Red Cross taps small cell technology for emergency communications
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on May 9 unveiled its portable communications equipment that will enable people to call, text, and connect to the Internet in disaster areas, even when the main communication and power lines are down.
The equipment utilizes small cellular technology that will power the PRC’s SOS cellular network, even without a connection to a main communications system.
“It is portable, and once fired up in a disaster-stricken area, is capable of connecting our first responders and people in need of help through their mobile phones within a 7-km radius,” said Senator Richard Gordon, who is also Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.
He adds that deployment of these devices in Red Cross rescue vehicles can be as fast as 30 minutes. It also runs on solar power.
Once this portable cellular network is deployed, disaster-stricken areas that suffer from power outage can access the signal and connect to rescuers and other emergency response teams.
“Some 25 natural and man-made calamities occur in the Philippines every year. These calamities have, over time, also tended to intensify, as we have experienced. Every ounce of creativity and resourcefulness is needed if we are to respond, and respond with equal intensity. This is where we turn to technology,” said Gordon.
The small cellular technology was introduced at the commissioning of the PRC's new humanitarian ship, M/V Amazing Grace. (WATCH: #NameThatRedCrossShip, PH's first humanitarian vessel) The PRC celebrates its 70th year of helping save lives and providing humanitarian relief in disaster and conflict zones. – with a report from Timothy Gerard Palugod/Rappler.com