Hurricane Irma Affects 28 PSAPs Across Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands
Monday, September 11, 2017 | Comments

Hurricane Irma had affected 28 public-safety answering points, including taking 14 down completely, across Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of Sept. 11, according to a communications status report released by the FCC. Meanwhile, just under 30 percent of cell sites were out of service in the Florida disaster area and more than 50 percent of cell sites were out across the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The 14 PSAPs that are down with no reroutes are the Big Cypress Indian Reservation, Collier County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Fort Myers Police Department, Glades County Sheriff and its backup center, the Hardee County backup center, Hendry County Sheriff, Highlands County Sheriff, Lee County Emergency Dispatch Center, the Naples Police Department, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department, the Homestead Air Reserve Base, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office and Ocean Reef.

The Hardee County and Lee County sheriff’s offices were both up without automatic location information (ALI). The Atlantic Beach Police Department, Belle Glade Police Department, Indian River Sheriff’s Office, Manalapan Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, Neptune Beach Police Department and the St. Augustine Police Department PSAPs were all being rerouted with ALI as of Sept. 11.

The Clewiston Police Department, Desoto County Sheriff, Lee County backup center and the Sanibel Police Department were all rerouting without ALI. Additionally, the Broward County South Regional 9-1-1 Center was without power as of mid-day Sept. 10 and customer premise equipment (CPE) was unavailable. The FCC was unsure if the 9-1-1 calls for that center are being rerouted.

Both PSAPs in the U.S. Virgin Islands were operational without ALI or automatic numbering information (ANI) as of Sept. 11. Two PSAPs in Puerto Rico that were impacted by the storm on Sept. 7 were fully operational by Sept. 9.

On the wireless side, 27.4 percent of cell sites in the disaster area are out of service, while 19.4 percent are down in Puerto Rico and 55.1 percent of sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands were down.

Fifty percent or more of cell sites were are out of service in Collier, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in Florida; Aguas Buenas, Corozal, Culebra, Fajardo, Juncos, Luquillo, Morovis and Jayuya municipalities in Puerto Rico; and St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As Irma has transitioned from a hurricane to a tropical storm and moved further north and inland, the FCC extended the disaster reporting information system (DIRS) to all counties in Florida and parts of Georgia and Alabama. The extension covers 18 counties in Georgia and three in Alabama. Find a listing of those counties here.

The full Sept. 11 communications status report is here.

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On 9/18/17, Rod Fritz said:
Communication is most important in life-threatening situations. Amateur radio, FRS, GMRS and even a white sheet on a front door have an important role especially if 9-1-1 is down to connect citizens to services they need. Activate your neighborhood and community. Don't just rely on government communication resources. They aren't always reliable. Your life may depend upon you being prepared. Identify services you may need, and know how to contact them even when normal communications channels are down.

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