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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB030 (1999)

ARLB030 Operators still needed in Oklahoma tornado recovery

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 30  ARLB030
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 6, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB030 Operators still needed in Oklahoma tornado recovery

The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross have put out calls for
additional Amateur Radio assistance in the wake of Monday's
devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Section Emergency
Coordinator Bennett Basore, W5ZTN, has been running emergency nets
and radio amateurs have been handling ''tons of health and welfare

Oklahoma Section Manager Charlie Calhoun, K5TTT, reports the
Salvation Army has requested amateur operators starting May 7 and
probably for the rest of the week. ''They need hams to act as
shadows and transport units in addition to manning the canteens,''
Calhoun said. ''They are expecting to send out 40 canteens into the
field tomorrow.''

Calhoun said much of the activity is going through the Edmond,
Oklahoma, 147.135 MHz repeater, which can be difficult to access
with hand-held transceivers. He said mobile transceivers and
external antennas and power sources would be a better choice.

He said volunteers should plan to stay at least four hours in the
field. No vehicles are allowed in the field, and officials are
shuttling hams in and out. Calhoun said it appeared that Amateur
Radio communication would be required at least through Saturday.
Volunteers should check in with the net control on the 147.135
repeater upon arriving in Oklahoma City.

Hams from the Tulsa area are planning to leave today for the
Oklahoma City area to assist.

Ken Runyon, KC5PNO, reports that The Red Cross is requesting at
least 50 amateur operators to be available all day Friday, May 7, to
begin damage assessment. ''Hams will start working with damage
assessment teams at 7:30 AM and will be moving from home to home
through the disaster area,'' he said. Operators will need good
footwear, a two-meter radio, and batteries to last at least 10
hours. Volunteers should contact the Red Cross, 405 232-7121.

OK Public Information Coordinator Thomas Webb, WA9AFM, reports he's
monitored health-and-welfare traffic on both 2 meters and 75 meters
coordinating Salvation Army canteen support.

''Based on the excellent warning, most of the victims appear to have
left the disaster area prior to the strike and were in contact with
friends or family or were in shelters with adequate
communications,'' he said.

For more tornado information and photos, visit

In the Wichita, Kansas, area, Kansas Section Manager Orlan Cook,
W0OYH, reports emergency net operations continue on HF. WB0OFS is a
net control for the Central States Traffic Net. The town of
Haysville was hardest hit during the Monday storms, which left five
people dead in Kansas.

With January's unusual tornadoes still fresh in their minds, Amateur
Radio operators in Tennessee were ready to respond promptly when
severe weather hit the Volunteer State May 5. Some counties
activated emergency nets just in case. Hams in Montgomery County
were asked to have mobile units ready to go to specific areas to
check on flooding. In addition, the Red Cross asked hams there to
stand by to assist. One operator was deployed to the local emergency
operations center and another to the Red Cross.


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