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Red Cross volunteer keeps his eye on the weather


Frank O’Laughlin always wanted to help the American Red Cross.

As a young meteorologist in the 1980s, he saw how active the Red Cross was in his own local community. From local efforts to national, the organization’s range impressed him, spurring him to actively seek out a volunteer position.

Aware of the importance of communications, O’Laughlin found an area where he could jump in and effectively serve. When he started, cell phones were just coming around.

“Now we help set up networks via satellite technology so that laptops and other equipment such as cell phones, fax machines and radios can be issued,” he said.

O’Laughlin now serves as the chief meteorologist for the Red Cross in the Cape Cod and Island area. In addition, he is also a computer consultant and amateur radio operator. He serves as District Emergency Coordinator for Cape Cod Amateur Emergency Radio Services and is the Communications/Disaster Technology Services lead for the Cape Cod and Islands Red Cross Chapter.

Known for creating communications kits, O’Laughlin was geared up and ready to go for Hurricane Sandy. Stationed at Cape Cod, where he lives, O’Laughlin tracked the storm closely.

He said volunteering with the American Red Cross is fulfilling.

“Community supporting community is what it’s all about. It’s a very rewarding experience,” O’Laughlin said.