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[aprssig] Louisiana hams get some credit...

Carl Taylor carltt at bellsouth.net
Tue Sep 13 01:32:42 UTC 2005


Rescue, safety, recovery efforts were hindered

By Laura Maggi
Capital bureau

BATON ROUGE – Practically from the moment Hurricane Katrina barreled across 
the New Orleans area, state officials complained that one of the major
problems with rescue, safety and recovery efforts was
the sheer inability to communicate.
Lack of communication proved crippling

Rescue, safety, recovery
efforts were hindered

By Laura Maggi
Capital bureau

BATON ROUGE – Practically from the moment Hurricane Katrina barreled across 
the New Orleans area,
  state officials complained that one of the major problems with rescue, 
safety and recovery efforts was
the sheer inability to communicate.

“Part of the big problem is the communications network is down,” Gov. 
Kathleen Blanco said the day
after the storm; cell phones, BlackBerries and land lines were useless at the
moment when coordination between the various branches of government was the 
most critical.

Local officials, including emergency personnel, often were unable to 
contact the state and even had problems
  communicating with each other within a parish. Katrina’s Category 4 winds 
certainly packed a powerful punch,
but officials had warning that communications could be significantly 
disrupted during a major disaster.

   (snip)

Hurricane Katrina also sent many first responders in southeast Louisiana 
back to a less technologically advanced time. In some of the rural 
parishes, the major link to the outside world involved the old-fashioned 
ham radio operators who volunteer their time at local emergency centers and 
relay messages back to the state Office of Emergency Preparedness.

In Washington Parish, local officials reached the state through a ham 
operator, who set up at the emergency center after the storm and worked 
with other radio aficionados to help coordinate the evacuation of a local 
nursing home. State Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, and Parish President Tory 
Taylor also resorted to driving to Baton Rouge to ask for food, water and 
supplies.

Carl Taylor  W9ZGU
Hollywood, FL.
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