ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX057 (1995)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX057
ARLX057 Hams help after storm

ZCZC AX27
QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 57  ARLX057
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 27, 1995
To all radio amateurs 

SB SPCL ARL ARLX057
ARLX057 Hams help after storm

Once again Amateur Radio provided early communication out of a
disaster area, in this case the US Virgin Islands, following
Hurricane Marilyn.  By September 15th, 1995, telephone circuits on
the island had become overloaded, even before the hurricane had
arrived, according to Dave Rosen, K2GM.  As Marilyn passed over the
capital of St Thomas early on the morning of the 16th, a vital
telephone microwave link already had failed.

On the morning of the 16th, Lee Reisenweber, VP2VE/NP2CG, operating
from KP2A, the station of John Ackley, sent a vital damage
assessment message from the St Thomas Emergency Operations Center to
UN Amateur Radio Readiness Group net control Ray Crites, K1WW, in
Greenville, North Carolina, on 20 meters.

The traffic was relayed to 4U1UN, the UN Headquarters Amateur Radio
Station in New York City, from which it was given directly to the
Federal Emergency Management Administration.  This was some of the
first word received by FEMA from the US Virgin Islands describing
what had occurred on St Thomas, Rosen said.
     
At the time, Reisenweber was using generator power and a ''rapidly
installed'' 40-foot piece of wire for an antenna.  In addition to
traffic later passed by voice, digital modes were used extensively,
with message files sent by PACTOR.
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/EX