Hurricane Maria: Summary of communication status - and lack of

Nicholas Harland nharland at
Mon Oct 2 21:55:51 CST 2017

Hi Sean,

Thank you for all of your updates. I am just catching up on them because I
only recently got back from the virgin islands. I am one of those
volunteers working in the USVI. St John specifically. We are building out a
wireless network, and had our first hotspot up in Cruz Bay 4 days after
Maria, with connectivity to NPS/FEMA/Red Cross/St John Rescue/Fire/Police
just a few days after that.

If there are technical minded and physically able bodied people would like
to join the effort on St John, even just for a 1-2 week rotation, I would
be happy to discuss what we need in terms of support and can make all
arrangements on the island for housing etc. Getting some relief and fresh
minds in would be a great help as our team is primarily St John residents
who have been on the island through both hurricanes and have had to deal
with their own personal situations while also trying to get internet up
where it's needed.

St John was hit directly by Irma, infrastructure was completely destroyed,
but it's a very small island and so the humanitarian situation there is
much more stable than Puerto Rico, but many of the resources that were
assisting on STJ are now rightfully being diverted to SJU. You could expect
to sleep somewhere that has a generator running overnight, have access to
refrigeration/freezer (though cannot open fridge during day). Food/water
situation is fine there, we have a beach volleyball game on Sundays, more
generators are appearing on the island and some businesses are opening.


Nick Harland

On Sun, Sep 24, 2017 at 2:13 PM, Sean Donelan <sean at> wrote:

> On Sun, 24 Sep 2017, Mike Hammett wrote:
>> There are a bunch of WISPs waiting to go rebuild, but waiting for the
>> clearance to do so.
> I'm not sure what clearances they are waiting for.  If they are already in
> Puerto Rico, self-sufficient, and respect curfews and other emergency
> responders, they should be able to start local restoration and recovery
> activities.
> Several local ISPs and communication providers have announced open public
> WiFi hotspots outside their Puerto Rico offices during non-curfew hours.
> I've also seen reports from individuals volunteering on the Virigin Islands
> setting up internet access.
> If they are not already on the island, most Puerto Rican airports and
> ports are still closed to non-military or relief activities. There is no
> U.S. mail or freight service. Only one airport was open for limited
> commercial flights.  They will need to bring everything neccessary to
> support themselves, including food, water, shelter, etc.
> Managing volunteers who want to help is difficult in all disasters. Unless
> they have training how to survive and take care of themselves in such a
> situation, letting in outside well-meaning volunteers sometimes become
> additional people who need to rescue.
> WISPs already on Puerto Rico or U.S. Virigin Islands, with resources for
> recovery and restoration of communications; can contact the FCC Operations
> Center, (202) 418-1122, FCCOperationCenter at
> /db0920/DA-17-913A1.pdf

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