New Wi-Fi network in Sheepshead Bay designed to be resilient in event of natural disasters

A new resilient Wi-Fi network in Sheepshead Bay will allow residents to communicate with each other during emergencies, such as natural disasters.

News 12 Staff

Mar 9, 2020, 10:34 PM

Updated 1,538 days ago

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A new resilient Wi-Fi network in Sheepshead Bay will allow residents to communicate with each other during emergencies, such as natural disasters.
Several antennas have been placed on businesses in the area to create the new network, that will continue to operate even when power goes out in times of emergency.
The Wi-Fi provided by Global Security Intel through a government-funded initiative is free to residents.
"We needed the Wi-Fi in order to really have a resilient option, something that would work regardless of hurricanes, of floods, blackouts, brownouts. Something that would be there just in case we need to rebuild in case of emergency," says emergency management specialist Ross Den.
The idea for the network came after Superstorm Sandy left millions of people across the city without power for multiple days.
Owner of Arbuz Café Eugene Khayut, who has a resilient Wi-Fi antenna in his business, recalled not being able to communicate with loved ones during the storm.
"I have family and friends that live all throughout the neighborhood. We literally had to go door to door knocking on people's door, make sure everybody's OK, make sure they need anything. It was like chaos," Khayut remembers.
And although the network is considered resilient, Den says right now the resiliency is limited.
"Everything is running on batteries. Right now, the batteries are being recharged through the grid. Once the grid dies, the batteries can only last so long. We hope to get more funding through nonprofits and potentially have not only antennas, but also solar panels that will continuously recharge the batteries to make it really resilient," Den says.
The network is currently available for residents in Sheepshead Bay, with the goal of expanding the network so that residents can communicate with loved ones across the city.


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