Emergency Cellular Systems

Gallatin County Emergency Management


Have you heard stories about how the cellular providers will put service into an area where it didn’t previously exist in a matter of a day or two?

Most of the cellular providers in the United States have systems in place like Verizon’s Crisis Response Team that can deploy temporary cellular networks into places that have had catastrophic damage from natural disasters, have never had coverage and have a large event such as a wildfire, or just need additional capacity for a special event.  They accomplish this with devices such as the Cell on Wheels, known as a COW, or similar types of tools.  A COW is simply a cellular tower that is portable and towed to the temporary location and setup.  The trick is that they need line of sight back to their network from the COW, or some other connectivity, to create a link that gives the COW access to phone lines.  Sometimes this is a simple task, other times the technicians get really tricky to make it work, and other times it just won’t work.