Tuesday, February 2, 2016

EmComm: Hams Pitch in for Floods, Blizzard and Water Emergencies

Hams in Washington State and Missouri provided emergency communications during floods in December, while amateurs on the east coast stood by to help during a massive blizzard in January and hams in Ohio put down their radios to help distribute water to a town in need.
Flooding like this scene in St. Mary, Missouri, was common
throughout southwestern Missouri and central Illinois after
unusually heavy rains in December. (FEMA photo by
Steve Zumwalt)

According to the ARRL, 75 ARES members deployed after massive rains in early December caused flooding in the Centralia area of Washington State. They drove to selected high-water points and reported in on how rapidly the water was rising. In late December, some two dozen St. Louis area hams worked with the American Red Cross in serving meals and helping to relocate people who were displaced by floods in southwestern Missouri and central Illinois. 

Amateurs up and down the east coast were on standby to provide communications during January's big blizzard, but thankfully, all normal communication systems remained operational.

In addition, ARES members in Ohio joined other volunteers in late January in distributing clean water to more than 8000 families in Sebring, which had problems with elevated levels of lead in drinking water. No radio communication was needed, but the ARRL says the ARES members' efforts to help move and distribute water were greatly appreciated by emergency management and Red Cross officials.