Coral Gables Prepares for Active Hurricane Season with Enhanced Communication Measures

The Miami suburb of Coral Gables in Florida is girding itself for any hurricanes that might hit this year, working to ensure that communication is maintained at all times. The hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean officially began on June 1, and the National Weather Service has predicted storm activity to be “above normal” this season.

The city has upgraded to a cloud-based computer-aided dispatch platform, which provides redundancy to ensure that emergency calls to 911 always go through. The cloud-native platform from Mark43 – a public safety technology company – provides analytics tools, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), and records management services (RMS). It essentially takes all the tools and resources already in use by the departments, including: the Coral Gables Police Department; the Coral Gables Fire Department; and the University of Miami Police Department, and combines them into one, universal, streamlined process. The company’s platform provides real-time updates and an ability to maintain communication across its users, as long as there’s a wireless connection.

“Even if the network at the agency goes down, you can go to Starbucks and continue dispatching, you can use McDonald’s Wi-Fi and continue dispatching. All you need is the thinnest internet connection and a laptop, and you can literally run the emergency dispatch services for an entire city from wherever you need to be,” Matt Polega, co-founder & head of external affairs at Mark43 said.

Coral Gables’ also recently built a public safety building, which is now home to the city’s police department, fire department and emergency operations center. Housing the safety services under one roof allows them to use one server, easing the ability of fire, police and emergency systems to communicate with one another during severe weather. The city has also designed a satellite truck that allows safety officials to access their primary or backup dispatch systems from anywhere in the state.