Place Amateur Radio stations in all hospitals, police stations and fire departments, and emergency shelters. Katrina should have taught the value of Amateur Radio. President Bush needed to get a message to Mayor Nagin in New Orleans. Amateur Radio was the only means of communications to get the message through.
Everyone in the Preparedness field talks about doing this and doing that to be prepared, but no one pays a bit of attention to communications. It's like stepping on toes. "This is my territory, stay away!" "Oh, they're just EMS wannabes!", "Nah, we don't need them." Many Amateur Radio operators are former police and firemen. I've heard many comments that operators just want to be able to run red lights and speed. Not true. We obey all traffic laws going to and from an assignment.
Amateur Radio has been saving lives and aiding federal, state and local governments for almost 100 years.
Yes, I'm an Amateur Radio operator! I serve as a team leader in our county's RACES (now ACS) program at a local hospital.
Talk with the people at the National Registry for Certified EmComm Volunteers. Perhaps begin an affiliation with them. Perfect for setting up a national clearinghouse for EmComm operators.