Robert Lawrey found out what a lot of other people looking to assist Houston residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey did – getting there was the first challenge

The Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications support technician was transporting a mobile unit to connect Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and their dispatchers once they arrived in Texas. Florida Gov. Rick Scott deployed the officers along with boats and other rescue gear to assist in responding to the massive flooding the storm caused in the Houston area.

After spending time in Louisiana figuring out how to get around impassible roads, the team arrived and got to work assisting Texas first responders. The mobile unit, part of the Florida State Law Enforcement Radio System, or SLERS, connected the officers in Texas through the Harris Network Operations Center in Orlando to dispatchers and commanders in Tallahassee. The officers used the unit for four days as it handled 2,000 calls on the system.

The SLERS mobile unit was one of several ways Harris Corporation supported storm relief efforts.

  • Harris overnighted critical communications equipment to the Montgomery County Hospital District, a customer located just North of Houston, to arrive Aug. 29. The shipment included Unity mobile radios, portable lithium-polymer batteries and software licenses for BeOn and XL-200P in-band GPS that allow additional connections during the crisis.
  • The next day, Harris authorized dealer Dailey-Wells Senior Vice President C.J. Hijazi personally delivered 150 additional radios to the hospital district. The Dailey-Wells Network Operations Center provided 24-hour communications support for Montgomery County and the Houston Independent School District.

WDBJ Channel 7 CBS in Virginia interviewed PSPC President Nino DiCosmo about the response to the storm: http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Lynchburg-based-Harris-Corporation-sends-radios-to-first-responders-affected-by-Hurricane-Harvey-442952753.html

  • Harris supports the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, through several data services and content management programs that are used by the Department of Homeland Security. Harris worked with vendors to publicly release infrastructure data for the counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. They created a website –http://www.dnb.com/hurricaneharvey – that assisted disaster response officials from NGA, DHS, FEMA as well as first responders in their decision making. The site was available to the general public as well.
  • The Harris Foundation made a donation to the American Red Cross specifically for Hurricane Harvey relief and is matching all employee donations to help victims of the storm.
  • Harris technology is on U.S. weather observation satellites that are used to track hurricanes and help populations be prepared if they are threatened. The new GOES-16 satellite operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration delivered images of the storm in high resolution as it formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Harris satellite imaging systems also provided the stark before-and-after images of flooded areas.