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Emergency radio operators help bring in damage reports

Amateur Radio Emergency Services help relay damage report information during Hurricane Ida.
Amateur Radio Emergency Services help relay damage report information during Hurricane Ida.(Source: WDAM)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 1:50 PM CDT
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MOSELLE, Miss. (WDAM) - A group of radio operators worked behind the scenes at WDAM to help during Hurricane Ida.

The organization, dubbed ‘Amateur Radio Emergency Services’ is a group of volunteer licensed amateur radio operators. We’re told they’re trained in emergency communications to help get information from the field to a central location.

Through their equipment, field operators are able to send in reports of damage throughout impacted areas.

Here at WDAM, the operators were able to share the damage reports with the newsroom.

“We use our equipment and our knowledge to provide communications during natural disasters,” said District Emergency Coordinator of South-Eastern Districts of Mississippi Justin Gleason. “Basically, what we did here, we set up a VHF or a local radio station and an HF radio station for long-range communications, and anytime damage reports would come in, we would be able to give them to the newsroom and they were able to use that for their broadcast.”

Gleason says about 14 local operators were in the field sending back damage reports.

“We have a HAM radio operator who works with the police department. He was on duty, and he radioed us some information about road blockages where some flooding was happening, and I was able to write that down and report that,” Gleason said.

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