(Senior Storm Chaser)
Sat Sep 03 2005 05:23 PM
Finally got a cell phone call from my brother

My brother with the Jackson County Sheriff's Dept, working the EOC there, was finally able to get a call through to me.

I could hear the exhaustion in his voice. They have been working nonstop. They worked for three days without sleep (Sun-Tue), then got off for a couple hours Tuesday night. He said they are catching sleep here and there at the courthouse when they can, but it is only a couple hours here and there. He was fixing to go on duty before he called.

They will be working these round-the-clock shifts for some time but he thinks they may be getting to the point where they can get six hours off at a time, before long.

He said that the EOC had to do search and rescue and search and recovery on their own. Their communications are very spotty (I got the impression maybe working 10% of the time). They do not have a ham radio operator at the EOC.

He has seen the FL crews that came in to help with search and rescue but I think they are working with local towns and possibly not with the EOC directly.

He has seen very little presence of the Red Cross; only two pickup trucks, once, on the highway at Ocean Springs.

He said National Guard came yesterday (Friday).

He said there is a big problem with looting and so they are pulled off of S&R and are patrolling now.

I managed by sheer luck to get a call through to MS FEMA operations center, where I was able to find out that they will have people down there to provide some relief to the EOC by about tomorrow afternoon. And also that they will have to make do with a satellite phone because it was not likely they would get a ham radio operator.

So - if anyone knows a ham radio operator, tell them to get the word out to other ham radio operators that might want to voluteer their time, that they should call 602-352-9100, just ask to be connected to operations, as if they know what they are talking about, and then volunteer to go down. Because I think if operations gets enough of these offers to help they might be able to get someone down there. Such a person would have to be self-sufficient because there are no resources down there at the moment.

My brother and his wife lost everything (their home and all their vehicles were completely flooded out), and they are staying at his wife's son's girfriend's mother's house, where they have a bed to sleep in, and she is feeding them. They don't want anything right now. He said he couldn't begin to think about anything like that right now. In other words they are still in survival mode and are working.

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