-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Marlon K. 
Schafer (509) 982-2181
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 11:53 AM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Tech Samaritans

Now we're talkin'!

Great job guys!

(509) 982-2181                                   Equipment sales
(408) 907-6910 (Vonage)                    Consulting services
42846865 (icq)                                    And I run my own wisp! (net meeting)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Healy" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 7:26 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Tech Samaritans

> 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
> ** <>*
> 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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