Good little Wall Street Journal article about the radio waves that fought against Katrina's. Sample:
In an age of high-tech, real-time gadgetry, it's the decidedly unsexy ham radio—whose technology has changed little since World War II—that is in high demand in ravaged New Orleans and environs. The Red Cross issued a request for about 500 amateur radio operators—known as "hams"—for the 260 shelters it is erecting in the area. The American Radio Relay League, a national association of ham-radio operators, has been deluged with requests to find people in the region. The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for hams to help with its relief efforts.
Gratuitous Evil Corporation quote:
"Something is better than nothing, that's right," says Jim Screeden, who runs all of Motorola's repair teams in the field for its emergency-response business. "But ham radios are pretty close to nothing."