Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers from several South Carolina counties are pitching in to help support emergency communication, as the state deals with the aftereffects of Hurricane Florence. The storm, now a tropical depression, continues to generate heavy rainfall in the Carolinas.
“Amateur Radio operators are far from ‘amateurs’ when it comes to providing communication in an emergency,” ARES Richland County Emergency Coordinator Ronnie Livingston, W4RWL, said. “Our volunteers here in Richland County have been staffing stations at the Richland County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), as well as at the Red Cross, since the requests were first received.”
ARES District Emergency Coordinator EMEA Area 3 Earl Dean, W4ESD, said operators at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) have been keeping in contact with field volunteers in Marion and Dillon counties, after conventional telecommunications failed there. “We were able to deploy assets and personnel, thanks to our volunteers who managed communications between these areas and coordinated with the appropriate agencies,” Dean said.