Hughes, a provider of broadband satellite solutions, is partnering with the All Hazards Consortium (AHC) – a non-profit organization focused on homeland security, emergency management, and business continuity issues, and the AHC’s private sector Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group (Working Group) to work through using satellite data for emergency response.
Under the partnership, Hughes will cooperate to provide information on areas affected by disaster to the Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group allowing responders to more accurately locate operational commercial facilities offering food, gas, accommodation and medical supplies. That information will be available through an online disaster response portal.
The raw data supplied by Hughes will be processed by the All Hazards Consortium’s partner Integrity Consulting and run through visualization software, providing end-users of the service with a graphic representation of the data overlaid on a map of the United States. Once the data is available, emergency response teams could be able to pre-position assets more accurately in addition to being able to find them once a disaster has happened.
“This partnership, drawing on lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy,” said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president for Government Solutions at Hughes. Following Superstorm Sandy, Hughes made information available to the Consortium about the operating status of gas stations, hotels and restaurants—which then enabled the federal government and authorities to rapidly respond to areas that were impacted along the eastern seaboard.
Eventually technology like this could work in concert with others arising out of the completion of FirstNet, the first responders network. That network is currently in planning stages with the aim of providing a contiguous network in the US for first responders to be able to fall back on for voice and data during a disaster event.