“Some of the people on the project come from organizations that have helped feed victims and workers in the aftermath of the oil spills along the Gulf, after Hurricane Gustav and after the recent tornadoes in Alabama,” said Scott Duplechein, head of the Leadership Ascension Response Kitchen project. “While spending a lot of time at the ground zero points of these disaster areas the teams were faced with many challenges. Working out of the backs of trucks and cargo trailers, we found that simply preparing and serving hot meals to relief workers and victims was extremely difficult. The issues we faced led to the idea of creating a mobile disaster relief kitchen.”
The coalition pooled its resources and raised the funding to create a custom kitchen on wheels. “The kitchen is built on a 28-foot-long gooseneck trailer and is equipped with a griddle, stove, two deep fryers, a full-size refrigerator and a freezer,” Bourque noted. “It is set up to run on gas or generator power. We also decided to outfit the trailer with a pair of JBL EON510 powered PA speakers.”
The trailer was first used in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac in flooded areas of south Louisiana’s St. John parish. “In addition to providing hot meals, the addition of the EON510 speakers allowed the trailer to serve as a central source of information and to provide important announcements,” Bourque said.
“We chose the JBL EON510 because it met some very specific requirements,” Bourque continued. “We needed speakers that were durable, portable and could be set up and operated easily. The speakers needed to be able to be set up, torn down and stored quickly. Also, the speakers needed to be able to handle the high humidity of south Louisiana and the molded shell of the EON510 make them ideal for this environment. They also had to sound good, with clear speech intelligibility over a wide area.”
“The trailer has two side cargo doors that give access to the storage above the gooseneck portion of the trailer. These doorways provide a clean and secure place to put the speakers when the trailer is stationary. We can also easily move the speakers to another location if the situation requires a portable public address system—the EON510’s built-in microphone and line level inputs and amplifier make this really easy. We also have a permanently mounted mixer and CD/iPod player inside the trailer that we can use to send audio to the speakers. The system sounds great and has been working perfectly.”
“Our area in Louisiana has a rich tradition of food and music,” said Bourque. “Some of our volunteers are world-champion chefs that have won the Jambalaya World Championships held in Gonzales. For everyone involved in the mobile disaster relief kitchen, providing a great meal and playing some great music can really brighten someone’s day and give them hope if they’ve been hit by a natural disaster.”
For more information on Music Inc., please visit www.musicinc.com
For more information on the Leadership Ascension Response Kitchen project, please visit www.ascensionchamber.com/leadership.html
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