Friday, February 24, 2006

Good PR !!!

While Amateur Radio might not make the headlines everyday, we got a mention in the White House report on Hurrican Katrina. The report was very self critical on the government's role in handling the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in our Nation's history. Amateur Radio was mentioned in a very positive light. At least we're getting noticed somewhere!

The following appeared courtesy of Rich Moseson W2VU, editor of CQ Magazine, on the CQ Magazine e-mail reflector. Thanks, Rich, for keeping us informed!

The following is from the CQ-News reflector:

From the CQ Newsroom…

The White House today released its review of the federal response to
Hurricane Katrina, which, according to a statement, "identifies the systemic
problems in Federal emergency preparedness and response revealed by
Hurricane Katrina - and the best solutions to address them." The report
included 17 lessons the Executive Branch learned after reviewing and
analyzing the response to Katrina; made 125 specific recommendations to the
President, and identified 11 critical actions to be completed before the
first day of the 2006 hurricane season.

The report also included a section titled, "What Went Right" in the Katrina
response, which singled out amateur radio operators for particular praise:

*"Other organizations worked tirelessly to assist emergency responders that,
due to the storm, did not have the equipment and means to effectively carry
out their duties. Amateur Radio Operators from both the Amateur Radio
Emergency Service and the American Radio Relay League, monitored distress
calls and rerouted emergency requests for assistance throughout the U.S.
until messages were received by emergency response personnel. A distress
call made from a cell phone on a rooftop in New Orleans to Baton Rouge was
relayed, via ham radio, from Louisiana to Oregon, then Utah, and finally
back to emergency personnel in Louisiana, who rescued the 15 stranded
victims. Ham radio operators voluntarily manned the amateur radio stations
at sites such as the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Watch Net,
Waterway Net, Skywarn and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network."

Finally, the report identified three immediate priorities:
1) Implementing a comprehensive National Preparedness System "to make
certain that we have a fully national system that ensures unity of effort in
preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters;"
2) Creating a "Culture of Preparedness" that "emphasizes that the entire
Nation - at all levels of government, the private sector, communities, and
individual citizens - shares common goals and responsibilities for homeland
security;" and
3) Implement corrective actions "to ensure we do not repeat the problems
encountered during Hurricane Katrina."

A White House fact sheet summarizing the report is available online at

(Tnx CQ Public Service Editor Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO)

The full report is also available online at

73 de Larry W2LJ

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