Hurricane Florence is a massive storm that hit the American states of North and South Carolina and the Virginia Coast in mid-September. Initially a category 4 hurricane, Florence had winds that reached 140+ miles per hour, with rainfall, landslides, and flooding that continues to leave catastrophic damage in its wake.
While Cisco is closely monitoring the situation and offering support to its employees located in the area, the company is also looking for ways to aid the overall community. Cisco has launched a $250,000 Hurricane Florence Campaign to benefit the American Red Cross emergency response and relief. Cisco will also match donations from its employees up to $10,000 per employee—those looking to help can check out the Bright Funds page here.
The American Red Cross is working non-stop to provide aid like shelter, food, and support for victims. The organization helped house over 15,000 people in community shelters on September 16th alone and served over 150,700 meals to those affected by the storm. More than 2,000 relief items like diapers and hygiene kits have been distributed across 200 Red Cross and community shelters in the region. For more information on their work, check out the American Red Cross National relief page for Hurricane Florence.
Cisco's Tactical Operations (TacOps) Team is actively engaged with emergency management and other disaster response agencies to assist with communications as needs arise.
TacOps is a highly skilled and dedicated team that can mobilize and respond to natural disasters and other catastrophes when normal communications infrastructure has been degraded or destroyed. Trained to work in challenging environments, the team responds with mobile and portable equipment during the acute phase of an emergency to provide secure communications to support mission-critical public safety, government infrastructure, and non-governmental organizations facilitating relief and recovery operations.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, TacOps members and DIRT (Disaster Incident Response Team) volunteers partnered with a non-profit called NetHope and traveled to Puerto Rico to establish crucial network communications. Cisco employees from Puerto Rico and the TacOps team deployed Meraki-based Wi-Fi at emergency operations centers, fire, police and EMS stations, medical clinics, and much more. Through this they helped support government agencies, first responders, service providers, non-government organizations and citizens. Together, the whole project helped establish endpoints and bring communications to more than 240,000 people.
To read more about this employee's experience with TacOps and Hurricane Maria, check here.