Century old tool used to communicate with families in Haiti - WNEM TV 5

Century old tool used to communicate with families in Haiti

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

Hurricane Matthew continues its path through the Carribean.

In Haiti, where the storm caused raging floodwaters and crumbled roads and bridges, communication is extremely limited.

A local man with ties to the developing island nation now fears the worst after he couldn't get there before the storm hit. As he struggles to get more information, some people around Mid-Michigan are keeping their ear to the ground by using some of the oldest technology available – a ham radio.

The century old tool is being utilized to monitor storm reports out of Haiti.

Hurricane Matthew made landfall there on Tuesday.

"It's a service that we provide. We listen with the way that radio propagation works they can't always get in to the National Hurricane Center or the weather center directly so we relay messages as we hear them,” Lee Hodges said.

Hodges is with the Midland Amateur Radio Club. He runs a program at Midland High School. He said in the era of social media, ham radios are still viable.

"That infrastructure has to be rebuilt. Where we can get up and running on very short notice,” Hodges said.

Mid-Michigan resident Paul Cormier was worried about his loved ones in Haiti. With little to no communication available during the storm, he said a ham radio is an excellent option.

“We're going to try and get fundraising campaign to purchase a ham radio for the village. And we'll probably have it located at our medical clinic so it's secure. We'll start training them in ham radio,” Cormier said.

Fortunately for Cormier, he did get a phone call from the island. He learned his adopted children, along with the school they go, to made it through the storm.

"I thought they perished. But I got that phone call and I was like ‘thank God,’” Cormier said.

Cormier said it will be great to get a ham radio in the village where his foster kids are.

As for Hodges, he looks forward to helping with ham radios whenever he can.

"We do it because we enjoy the hobby,” he said.

A Hurricane Matthew relief fund has been launched online by GlobalGiving to support recovery efforts in communities caught in the path of the deadly storm.

For more information, click here

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