The nearly two dozen radio amateurs sent by the ARRL to help re-establish communications in hurricane-wracked Puerto Rico completed their mission there in mid-October and returned home after about three weeks of deployment on the island.
According to the ARRL Letter, the hams' initial mission was to collect outbound health and welfare reports and feed them into the American Red Cross's "Safe and Well" system, but when they arrived, they found the communications infrastructure in such bad shape that they were redeployed to provide communications for hospitals while other volunteers handled the Safe and Well messages.
On October 6, the hams working at the Puerto Rico Emergency Operations Center – which had been set up at the San Juan Convention Center – got a visit and a pep talk from Vice President Mike Pence. CQ Emergency Communications Editor Walt Palmer, W4ALT, provides a comprehensive report on amateur radio hurricane relief activities throughout the Caribbean and US Gulf Coast in his column in the December issue of CQ.
In addition, we will be posting audio of Walt's interviews with two major players in the emergency response on our website at <www.cq-amateur-radio.com>. Check the site for links.