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I mean outside the immediate disaster area. There the comm infrastructure should stay up long enough for that - at least, enough of it... And New Orleans is representative of the whole? Hm. Not too...
Stan Barr might have said:
Much pruning has occurred
There is a move afoot to eliminate the requirement here in the U.S. There's one every so many years. This latest one is presented slightly differently: The ARRL ("AmericanAmateur" Radio Relay League) is "urging the FCC ($Deity, airwaves, U.S.) to provide meaningful privileges to entry level amateurs" 1 by dropping code tests (5 WPM at the low end) for HF access. Plans with the same goal have been floated before, always derailed by those with long standing in the ARRL community. Personally I consider the present clbuttifications not best-suited for todays environment. Disclaimer: I am not active in amateur radio though I am licensed.
In the current environment it's likely a criminal offense to even listen to such here in the U.S. I'm only half joking.
There are two (at least) such groups here in the U.S.: RACES, which expands to something about Radio Amateurs Communicating, umm, Emergency? The other group completely escapes me at the moment. REACT maybe? And there's another group whose focus is weather, sky warn, sky watch, something. I don't know their duty cycle, nor training for that matter, but do know some were tapped for use in the aftermath of Katrina. Three weeks would be a long time, at a guess not many served three weeks, but rather were rotated in and out of service?
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In the long term, the infrastructure will have to be rethought anyway. But in the short and medium term, where else...
1 Fisher, Richard. Popular Communications Volume 24 number 6, February 2006 p41.