New York National Guard Mobile Emergency Response Center (MERC) Lite
New York National Guard Mobile Emergency Response Center (MERC) Lite Gary
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy moved ashore near Atlantic City, NJ as the largest recorded Atlantic storm in History spanning 1,100 miles. Preliminary loss estimates of this storm are estimated at $65.5 Billion dollars which would make it the US second-costliest disaster behind only Hurricane Katrina. The torrential rain and storm surge from Sandy caused extensive flooding in both the New York and New Jersey areas displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and killing power to much of the Northeast.
In New York, 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 New York National Guard was deployed by the State to help coordinate these relief efforts. At the core of their response were their two MERC Lite power and communication trailers. These small lightweight tactical trailers were very easy for the Guard to deploy and were operational within 15 minutes of reaching their disaster response locations.
The MERC Lite satellite trailers worked great during our support of the relief efforts providing mobile communications, a climate controlled shelter, and lighting for night time operations.
SGT Mark Tremblay, New York National Guard
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 be made and received, and data access for making and receiving emails. All of this was powered by an Onan 5,000 watt diesel generator and 100 gallon fuel storage tank.