Partnership with New Spirit Alliance
Global DIRT and New Spirit Alliance Join Together to Provide Internet and Phone Access to Thousands Hurt by Hurricane Sandy
December 18, 2012
New Spirit Alliance and the Global Disaster Immediate Response Team (Global DIRT) announced today that tens of thousands of homes and apartments hurt by Hurricane Sandy will continue to have internet access and phone service through a joint initiative of the two organizations. With Global DIRT running out of cash and the government unable to assist this hard-hit Rockaways community, New Spirit has purchased and donated the advanced emergency satellite technology needed to prevent communications capability from being lost for over a 100 block area of New York City. In addition, New Spirit is supporting a range of other Sandy relief efforts and making it possible for Global DIRT to apply the same communications technology to other future disasters that arise around the world.
“This equipment is critical because there are people weeks into the disaster without power or any communications capability. We have been able to establish emergency communications access for them, but we were about to lose the equipment for lack of funds until New Spirit jumped in to help, and gave us the largest private donations our group has ever received,” said Adam Marlatt, the Marine emergency response expert who serves as president of Global DIRT. “The Rockaways communications system would have gone dark again if not for New Spirit’s support. We have had people come up to us incredibly thankful that they could finally register with FEMA to get disaster assistance and register to have their gas and electricity turned on. As the temperature drops, this communications network will be more important than ever.”
The key piece of technology includes an inflatable GATR portable satellite antenna, the same advanced piece of military technology used to establish internet and phone access on the battlefields of Afghanistan and elsewhere. The equipment has allowed cell phones, land lines and internet access to be put in place from Breezy Pont to 129th Street to 94th Street to Far Rockaway, an area with tens of thousands of apartments and homes. The equipment will be maintained in Queens for as long as needed, and then deployed to other disaster areas that Global DIRT serves in the future.
“New Spirit’s goal is to unite people, to combine thought and action and to help others,” said a spokesman for New Spirit Alliance. “The young Marines of Global DIRT, who have been working privately on the ground to help the Rockaways in such a practical and important way, are a symbol of the type of actions we support. Our hearts go out to the victims of Sandy, left homeless or shut off as the winter approaches. We are pleased to be able to help.”
About Global DIRT
Global DIRT, led by experienced Marines, acts as an intermediary between larger organizations, hospitals, military and the victims in disaster-stricken parts of the globe, including Japan after the tsunami and Haiti after the earthquake. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the group launched information technology and coordination teams to assist in food distribution, ground communications and emergency information management. For more information, visit www.globalDIRT.org, or follow on Twitter @globalDIRT.
About New Spirit Alliance
New Spirit Alliance is an organization formed in the days after Hurricane Sandy. Its goal is to unite people and to help others, and it seeks to combine thought and action through a blend of charitable, public policy and journalistic initiatives. New Spirit works for policies that respect the inherent nobility of all individuals, across racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic lines, including access to top quality education, good jobs, economic growth, freedom of conscience, creativity, personal privacy and acts of kindness. For more information, contact [email protected].