WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IEEE-USA and the American Red Cross, Eastern North Carolina Region are partnering on the MOVE Community Outreach program to provide short-term communications and power solutions after natural disasters and infrastructure failures. Services will include cell phone charging, communication of real-time information and Internet access for the public.
"When power is lost, people have a difficult time communicating with loved ones and finding out about what relief services are available," IEEE-USA President Pete Eckstein said. "These temporary emergency relief provisions will help people stay connected, make sure they can access the help they need and jumpstart the recovery process."
Volunteer IEEE engineers and technologists, through a specially constructed Mobile Outreach VEhicle (MOVE), will travel to disaster zones to offer the know-how and technology to provide rechargeable power banks, real-time survivor information and Wi-Fi until regular electricity and data services can be restored.
"IEEE volunteers are eager to provide disaster relief," said former IEEE Region 3 Director and project champion Mary Ellen Randall. "We also hope to provide consolation and compassion."
The MOVE unit, which will derive some of its power from solar cells and batteries, will focus initially on the southeastern and south-central United States, areas prone to hurricanes and tornados.
"As the nation's lead volunteer disaster relief agency, we are delighted to be partnering with IEEE members on this major new initiative," said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross in Raleigh, N.C. "Supporting the communication, power and information needs of a community after a major disaster is vital to providing a path to recovery."
When not deployed to a disaster zone, the truck will travel to places such as schools, libraries, fairs and sporting events to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and raise awareness about the social impact advanced technologies can have.
For more information and to donate to, or volunteer for, this initiative, visit http://ieeeusa.org/volunteers/outreach/.
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)