Peabody, MA. November 1, 2005 – AES-IntelliNet‘s wireless radio network survived Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma and provided consistent alarm communications when other alarm communications systems failed.
The devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma have highlighted the vulnerability of traditional emergency communications networks that rely of phone lines and cellular towers. With winds in excess of 150 mph phone lines and cellular towers were downed like dominos leaving hundreds of thousands of customers, residential and municipal without even basic communications. This lack of communication services compromised the safety and security of people and assets for days and even months.
With storm surges of 20 feet, driving rain and extreme winds the standard communications infrastructure realized a variety of obstacles. Long-distance switches were flooded and had to be powered down until waters receded. Wireless sites with battery backup had no personnel or generators for recharging, as they were unable to reach sites due to flooding. Satellite dishes and radio towers were downed or knocked off their coordinates. With these multitude of problems no one system maintained a highly reliable communication network.
In some situations however, wireless radio security systems with extensive battery back-up have provided hundreds of customers with seamless and continuous coverage. One example of this technology is the AES-IntelliNet wireless solution, successfully operated throughout the storm by Aressco Services, Inc of Miami, FL. According to Don Richter, President of Aressco Services, Inc., “my AES-IntelliNet customers received constant service, without any interruption throughout the storm, the system just worked”. He also stated that “our other cellular, wired and other wireless services, went down with the first big wind and stayed down until well after the storm”.
The AES-IntelliNet system is a wireless mesh, long-range radio system. The system was engineered in a way that it is self-healing and self-routing. The technology is capable of re-routing alarm signals through multiple paths to insure that all signals are communicated to the Central Station. The system relies on a series of low profile, robust repeaters that are installed throughout the service area, if one repeater is down, the signal automatically finds the next available repeater. These repeaters are not installed on towers as cellular services are and therefore are not venerable to high winds. The built in battery back-up also eliminates reliance on power lines, or lack of generators.
As the short falls of traditional emergency communications systems become apparent it is important to understand the necessity of alternative communications systems. Phone lines and cellular services are currently unable to withstand dramatic natural events and as such alternatives are imperative. With the availability of wireless and wireless RF communications, viable alternatives are coming to the forefront as reliable, feasible solutions.