Wi-Fi network in Sheepshead Bay will allow communication during emergencies, 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, 11:22 AM

Updated 1,531 days ago

Share:

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 placed on businesses in Sheepshead Bay create the new resilient Wi-Fi network, that continues to operate even when power goes out in times of emergency.

The Wi-Fi is free to residents provided by Global Security Intel, through a government-funded initiative.

"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 Ross Den, emergency management specialist.

The idea for the network came after Superstorm Sandy left millions of people across the city without power for multiple days.

The owner of Arbuz Cafe, who has a resilient Wi-Fi antenna in his business, recalls 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,” says Eugene Khayut, owner of Arbuz Café.

Although the network is considered resilient, Den says right now the resiliency is limited.

"Everything is running on batteries, right, 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 non-profits and potentially have not only antennas, but also solar panels that will continuously recharge the batteries to make it really resilient,” says Den.

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.


More from News 12