icon to identify the site and location. The bottom of the page will list the near by shelter’s specific location info. Safe and well listings can indicate shelter sites if you want to post your current location (see safe and well above).

Recent Related News Links from ARRL web site postings (The American Radio Relay League)

See this ARRL web page for more emergency communications/relief news and links:

Main web sites for more info:

Regards to all,

Thomas D. Jay,

TDJ Technology

Thomas D. Jay, YouTube Channel

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    1. I've seen an assortment of agreements among agencies, Red Cross, our local EOC etc. One local club here meets in a red cross shelter next door to the EOC. Both recruit hams directly as we share active club member resources and we all know each other. It seems mutual agreements of understanding become more important on deployments away from home such as a remote location in Puerto Rico. In their recruitment effort the Red Cross specifies protections offered (see the Red Cross recruitment link in my article above). We tend not to concern ourselves with formal agreements during short term deployments in our own communities, but you correctly identify their important consideration. In my opinion, local chapters of the ARRL and Red Cross should place more focus on this issue. 73, Tom WA2HXR

    2. To clarify the current methodology of Red Cross recruitment of hams for assistance in Puerto Rico, the Red Cross has communicated the need for amateur radio operators to the ARRL. The ARRL has published this request in QST on line. The ARRL's QST advisement specifies the Red Cross commitment to cover expenses and provide indemnity coverage etc. to amateur radio volunteers during deployment. ARRL advises volunteer applicants to contact the Red Cross coordinator (his name is listed) and file an application. Volunteers then sign an agreement with the Red Cross covering the terms of their deployment and back ground check requirements. As the ARRL reports this is the first such formal request by the Red Cross, it would appear all cooperative recruitment efforts are functioning as intended. Many thanks to everyone at ARRL and the Red Cross. 73 to all. Tom WA2HXR