Grant to Help HI CERT Connect Hatteras Islanders During Outages

OBCF Grant Manager Scout Schillings with HI CERT Board Chair Kenny Brite.

Hatteras Islanders know it pays to be prepared for the eventuality of hurricanes and other significant events, both natural and man-made. Since 2013 Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team (HI CERT) volunteers have worked year-round to prepare individuals, communities, and the island for emergencies. HI CERT’s mission is The group maintains equipment to assist islanders after a disaster and works with county government and local agencies to provide emergency services after storms. They receive and distribute donated supplies and offer search and rescue training sessions, seminars for responding to severe weather and natural disasters, life-saving training, and more for island residents and visitors.

HI CERT recently received a grant for $26,900 for a new project to provide satellite communications in response to situations where internet and phone service to the island are down. The funds will help HI CERT purchase trailers, generators, and communications equipment to operate six satellite internet access points at strategic sites around the island for internet and phone service during a fiber cut or natural disaster. “This project will provide free wi-fi calling for residents, visitors, law enforcement, and emergency management personnel when lines are down,” said Kenny Brite, HI CERT Board Chair. “Whether it’s nine hours, or nine days as was the case after Hurricane Irene, this new system will allow important and sometimes life-saving communications to continue on our island.”