Big Island ARRL News, 29 October 2017, 0050 UTC, Post #354.
Reporters: Jeremy Dougherty (NS0S) and Michael Smith (N5TGL).
Accessed on 29 October 2017, 0050 UTC.
Please click link to read the full story and to view the video.
Hurricane recovery efforts continue in Puerto Rico where electricity and other public services are being restored slowly. The damage to public service infrastructure was so severe that the island may not have full power and other basic amenities until 2018. According to media reports, Amateur Radio operators played a vital role in restoring communications to the hurricane-ravaged island. While all of this is good news for Amateur Radio and for the suffering residents of Puerto Rico, not all efforts resulted in favorable outcomes.
In this report from “HamRadioNow”, we get a slightly different perspective that may not have been reported in the media. Jeremy Dougherty (NS0S) and Michael Smith (N5TGL) review their recent experiences on Puerto Rico–both the good news and the not so favorable news. Jeremy and Michael spent three weeks as volunteers on Puerto Rico, mainly in the field, in areas that had “zero communications” with San Juan or the rest of the world.
According to the producers of “HamRadioNow”, this update is not your usual report:
“This is not the story you’ll hear on Ham Nation, and probably not the one you’ll read in QST. If there was a plan, it was barely a plan. And it fell apart immediately. There was a lack of leadership and coordination, and little understanding of what the hams would face once they left San Juan. Both Jeremy and Michael were frustrated, yet they carried on with the mission, improvising both their interaction with local authorities and the technology they had to work with. In some cases they had to battle bureaucracy to get the job done.”
“We probed Jeremy and Michael for details, and we got a lot. Jeremy in particular has a bitter story of his final experiences. That begins at an hour and fifty minutes in, so if you can’t listen to the whole program, skip down to that. And note that there are two sides (at least) to that story, and we’re only presenting Jeremy’s side here. HamRadioNow is open to presenting the counterpoint, or maybe you’ll hear that on another show.”
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Aloha es 73 de
Russell Robert (KH6JRM)
Public Information Coordinator
Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section