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Volume 30, Issue 4

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 19:14

Restoring Power and Communications Quickly for Emergency Operations

Two “Black Boxes” To Empower Hurricane and Disaster Response

When a disaster hits, emergency manager, organizations, and businesses need two things before anything else – power and communications.

Up to now, providing power meant cranking up a generator, and resupplying it frequently with gasoline. If the landline and cellular infrastructure was down or overloaded, responders had to utilize extremely expensive and slow satellite voice and data communications until carriers could bring in temporary cell towers.

Now, two amazing “black boxes” can provide reliable and efficient power and communications at a fraction of the cost of running generators and paying for satellite communications.

During the Hurricane Matthew floods, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) deployed two new technologies that provided dependable power and high-speed voice and data communications.

The town of Nichols was almost completely flooded. The only building that was not underwater was the City Hall. All the power was out. Even though they had a generator, refueling it was nearly impossible. The storm was so severe it took out nearly all their communications infrastructure.

The town was without communications to the outside world for five days. SCEMD then dropped in by helicopter a Gridless Core 1K battery and a Plum Case Extended remote access device.

The Gridless Core 1K battery was used to supply power to the City Hall Voice over IP phone system and their computer servers as well as recharging cell phones, laptops and tablets. It can provide dependable power for up to five days without recharging. Weighing only 50 pounds, it is easily carried to where it’s needed.

The Gridless Core 1K has numerous advantages over a generator in a disaster situation. Generators create noise and fumes that limit where it can be deployed. Resupplying a generator with fuel for five days requires hundreds of pounds of gasoline. The Gridless battery can be quickly charge fast from any source, the wall, an idling car or boat, or even a solar panel.

In addition, generators are often stolen during deployments. The Gridless Core 1K battery has a tracking system that tells you where it is and how much power you have at all times.

SCEMD also deployed a Plum Case Extended portable high-speed internet voice and data communications system. The Plum Case Extended is a completely self-contained, self-powered, high-speed internet access device, that can pull in useable cellular signals from towers at extreme distances.

Each Plum Case has a set of highly sensitive antenna arrays, one or more Cradlepoint Cellular/Gateway/Router/Firewall/802.11 systems, and a 32000mAh power bank that can power the device for one to two days without recharging.

The range of the cellular antennas in the Plum Case allow the organization to avoid having to use very expensive and slow satellite voice and data systems in many areas where previously, satellite was the only option.

The case is extremely easy to set up and deploy. You simply attach a wire to the internal battery, flip the switch and wait five minutes. Once the router has acquired a signal, you can connect in wirelessly by simply inputting the network password into your cellphone, tablet, or laptop. You can also connect your hardwired computer servers and VOIP phone systems directly into the case using ports on the routers. There is no extensive training for either the network administrator or users.

The Plum Case Extended offers users the ability to connect through two different cellular carriers. This capability not only provides dual path diversity in case one carrier is unavailable, but also delivers improved Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output, (MU-MIMO), throughput.

The Plum Case Extended can provide high-speed data and voice to up to 128 simultaneous users over four separate wireless networks.

With the Gridless Core 1K Battery providing power for the servers and phones, and the Plum Case Extended providing connectivity, the Nichols City Hall could communicate with their responders, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, and federal agencies.

Together, these two “black boxes”, offer a complete business continuity solution to just about any organization.

CONTACTS

South Carolina Emergency Management Division

Gabe Turner

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

803-737-8565

Gridless

Patrick Murphy

President, Gridless Power

Office: 866-232-8516 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Unlike generators which create noise and fumes and need to be frequently refueled, the Gridless CORE 1K is a portable, self-contained electrical system. The Gridless CORE 1K Battery can provide electrical power for up to five days without recharging. It also has a GPS tracking system that tells you where it is and how much power you have.