Amateur Radio will have a role in Cuba’s soon-to-be-launched “Operation Meteor,” aimed at aiding the island nation in preparing for natural disasters. Among the new strategies under review for implementation are civilian first-aid training; assist and rescue missions; damage control, and large-scale needs assessment. The nationwide initiative aims to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, especially in rural areas, and safeguard life on the island, Lieutenant-Colonel Wilfredo Cobas said.
Operation Meteor will also work with Cuba’s radio and television services, the island’s communications system, and the Emergency Network of the Amateur Radio Federation of Cuba (FRC) to fine-tune their emergency responses. Alfredo Mesa Hormigó, CO8TVC, Information System Coordinator for the FRC’s Santiago affiliate, suggested that Operation Meteor will strengthen the capacity of the country and its provinces to face strong earthquakes, hurricanes, intense drought, fires, health, and technological disasters, and would enhance the communication system’s capabilities to face disasters in Cuba.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma affected 12 Cuban provinces, destroyed more than 150,000 homes, left 10 people dead, and caused some $13 million in damage.
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