Remember the Haiti disaster? How about those in the Philippines? We all remember Katrina! The Salvation Army is a worldwide church who has a strong emphasis in disaster relief implemented through emergency communications. Bill Fiest WB8BZH attended the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference held last year in nearby Huntsville, AL. He plays a prominent role in the Army’s emergency network, SATERN.
Bill gave a global view of the role of amateur radio in disaster relief. It’s changing in many countries, both for the priority of amateur radio and for the complementarity of ham radio with other forms of communication. The need for hams to “sell themselves” to EmComm officials was stressed. Members of the audience interacted with contrasting opinions on how amateurs should relate to EmComm officials, resulting with lively and productive discussion. This is the substance of a great talk and meeting!