IEEE-USA MOVE: Tennessee Wildfire Relief Deployment


12/6/2016 – The IEEE-USA MOVE team has returned home from its fifth disaster deployment since being activated in March. Most of the networking and communications systems are now in place and the American Red Cross will continue their work in the area for some time. Thank you to our volunteers, The IEEE Foundation, and especially our donors and sponsors that allow us to continue with our efforts.

12/5/2016 –  Gatlinburg is still closed to the public and residents are only allowed during daylight hours. With the MOVE truck we are able to pass through the roadblocks and drive through the empty town. Today at the Red Cross shelter we set up computers that allow people to apply for grants that assist them in rebuilding. We also supplied internet access to the public. Many sad stories from people in the shelter but at least one was excited to find that the fire had jumped over his home and that he and his family could return to their home. Extremely different emotional responses from many still in the shelters with unknown futures.

12/04/2016 – Spent the day at the Red Cross Rocky Top shelter where we supplied Internet access to the public and tech support to the Red Cross. Heavy rain today will help the firefighters. Many heartbreaking stories at the shelter.

12/3/2016 – Yesterday MOVE provided Internet and technical support to the Red Cross HQ operation in Kodak, TN. In addition, MOVE and Red Cross volunteers set up communications in shelters in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN.

12/1/2016 – After picking up the MOVE truck in Charlotte, NC, IEEE-USA volunteers are on their way to Tennessee to help with relief efforts. The team has been warned that many roads are closed due to fires so travel may take longer than expected. This is the 5th Red Cross natural disaster deployment for the team since the truck was activated in March 2016.

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