Brief report from Sascha Meinrath of CU Wireless: "As of a few minutes ago I got the go-ahead for deploying Community Wireless folks within the New Orleans area. We've secured a base of operations and are working with Part-15 to get FEMA approval to operate in the emergency area. We've got people heading down starting tomorrow, so if you are interested in being part of this team, drop me an e-mail. Prometheus radio has received dispensation to set up an emergency LPFM station in New Orleans, so we're interested in anyone who would like to help with that. Finally, in addition to people and equipment, we're also going to need donations to help support the on-the-ground Community Wireless team." Their Web site has an ongoing blog.
Donate to wireless team:
Part-15.org is mounting an enormous effort and is looking for donations and volunteers. Anyone in the wireless industry should contact them if you want to help.
Of course, the Red Cross and other organizations are raising money like mad to help feed, clothe, and temporarily house 100,000s of people--and later help in more permanent ways. My wife and I have contributed a (for us) significant amount to the Red Cross. But there's a lot to be said for giving money to help bring wireless service and FM radio to New Orleans to allow communications. I want to see people fed and safe first, but part of bringing order is bringing contact.
In related news, most of the cellular operators report a significant restoration of their networks in and around the disaster areas as they've been able to restart generators and repair equipment.