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The Calm During the Storm: Providing Communication During a Hurricane

The Calm During the Storm: Providing Communication During a Hurricane


Dominica - Caribbean Island

Here at BridgeCom we received a call from Franz, J69DS, on the island of Dominica. They had just endured a category 5 Hurricane and the aftermath was terrible. He was happy to report that the BridgeCom BCR Repeater at J62DX was working great and was a major hub for communications during and after hurricane Maria. Here is an excerpt from the ARRL article titled "Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica Relayed by Amateur Radio, Picked up by Media."

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"In the immediate aftermath of then-Category 5 Hurricane Maria's passage over Dominica on Monday, Frans van Santbrink, J69DS, on St. Lucia checked into the VoIP Hurricane Net to relay damage reports he'd gathered via repeater conversations with other hams there. The New York Times also reported and posted audio that Amateur Radio was a primary source to gather initial damage reports from the storm-ravaged Caribbean Island nation of some 70,000 residents. US-based Julian Antoine, J73JA, solicited reports via a VoIP connection with the J73MAN repeater on Dominica.

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“All power lines are down, our telephone lines are down, Internet lines, everything is down,” came a reply to Antoine’s inquiry. “Roads are blocked with debris. No confirmed information on fatalities or injuries.”


What seems to be a subsequent responder reported, “Lots of flooding, water coming into windows and doors,” while another indicated that while he was “nice and dry now,” he had lost his roof and was at a shelter. “From what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty bad,” another report stated. The same responder said he could see some landslides too, along with broken trees and utility poles. “It’s just damage all over,” concluded the report, apparently from J73CC.

VoIP Hurricane Net Operations Director Rob Macedo, KD1CY, told ARRL that he recorded the audio that the New York Times used on Tuesday while he was monitoring the J62DX-L link on EchoLink.

In his report to the VoIP Hurricane Net, van Santbrink recounted a damage account from Kerry Fevrier, J69YH, in Roseau, Dominica. “Trees down, river has flooded half the village, cars are all over, most houses have lost their roofs or are destroyed, the area between his house and the church is just flattened…in his words, ‘devastation is total,’” van Santbrink told the net.

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Sometimes, there is no stopping mother nature and the natural forces at work during severe weather. However, it is great to know that our life-saving communication equipment is out there and active, contributing to critical emergency and disaster response efforts throughout the world.





For the complete article: Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica Relayed by Amateur Radio, Picked up by Media

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Comments

Fernando - February 4, 2021

I am interested in buying a 2 meter repeater with a duplexer, Could you give me a ball park figure. W6FRD

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