Kentucky National Guard Mobile Emergency Response Center (MERC) Lite
Kentucky National Guard Mobile Emergency Response Center (MERC) Lite Gary
On March 4, 2012, an EF4 tornado struck towns in Kentucky and West Virginia staying on the ground for over 95 miles. Two secondary twisters struck adding another 49-mile path of destruction. This same storm system tracked across the Southeastern United States spawning at least 45 more separate tornadoes that were confirmed by the National Weather Service.
In Kentucky, immediately after the storms, multiple First Responders were deployed to begin the search and rescue operation to look for survivors that may be in need of medical care or still trapped in the rubble that was once their home. Normal modes of communication and power had been disabled by the storms knocking out most of the phone, cellular, wireless, and power utilities. This made the search and rescue operation much more difficult because communication was needed to coordinate relief efforts.
The MERC Lite satellite trailer worked perfectly during our 3 day response. The generator provided continuous power allowing us to stay in constant contact with the responding Guardsmen.
SGT Jerry Hensley, Kentucky National Guard
The Kentucky National Guard was deployed by the State to help coordinate these relief efforts. At the core of their response was their MERC Lite power and communication trailer. This small light weight tactical trailer was very easy for the Guard to deploy and was operational within 15 minutes of reaching their disaster response location.
The MERC Lite provided immediate land mobile radio service utilizing its 30 foot pneumatic mast with radio antennas that were connected to on board Motorola radios. The AVL VSAT satellite system provided immediate network access to allow internet news feeds, Hosted VoIP telephone service allowing phone calls to made and received, and data access for making and receiving emails. All of this was powered by an Onan 12,000 watt diesel generator and 100 gallon fuel storage tank.