How HF radio helps humanitarian recovery after storm season

How HF radio helps humanitarian recovery after storm season

The destruction from a hurricane can be widespread and leave whole areas with no communications network infrastructure.

As the Caribbean, and the rest of the world, recover from one of the most severe and damaging storm seasons in memory, attention has to turn to considering ways for humanitarian and emergency services to best do their jobs. Response to disaster situations like this relies on speed and ease of communication, no matter the network or weather conditions – lives depend on it. The communications experts at Barrett Communications have considered how HF radio aids humanitarian recovery after a storm season.

The challenges of storm season

The recent destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma over the Caribbean and eastern U.S. was not limited there – Ireland and parts of the U.K. were severely battered by Hurricane Ophelia in late October with ferocity rarely seen in the region. And with the storm season starting in Australia in the coming weeks, it seems sensible to look at the challenges storm destruction can bring.

Also known as typhoons and cyclones, the damage a massive storm can wreak on an area is unmistakable. High winds, heavy rainfall and rip tides can leave houses devastated, roads swept away and communications networks ruined. This in particular can severely affect the recovery effort. No network means conventional forms of communications, such as phone or internet-based messaging, cannot be used to contact emergency respondents.

When humanitarian organisations and emergency services risk their lives to save others from storm damage, they need to have reliable communications technology to work with.

How do humanitarian workers keep in touch in disaster zones?

Barrett Communications could aid in establishing a HF communications network in two hours from the outset of a storm.

So if the effects of storms cannot be avoided, how do humanitarian workers communicate with after-storm damage? Using HF communications equipment often means the difference between hours of inaction trying to communicate with field operators and time spent saving lives. HF radio offers users the chance to communicate over vast distances instantly in areas with no network. The encrypted information carried over HF radio frequencies is transmitted from transceiver to transceiver via the ionosphere, ensuring voice communications or messaging even with a storm still raging.

Barrett Communications have years of experience in assisting humanitarian operations and emergency services to save lives. In a recent case study conducted with the help of meteorologists, we forecast that in a hurricane situation Barrett Communications could aid in establishing a HF communications network in less than two hours from the outset of the storm.

Being ready for storm season

U.S. government website for emergency preparedness ‘Ready’ maintains the importance of being prepared for all eventualities during a storm. With guaranteed destruction and downed communications in a major storm, humanitarian operations and emergency services can only carry out their work with quality communications equipment. For more information on Barrett Communications’ humanitarian line of HF radios, contact the team today.


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