Friday, August 19, 2016

Do not self deploy!

With the flooding going on in Louisiana there has come a cry ham operators to help out and supply communications until things can becoem reestablished.

The ARRL has tweeted that volunteers are needed and has also added the caveat 'DO NOT SELF DEPLOY!' They have a number of the Louisana area coordinator posted and volunteers should call ahead and make arrangements before they head down there.

It makes sense because anyone arriving to help is another mouth to feed. They're also another person that has the potential for simply getting in the way or worse yet, needing rescue themselves.

I remember Sean Penn arriving at Katrina and getting in the way. He didn't even know enough to put the seacock in his boat before putting it in the water.

Being willing to help and being able to help are two different things. The people down there need people that are trained and not just a warm body.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) people have a certain amount of training in emergency communications. The average ham does not. I don't.

There is a group of locals down there presently nicknamed the Coonass or Cajun Navy. These are locals that are manning their own personal boats and evacuating people. Reportedly they are doing a great job. 

While they don't really have a lot of formal training, they have they know their boats, the area and the people. That's generally better than any class.

On the other hand, the ham radio people are looking for people with background that are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. That probably means cooking, cleaning, doing various repairs as well as running a radio.

I'd bet the area coordinator is doing his best to filter out the big ego types that think they'll just be doing 'cool' stuff like some of the people that showed up after Katrina. These types generally are more trouble than they are worth as they tend not to be able to cook and do the necessary paper work and housework that accompanies such an effort.

Incidentally on another board the self deployment subject came up and I pointed out that if I were to self-deploy -and I'm not going to- that I have the gear for one purpose.

I'd get the Cajun Navy to run me into an area that is unaccessible and drop me, my rig and a couple of cases of MREs off. I'd set up shop, check into the main net ONCE and let them know I'll posssibly be relaying any important messages and then just listen, listen and listen at scheduled times.

It would probably be uneventful but would serve to at least let the villagers know that help can be gotten if needed. It's not all cool stuff that's needed.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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