Monday, September 25, 2017
Dear ARRL Member:
There are few times when I have needed to reach out directly to you for your help. This is one of those times.
The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time ARC has made a request for assistance on this scale. Hurricane Maria has devastated the island’s communications infrastructure. Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of people are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services and people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire.
How can you help?
1) Volunteer. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment; for instance, familiarity with Winlink, an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher, and previous experience in disaster response. Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks (at ARC expense). If you would like to be considered for deployment, please complete the following online ARRL form, which asks for your qualifications and skills: Volunteer Deployment Form
2) Donate to Ham Aid. ARRL’s Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups and partner agencies during disaster response, in order to establish Amateur Radio communications support. Ham Aid is supported by donations from individuals and corporations – including many of our ham radio industry partners. ARRL has previously staged Ham Aid equipment in Texas, and in the last few weeks, we have supplied kits in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Our supply of Ham Aid kits has been rapidly depleted. Your donation to Ham Aid will help us now. Your contributions to Ham Aid are 100% tax deductible. To make a donation online, go to this page on the ARRL site and select “Ham Aid” from the ARRL donation form. To donate by mail, print a donation form, and mail it with your check payable to ARRL, noting “Ham Aid” on the memo line of your check; mail to ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
It has been four weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas. In little over a month, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have left paths of destruction and catastrophic flooding that will impact the lives of people throughout the southeast U.S. and Caribbean for years to come. Throughout these disasters, our trained ham radio volunteers, and especially those in coordinating roles, have helped us meet the requests of our partner agencies and organizations. To all ham radio operators who have been on alert, activated, deployed, or donated, THANK YOU. We are grateful for your service and for your generosity.
Rick Roderick, K5UR