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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 02, 2005

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

Volunteer Ham Radio Operators to Receive Grant To Enhance Emergency Communications in Hurricane Region

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced a supplemental grant of $100,000 to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to support volunteer emergency communication operators who are helping out in Gulf Coast states affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“With the breakdown of regular communication channels caused by the storm, the services provided by volunteer ham radio operators is vitally important, both to organizations and to individuals seeking to connect with loved ones,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation. “We’re pleased to be able to provide this extra assistance at this critical time.”

The grant will support AARL’s “Ham Aid” program, which was established with a grant from the Corporation in 2002 to increase emergency certification training for ham radio operators. Corporation funds may also be used to help rebuild the emergency communications capabilities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Since the storm hit, amateur radio operators with ARRL have been working side by side with volunteers from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other relief organizations to help coordinate those groups’ emergency communications activities. In the run-up to the Katrina’s hitting the U.S. mainland, volunteer amateur radio operators also worked with the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the storm and to help prepare the Gulf Coast for its arrival.

Approximately 500 ham operators currently are deployed in the Gulf area, and hundreds more are expected to arrive in teams over the next several weeks. Many currently are awaiting permission to enter the disaster areas to set up communications systems to transmit and receive messages both for relief organizations and for individuals wishing to get messages out to concerned families. While in the region, the radio operators will also be developing new relationships with local community groups, including faith-based organizations, food banks, and shelters.

The Ham Aid program was developed by ARRL, based in Newington, Conn., under a 2002 training grant from the Corporation. The three-year grant was one of 18 Special Volunteer Program Homeland Security Grants awarded by the agency in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks to engage volunteers in public safety, public health, and disaster preparedness and response activities. Thus far, the grant has enabled AARL to provide certification in emergency communications protocols to more than 5,400 volunteer amateur radio operators.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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