Mobile towers keep communications going during disasters | News
When disaster strikes, we turn to our customary means to relay and receive information: 911, cell phone, radio, television and the Emergency Alert System.
However, these forms of communications may be the first essential services to suffer during an emergency. Cell phone towers fall, radio repeaters collapse, and computer systems become inoperable.
Taking this into account, the Memphis/Shelby County Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), under the direction of Bob Nations, Jr., is planning ahead to be ready with a solution to have communications up and running within minutes.
Three UASI counties, Shelby, Tipton and Fayette, have obtained self-erecting portable towers that can be used for telecommunications at a moment's notice. These space-age looking "tower in a box" structures are self-contained and constructed of aluminum in a triangular ladder-like configuration.
They can be rapidly deployed with the push of a button by one person in less than 30 minutes. Powered by an electric gear system, the tower will rise to its maximum height of 80 feet in about 5 minutes.
Multiple antennae can be attached to the top for quick radio communications in the most undesirable situations and locations. Several tower units can be erected simultaneously by one operator using one control system.
The counties who have purchased the portable towers are testing their effectiveness in workshops and drills.
More portable towers will be purchased in the near future.
Information provided by Shelby County Office of Preparedness.