Mutualink Assesses Interoperability Following Hurricane Sandy (2/19/13)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Comments

Mutualink released data compiled following Hurricane Sandy that the vendor said assesses the effectiveness of the company’s Interoperable Response and Preparedness Platform (IRAPP) that was used by government agencies and private enterprises throughout the storm.

The IRAPP is an interoperable sharing platform for first responders and critical infrastructure organizations. Mutualink began installing IRAPP endpoints in 2007, and the IRAPP comprises more than 1,000 media infrastructure connections from coast to coast. New Jersey has a large concentration of IRAPP participants, including state and town offices of emergency management (OEMs), police departments (state and local), fire departments, hospitals, shopping malls, sporting arenas and Atlantic City casinos.

Findings from a survey conducted by Mutualink following the storm found that hospitals used the IRAPP to coordinate with public-safety agencies during evacuations, as water levels rose and proved a threat to their facilities. Hospitals kept informed in real time regarding the operations at other hospitals, and shared information with the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center.

Entities throughout the region were able to use video feeds from Atlantic City casinos to follow the surge of water as it came up the coast. In Hudson County, power outages and limited availability of phones made the IRAPP a powerful means of communication between county OEMs and county hospitals.

The East Rutherford (N.J.) Fire Department coordinated resource requests and important data, while reserving radio frequencies for emergency traffic. At least one agency could view real-time video from first responders in the field and from outside agencies in regard to flooding, which helped provide situational awareness of what was happening throughout the region.

The highest levels of communications resource sharing took place between agencies and entities with robust power and connectivity resiliency plans. Those agencies with multiple redundant systems never lost the ability to communicate over the IRAPP to share voice, video and data, a Mutualink statement said.

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