After Hurricane Maria left the majority of Puerto Rico without power and basic services, at ETOW we waited for the right opportunity (after food, water and medical supplies were rushed in) to send self-powered radios to those still living without power and in need of basic community information.
Once US Postal Service delivery was restored to the island, we turned to our amazing volunteer (and SWLing Post contributor) Robert Gulley (AK3Q) to coordinate the process.
Robert contacted the Lares Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LARES) in Puerto Rico and asked for their assistance. Nelson Santiago (WP3B) with LARES enthusiastically volunteered to venture out into the community and distribute radios to those who needed them the most–families still lacking mains power. The LARES club distributed the radios effectively and efficiently–they also photo-documented everything.
The whole process was simply amazing to watch unfold.
Many thanks to Universal Radio who helped us quickly procure 15 self-powered radios for our initial pilot shipment. As of December, we’ve now sent and distributed an additional 40 radios–totaling 55 units to 55 families.
This whole project became a reality through our network of radio enthusiasts. We’re so grateful to everyone involved. Thank you!
“a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.
Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium.”
In honor of World Radio Day, at Ears To Our World, we sent 60 HumanaLights and 40 self-powered AM/FM/SW radios to be distributed in Haiti through our partners, the Haitian Health Foundation.
We’ve been working steadily in Haiti since 2009, shortly before the 2010 earthquake. You may know that Haiti has most recently been dealing with the effects of Hurricane Matthew which struck on October 4, 2016. Shortly after urgent food and medical supplies started making their way to the island, we began sending radios and other supplies.
The importance of radio access in disaster situations cannot be overstated, and the results getting receivers into the hands of those in need are both immediate and enduring. According to the Knight Foundation, a non-profit organization that advances journalism in the digital age, radio was “the undisputed lifeline for the Haitian public after the  earthquake.” In their report, “Media, Information System and Communities: Lessons from HAITI,” the Foundation asserted, “Of all the available humanitarian information tools, radio was the most effective means to share information with the community and to distribute information to affected populations.”
This remains true today as Haiti rebuilds after Hurricane Matthew.
I always enjoy meeting SWLing Post readers who stop by our booth to introduce themselves.
Note: New Booth Location
We’ve been moved to a new table this year: SA0359 in the Silver Arena. Indeed, we may have two tables set up: one with Ears To Our World information and another with soldering irons to build HumanaLight kits.