Emergency Communications Case Study: Amateur Operators Aid Emergency Communications During Violent Storms in Tennessee   [open pdf - 212KB]

"Between February 29 and March 2, 2012, two powerful storm systems spawned a series of thunderstorms and tornadoes that ripped up trees, destroyed homes and buildings and killed more than 50 people across a wide swath of the Midwest and South. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that 45 tornadoes hit 11 States during that three-day period, causing more than $1 billion in damage. Tennessee was affected by the second of these two devastating storm systems. NOAA estimates that 8 tornadoes touched down in the State, and 10 of Tennessee's counties were declared disaster areas. The unrelenting onslaught of severe weather overwhelmed the capabilities and resources of emergency response and communications throughout the region. Emergency communications officials in Tennessee have a strong working relationship with amateur radio operators also known as Auxiliary Communicators, many of whom have received training on how to operate within emergency operations centers. As a result, when the storms developed and damaged communities, Auxiliary Communicators were ready and able to fill communications gaps and offer additional assistance."

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