Request for Help from Harvey

Hello Paul, this is Joe McKeon KM4UGQ (Technician) , a new member to the club.


I was thinking that the HAMS might be able to help me out.  The situation is High Priority.

I am a FEMA Flood inspector and have been assigned to help people in the Beaumont Texas, Orange Texas, etc.. area.  My problem is that communications there is very “sketch” and the people who have flooded homes are not really able to give me much information.

Flooded homeowners assigned to me have told me the electric substation has been flooded and it may be weeks or a month before power is restored.  Interstate I-10 in many places is under water. (Similar to I-40 Nashville in 2010).

I have not gone there yet but will be leaving Nashville on Thursday Morning early heading to Houston via the Dallas access roads.  Going the short way thru Mississippi then west on I-10 is not open in many places.

Next, Hurricane Irma is a monster!  It is going to cross over the Florida Keys into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.  IT IS A CATEGORY 5!!!!   Katrina was CATEGORY 4.  If it hits the Gulf Coast it is “GAME OVER” for weeks.

Here is the help I need from HAMS, and only HAMS can do it!  I need information. As a Technician, I am limited on distance.  I need the following.

My plan is to put my small truck camper on the back of my pickup truck and locate in Beaumont area, and not waste time driving 110 miles both ways each day to get back to the west side of Houston.  In the 3-4 hours it would take me to drive that , I could inspect 1 or two more houses.   I need to inspect all the houses possible before Irma causes evacuations.  I can then take those inspections and return to Nashville where I will write them up and submit them so the people can get money quickly.  Once Irma hits, People who are already flooded out of their homes by Hurricane Harvey are going to endure incredible hardship finding a place to live.  Their jobs are gone, no money coming in, only the clothes on their back, etc…   I need to maximize the time spent inspecting, NOT DRIVING TO AND FROM HOUSTON.

So here is what I need from the HAMS if they can pull it off.

I need to locate a Church, School, Home, etc…   Where I can park at night, take a shower, and use a little electricity to run the AC electric on my truck camper so I can use my computer and printer.    I have not been able to get thru on the landlines because they are down, people with cell phones are far away or are traumatized and can not help.

If the HAMS can get on the air with other HAMS in the area and find out where I can park at night, it would be possible the biggest contribution to getting those poor people insurance money.  I expect, if I stay close to Beaumont next week, I can probably inspect an additional 10-15 homes before having to evacuate.

Knowing HAMS, and being one, I think this is a super cool project.  Unfortunately, I can only transmit on frequencies that are local repeaters and simplex.

Please put the word out for me.

My email for responses will be  or 615-300-6183.

Thanks for your help.

Joe McKeon  KM4UGQ

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