Supervisor Jeff Stone allocated nearly $3,700 to the Mountain Disaster Preparedness group. The funding will be used to acquire portable satellite communication equipment.
MDP plans and prepares for possible disasters on the Hill. As they acquire supplies and prepare trained medical support, communication capability has become another priority. The group had stressed to Supervisor Stone and others the vulnerability of the communication links between Hill residents and emergency responders and off-Hill support.
This satellite equipment will be needed if a disaster such as an earthquake were to disrupt local communication systems and isolate this community.
“We have already begun to lay the groundwork for Internet communication by creating a special emergency website: www.idyllwildemergency.com and have trained a team to post relevant information about our conditions and well-being,” wrote MDP President Veronica Alt.
This satellite equipment would allow the only reliable Internet capability for use on the Hill if Verizon lines are broken or cell towers damaged. Consequently, other organizations are expressing interest and support for this project, according to Alt.
“Although MDP would act as the coordinating agency, we will avail usage to other local organizations in need and share information on outside conditions with all,” she wrote to Stone.