Severe 2020 Hurricane Season Drives Need for Critical Communications

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As hurricane season approaches, Motorola Solutions is helping public safety agencies prepare for what experts predict could be a particularly severe year of storms.

High winds, flooding and evacuations bring unique challenges, and effective emergency response hinges on having the right communications technologies in place, as well as a comprehensive and tested disaster management plan.

The use of secure and reliable Project 25 (P25) land mobile radio (LMR) networks and devices remains the standard for mission-critical voice communications, allowing federal, state and local agencies to facilitate cooperation with one another across law enforcement, firefighters, EMS personnel and other first responders.

Command center software helps streamline and mobilize the flow of intelligence during a disaster, so that agencies can respond more quickly and restore order. Together, these technologies enable the coordination of potential evacuations, search, rescue and recovery operations and law enforcement activities in impacted areas.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we relied heavily on our radio network and radios,” said Greg Holcomb, director of the Office of Public Safety Support, Lake County, Fla. “Our officers were involved in search and rescue and responding to emergencies in affected areas, and LMR continued to be reliable and worked. Push-to-talk radios are second nature for our first responders, and they trust their reliability and durability in critical moments.”

“Electric utilities prepare relentlessly for weather events and are on the front lines of disaster response and recovery,” said Rene Larocque, senior telecommunications engineer at Nova Scotia Power. “When Hurricane Dorian made landfall in 2019, our cell phone networks were down for several days, but our MOTOTRBO radios performed as if nothing had happened. Reliable radio communications were vital to support timely damage assessments, deploying the right people to areas of immediate priority and restoring power to residents.”

Public safety agencies have come to depend on command center software to provide seamless data and information sharing during times of disaster. Many agencies are moving CAD or backup CAD systems to the cloud, so dispatchers can effectively respond to emergency calls and coordinate resources from anywhere.

The migration of operations to the cloud delivers maximum reliability and resilience and is a key consideration as agencies prepare for a variety of potential disasters and events.

“Communication is absolutely vital to mounting an effective response to a hurricane or any other natural disaster or event,” said Kelly Mark, executive vice president, Software & Services, Motorola Solutions. “The start of hurricane season is an important reminder to revisit disaster management plans and ensure readiness, from inventorying back-up radios and testing generators, to updating software and coordinating with technology providers for support that may be needed before, during and after a storm.”

Motorola Solutions Delivers End-to-End Solutions and Emergency Operations Support

For more than 90 years, Motorola Solutions has been working with public safety agencies and offers the technologies, critical support and resources to help communities prepare for and quickly recover from disasters. Its purpose-built, mission-critical ecosystem provides a fully integrated end-to-end suite of solutions including voice, command center software and video and analytics, as well as managed and support services that span emergency awareness, emergency operations, network monitoring, system engineering and field services.

Motorola Solutions mobilizes to help public safety agencies rapidly establish communications and regain control following large-scale events. The company proactively monitors emerging storms through its centralized Network Operations Center, and response teams are activated the moment an emergency is detected to help customers prepare. Dedicated resources are allocated to monitor sites in the path of a hurricane, and with the help of automation, relevant network incidents are flagged and addressed. On-the-ground teams provide mission-critical technology required to meet the response. The support continues during an event and in its aftermath, as teams work with customers to determine the impact on communication sites and to coordinate repairs.