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Network Innovations Provides Critical Connectivity Following Hurricane Dorian’s Destruction

Satellite PTT enabled residents to call their loved ones and assure them of their safety.

On September 1 2019, Hurricane Dorian reached Category 5 intensity, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, proving to be a powerful and devastating hurricane that became the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas. Dorian caused catastrophic damage leaving at least 70,000 people homeless. It is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.

The Challenge

Hurricane Dorian collapsed buildings, infrastructure, and reduced telecommunication masts to pieces. The locals ability to communicate with each other the outside world was little to none, with networks in Abaco and Grand Bahama quickly falling, and government agencies rendered unreachable. With traditional lines of connectivity down, they needed a lifeline to relief efforts and to each other.

 

Hurricane Dorian Relief Case Study

The Solution

Touching down in the Bahamas in the days following the hurricane, the Network Innovations team delivered essential connectivity through satellite phones, two-way radio systems and setting up a talk group for relief organizations to communicate with one another. They also got to work helping to sort, load, pack, and deliver lifesaving aid to the various islands affected.

A batch of handheld Icom satellite phones, utilizing satellite PTT from Iridium, were tested and put to good use, enabling local residents to call their loved ones and assure them of their safety. This solution is ideal for those in need of back up connectivity in areas where there are no mobile phones or landline network infrastructure

Service features include:

  • Global pole-to-pole coverage
  • Uses compact handsets you can take anywhere
  • Enables changes to talkgroups and devices in just seconds
  • Allows communication between various organizations
  • Network speed compares to terrestrial land-mobile radio solutions

The NI team worked closely with local organizations in Stuart Florida and Fort Lauderdale to manage the coordination of relief efforts, ensuring that planes and ground personnel could always be in contact with their bases. A PTT talk group was created, enabling a constant flow of communication throughout relief coordination.

The Results

Lives were saved and families reunited with stable and effective connectivity, despite traditional communication lines being down. Utilizing a stable backup solution like Satellite PTT, relief effort coordinators were able to be in contact with one another, as well as assist residents in need quicker and more effectively.

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas. Through the efforts of various relief teams, including Network Innovations, residents weren’t alone as they reconnected with one another and started to rebuild.

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