REPORT #85 July 1999

Sponsored by the Belize Development Trust
Belize Development Trust volunteers are working on the format of this season's Hurricane Net Emergency communications.

Last year at the height of the Mitch emergency, telephone volunteers were fielding up to 200 telephone calls a day. The website went from 9,000 page views a day to 20,000 a day for a week. The high was 35,000 on 10/29 . Three to five people, mostly Marty and his family, kids and wife were trying to handle the phone calls, the e-mail traffic and update continously the Hurricane web page. We received calls from CNN, USAToday, and the Miami Herald. Since Mitch went on for a week, it was a tremendous sacrifice. 24 hours around the clock communications service. Marty actually got a herniated disc out of the 24/7 communications work on behalf of Belize. Where is that medal Prime Minister? We recommend the Marty Casado family for a medal for volunteerism above and beyond the call of duty to the welfare of the citizens of Belize. If Castro can get one, he sure can.

For those of you who like statistics. Last year the Hurricane net altogether fielded an approximate 7,000 telephone calls, spent about $6000 USA in telephone calls by different volunteers absorbing costs on their own initiative. Most phone calls were from Belizeans and family, or friends around the world seeking information about loved ones in Belize. There were calls from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Saudi Arabia and all over the world. Most calls came from the USA and Canada. Many Belizeans do not have computers and e-mail, even those in industrialized countries. None of this counts the 24 hours for a week spent on the e-mail and list serve, chat groups and other web sites seeking information and links to people that were missing or out of communication. Even the National Hurricane Center in Miami deferred to our information.

The government in Belmopan of Belize neither acknowledged this service to the people and country of Belize, nor at any time, did they so much as send a letter of thankyou afterwards. Considering the total money spent, the Hurricane Net last year contributed about $58,000 USA in resources, both in equipment, cash and volunteerism for the people and nation of Belize.

The small volunteer committee is working on a new format this year for the emergency increased 24 hour flow of communications. We need some volunteers in the USA who would serve an 8 hour shift during emergencies for telephone and e-mail traffic. We are not sure how we are going to work this yet and still buried in logistics and detail. But the volunteers should be in the USA. Belize will probably lose a huge section of electricity and telephone communications if they get hit or sideswiped. It was bad enough with the lucky little that actually happened last year.

Please let me know if you can be available for such volunteer Hurricane Emergency Net communications.

We do of course still need widespread telephone numbers and e-mail people throughout the country of Belize. Missing right now are e-mail volunteers in the Toledo District. We need someone to bring us up to date on who is connected down there.

The new section, or button to appropriate links is now on the Belize Electronic Resource and Development library for this seasons Hurricane Emergency Net. The address of the library is Just go to the Hurricane Emergency button, there are a bunch of links there for weather information and satellites. For you Belize people who are financially deprived/censored for internet connections, you can use the Getweb Robot with your e-mail. Just send an e-mail to: [email protected] in the body of the message put the URL or http:// address of the library and you will come back with the front page of the library as a e-mail message. Print it out. You can then select the Hurricane button http:// address and repeat a message to the Getweb Robot and you will get the listings and links under the Hurricane Net and various weather information updates from http:// addresses. Pick any you choose and re-send to the Getweb Robot and you will get your updates.

Ray Auxillou
Belize Development Trust
Box 51, Caye Caulker, Belize, Central America

U.S. telephone, 1-305 685 9752 This number is unlisted, and not generally available, so be careful who you give it to. e-mail is probably best.

e-mail [email protected]

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Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.