Re: [WISPA] Mac Dearman's Camp Featured in Washington Post

2005-09-10 Thread Tom DeReggi
Mid week, I contacted all the Wash Post writers that I had direct contact 
info for, and sent them copies of the Press Release on the WISPA web site 
regarding Mac's Crisis center.  I'd like to think that that had helped get 
the awareness out to the Wash Post, as well.  I advise that other WISPs also 
contact their local newspapers, and point reference to the story on the 
WISPA web site.


Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL  Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

- Original Message - 
From: John Scrivner [EMAIL PROTECTED]

To: WISPA General List wireless@wispa.org
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 10:56 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Mac Dearman's Camp Featured in Washington Post


Congratulations to all you guys for your hard work and great efforts down 
south. You made the Washington Post!  Woo-Hooo!

Scriv


Mike Healy wrote:

Found this in the Washington Post this morning. Thought y'all 
would be interested in seeing it.


You guys are doing great things down there. I only wish I had the means 
to be able to join you. I had hoped to get a bunch of surplus PCs to send 
to you but due to my employer being in bankruptcy we aren't able to do 
that.


Mike

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090802058.html?referrer=email

*washingtonpost.com* http://www.washingtonpost.com/*
Wireless Networks Give Voice To Evacuees*

By Arshad Mohammed
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 9, 2005; A15

Hurricane Katrina survivor Caprice Butler had been at a church shelter in 
rural northeastern Louisiana for nearly a week when she finally heard her 
husband's voice on an Internet phone running on an improvised wireless 
network.


I was just overjoyed, she said yesterday, tearing up as she spoke 
outside the church in the farming town of Mangham, about 200 miles from 
her flooded New Orleans home. Words can't explain how I felt.


If the Butlers manage to reunite this weekend, as they hope, it will be 
because of a band of volunteer techies who are stitching together 
wireless networks at shelters across northeastern Louisiana using radio 
transmitters mounted on such items as a grain silo and a water tower.


With few reliable communications systems in place, people and companies 
from around the country are converging on the region to create improvised 
networks that give survivors and emergency personnel ways to talk and 
coordinate efforts.


While local telephone and wireless networks are slowly coming back, they 
remain spotty or nonexistent in some places, and fire, police and other 
rescue personnel have complained about the lack of a unified emergency 
communications system. To meet the needs of evacuees in Jackson, Miss., 
Dulles-based America Online has parked an 18-wheel truck at the 
Mississippi State Fairgrounds, a major shelter, with a satellite dish on 
top and 20 computers with Internet access inside. At the Houston 
Astrodome, volunteers have obtained a Federal Communications Commission 
license to set up a low-power radio station and are now struggling to get 
permission from local officials to broadcast to evacuees inside the 
stadium.


F4W, a Lake Mary, Fla., company, is under government contract to provide 
Internet phones and online access to Coast Guard officers cleaning up oil 
spills, using a portable satellite dish and handsets often deployed in 
forest fires.


The network at Mangham Baptist Church was the brainchild of Mac Dearman, 
a wireless Internet service provider who was driving past the church last 
week when he saw a group of parked cars, realized they were people who 
had fled the hurricane and set about providing relief, including food, 
clothing and online access.


Dearman hooked up a radio transmitter near the church and linked that to 
a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephone and a computer, and 
suddenly the dozens of people taking refuge at the church had the ability 
to reach out to the outside world.


Mostly, they are searching for loved ones and filling out Federal 
Emergency Management Agency forms to get disaster aid.


They just call from shelter to shelter to shelter looking for their kids 
or for their daddies or their brothers because they got separated, and 
they are just finding each other in the last few days, Dearman said, 
adding that people were often overwhelmed when they connected.


They cried big tears, hugged my neck, shook my hand and patted me on the 
back. You'd have thought I was really giving them something that cost a 
lot of money, he added.


Dearman is working entirely with donated labor and equipment.

People from as far afield as Nebraska, Missouri and Indiana are camped 
out in his house, coordinating equipment deliveries, searching for 
shelters that need service, and then sending out volunteers to climb 
towers to hook up radio antennas and set up the networks.


We are basically completely bypassing the phone system, said Matt 
Larsen of Scottsbluff, Neb., who said he was perched on a bar

[WISPA] Mac Dearman's Camp Featured in Washington Post

2005-09-09 Thread John Scrivner
Congratulations to all you guys for your hard work and great efforts 
down south. You made the Washington Post!  Woo-Hooo!

Scriv


Mike Healy wrote:

Found this in the Washington Post this morning. Thought y'all 
would be interested in seeing it.


You guys are doing great things down there. I only wish I had the 
means to be able to join you. I had hoped to get a bunch of surplus 
PCs to send to you but due to my employer being in bankruptcy we 
aren't able to do that.


Mike

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090802058.html?referrer=email 



*washingtonpost.com* http://www.washingtonpost.com/*
Wireless Networks Give Voice To Evacuees*

By Arshad Mohammed
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 9, 2005; A15

Hurricane Katrina survivor Caprice Butler had been at a church shelter 
in rural northeastern Louisiana for nearly a week when she finally 
heard her husband's voice on an Internet phone running on an 
improvised wireless network.


I was just overjoyed, she said yesterday, tearing up as she spoke 
outside the church in the farming town of Mangham, about 200 miles 
from her flooded New Orleans home. Words can't explain how I felt.


If the Butlers manage to reunite this weekend, as they hope, it will 
be because of a band of volunteer techies who are stitching together 
wireless networks at shelters across northeastern Louisiana using 
radio transmitters mounted on such items as a grain silo and a water 
tower.


With few reliable communications systems in place, people and 
companies from around the country are converging on the region to 
create improvised networks that give survivors and emergency personnel 
ways to talk and coordinate efforts.


While local telephone and wireless networks are slowly coming back, 
they remain spotty or nonexistent in some places, and fire, police and 
other rescue personnel have complained about the lack of a unified 
emergency communications system. To meet the needs of evacuees in 
Jackson, Miss., Dulles-based America Online has parked an 18-wheel 
truck at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, a major shelter, with a 
satellite dish on top and 20 computers with Internet access inside. At 
the Houston Astrodome, volunteers have obtained a Federal 
Communications Commission license to set up a low-power radio station 
and are now struggling to get permission from local officials to 
broadcast to evacuees inside the stadium.


F4W, a Lake Mary, Fla., company, is under government contract to 
provide Internet phones and online access to Coast Guard officers 
cleaning up oil spills, using a portable satellite dish and handsets 
often deployed in forest fires.


The network at Mangham Baptist Church was the brainchild of Mac 
Dearman, a wireless Internet service provider who was driving past the 
church last week when he saw a group of parked cars, realized they 
were people who had fled the hurricane and set about providing relief, 
including food, clothing and online access.


Dearman hooked up a radio transmitter near the church and linked that 
to a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephone and a computer, and 
suddenly the dozens of people taking refuge at the church had the 
ability to reach out to the outside world.


Mostly, they are searching for loved ones and filling out Federal 
Emergency Management Agency forms to get disaster aid.


They just call from shelter to shelter to shelter looking for their 
kids or for their daddies or their brothers because they got 
separated, and they are just finding each other in the last few days, 
Dearman said, adding that people were often overwhelmed when they 
connected.


They cried big tears, hugged my neck, shook my hand and patted me on 
the back. You'd have thought I was really giving them something that 
cost a lot of money, he added.


Dearman is working entirely with donated labor and equipment.

People from as far afield as Nebraska, Missouri and Indiana are camped 
out in his house, coordinating equipment deliveries, searching for 
shelters that need service, and then sending out volunteers to climb 
towers to hook up radio antennas and set up the networks.


We are basically completely bypassing the phone system, said Matt 
Larsen of Scottsbluff, Neb., who said he was perched on a bar stool 
with his laptop at Dearman's kitchen counter.


Dearman estimated that he had run wireless links to about a dozen 
shelters near his home base of Rayville, La., but only about half were 
up and running because he had run out of equipment.


He was expecting fresh donations of secondhand computers, VoIP phones 
and wireless equipment. Once he has those in hand, he said, he hopes 
to extend to shelters closer to New Orleans and to Mississippi's Gulf 
Coast.


It's been a godsend, said the Rev. Rick Aultman, pastor of Mangham 
Baptist Church, where about four dozen people are staying.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company


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