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How Can Tablet PCs Help Prepare for Natural Disasters?

There’s no doubt about it. When the going gets tough, you need a rugged tablet computer. And it’s hard to think of tougher conditions than those bought by a natural disaster.

Just in the last year or two we’ve seen the horrendous effects of natural disasters from storms and floods to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. The one constant is the critical need for reliable communications – both voice and data -- during and after the event.

Every minute counts. For first responders, lives could literally hang in the balance. For the next wave of rescuers and clean-up personnel, the goal is a return to normalcy as quickly as possible.

Rugged tablet pc Natural Disaster Fire Department 300x199A rugged tablet computer comes to the rescue. Literally.

Everyone involved needs instant access to rapidly-changing information. That means communications equipment must allow seamless coordination among a multiplicity of players from local municipalities and departments to federal agencies. But more people using networks simultaneously can press systems to their limits.

Add to that the inherently difficult working conditions. The power is out, support mechanisms such as infrastructure, equipment and networks are out of service and evacuations often force key personnel from their offices. The weather is bad, yet the work is outdoors. It’s dangerous and filthy. Just the sort of environment in which a rugged tablet PC thrives.

Watch MobileDemand rugged tablets survive a laundromat dryer, a carwash, and being used as a hammer!


A rugged tablet readily supports a communications system that’s scalable, flexible and nearly 100% reliable. It can be deployed immediately and serve as an all-in-one tool that links command centers and field personnel throughout the disaster area, thanks to:

  • Ultra-rugged construction inside and out that ensures dependability even in the face of water, grit, mud, vibration and shock.
  • Small and lightweight design.
  • a high-resolution screen that clearly shows critically-important photos or video of damaged areas.  
  • Super-long-lasting batteries that keep the device working the same round-the-clock hours as responding personnel.

A rugged tablet PC interfaces smoothly with other systems and applications, so personnel from different jurisdictions, etc. can work together seamlessly and quickly. It can help:

  • Provide disaster-wide visibility, enabling field teams to quickly assess the nature and extent of problems, identify the highest risk areas and instantly share that information throughout the network.
  • Put critical features such as GPS and mapping right in the hands of responders.
  • Ensure real-time access to data or documents.
  • Ensure the fastest possible dissemination of information, especially important because the environment is often both dangerous and fluid.
  • Assure coordination of emergency response applications that support alert systems, medical records access, asset tracking, etc.

Systems are in place. But what if they don’t work?

Communications providers are using innovative technologies to provide communities with both fixed and mobile communications centers guaranteed to function when standard systems fail. And potential responders are working together to develop better-integrated natural disaster response and recovery plans. A rugged tablet computer remains the constant thread for successful outcomes.

You can’t predict when the next natural disaster will hit. But using a rugged tablet computer as the go-to tool to support your preparedness plan ensures your community will be ready to take on whatever comes your way.


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