As their efforts continue to help Puerto Rico recover from the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the ARRL Force of 50 volunteers on the island has distributed more new ham radio equipment to locations where it will do the most good. . Puerto Rico section emergency coordinator Juan Sepulveda, KP3CR, is better prepared to help now that volunteers have delivered him a radio and antenna in Lares.
“This now gives us a local ham covering the Lares medical center and hospital, so our American Red Cross amateur radio operator ARRL can cover the nearby Casteñel hospital,” the volunteer noted. ‘ARC Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L, in the Oct 8 team report. Sepulveda has been coordinating ARES’s efforts on the island’s west coast since the start of the recovery.
Hotzfeld; Oscar Resto, Puerto Rico Section Manager, KP4RF; ARRL Emergency Preparedness Officer Mike Corey, KI1U, and Amateur Radio Liaison with FEMA ESF-2 Communications Working Group Gary Sessums, KC5QCN visited Arecibo, Lares and the dam from Guajataca.
The team, all deployed as ARC volunteers, delivered spare VHF radios and bottled water to the Guajataca dam, to allow direct communication between Isabela and the dam, where repairs were made. infrastructure are underway. The Yasme Foundation is financing the cost of a Yaesu DR-X2 VHF / UHF repeater, which was delivered to the Arecibo Observatory. The team visited a grocery store to stock up on powdered milk, peanut butter, water, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, and bags of fresh apples, all delivered to people living near the Arecibo Observatory. .
Volunteers continue to manage traffic and relays for hospital support to and from K1M, the designated call sign for the ham radio relief effort in Puerto Rico. “As an example, we received a message from a hospital administrator that workers at the hospital and other businesses in the area need temporary housing,” Hotzfeld explained. “Their homes have been destroyed and they cannot leave because their jobs are essential on the island. “
Guayama Fire Station reported a complete lack of water and people were turned away. One of the amateur radio volunteers was able to help from the Juncos fire station.
Volunteer Joe Bassett, W1WCN, worked in stints with local operator Al Medina-Ramirez, NP3MR, to re-establish contact with an Army task force on Vieques Island. Army MARS operators were unable to contact the task force, which had been dispatched to the island to assist the hospital. Medina-Ramirez responded to a call from W1WCN to go to the hospital to contact the task force. Uris Monge-Vives, NP4WW, helped with the translation. The task force was found safe and sound and was awaiting transport by helicopter, which had been delayed due to weather conditions.
Amateur radio operators at the San Juan Emergency Operations Center helped Samaritan’s Purse provide a generator to power a repeater near Juyaya. Contact has been provided for the local WP4PNS amateur radio to meet with Samaritan’s Purse staff to exchange the generator. – Thanks to Valérie Hotzfeld, NV9L; Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, and FEMA ESF-2 Amateur Radio Liaison Gary Sessums, KC5QCN