Texas National Guard uses Webtech Wireless to prepare for evacuation events

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WebTech Wireless, a provider of location-based and fleet telematics services, announced that it provided the National Guard in Texas with the WebTech Wireless Quadrant system. The system is part of the National Guard’s evacuation communication system designed to keep track of evacuated residents, as part of preparation for natural disasters such as Hurricane Dean earlier this month.

As Hurricane Dean was building in strength, the National Guard began preparations for its emergency evacuation procedure which includes allocating Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to keep track of people, pets and medical supplies in the event of evacuation. The system ensures that if evacuation is required, the location of evacuated residents would always be known, preventing the separation and detachment of families that caused major problems during Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

The State’s National Guard equipped buses with evacuation communication kits in portable cases that included the WebTech Wireless WT5000 Locator, as well as a laptop, external vehicle battery, cigarette lighter adaptor, Symbol RFID reader and cellular phone. The WT5000 Locators are activated on the AT&T GSM/GPRS/EDGE cellular network to ensure a reliable communication signal. Each person, pet or medical supply kit assigned with an RFID tag has their information entered into a central database as they board evacuation buses. The WT5000 Locator then transmits the exact location of each bus every minute, enabling the Quadrant system to update the database and allow administrators to keep track of evacuees.

“The WebTech Wireless Quadrant system was demonstrated as part of evacuation exercises conducted by the State of Texas, Governor’s Division of Emergency Management in July 2006 and June 2007, the success of which has led to this latest deployment,” said Anwar Sukkarie, President and CEO of WebTech Wireless.

The initial order was for delivery of 1100 portable WT5000 Locators in August, with further expansion of the service possible in Texas and other hurricane affected regions.