26 Sep Onslow County receives $10,000 grant
The Onslow County Emergency Services (OCES) department announced Sept. 24 that the Duke Energy Foundation awarded it a $10,000 Storm Resiliency Grant.
According to WNCT News, Emergency Services officials said the agency plans to use the grant money “to improve cellular and Internet communication during disasters and rescue search situations, especially in rural areas.” The agency intends to purchase an “Enhanced Mobile Cellular Network Multi-Carrier” system. Agency officials explained that this system will connect wireless devices belonging to all OCES staff to two significant cellular providers. This system promises to enhance emergency staff members’ effectiveness in emergency situations by providing the “best possible cellular signal and data capabilities.”
Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson told WNCT News that the agency had to borrow this technology from Pender County in a past search for Mariah Woods. This three-year-old child was reported missing from her home a few days after Thanksgiving in 2017. Sadly, the child was found dead December 2.
Bryson added, “Having our own equipment will help support field staff in managing and communicating during searches, wildfires, hazardous material events and other emergencies.”
Duke Energy is “one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States.” The company provides electricity in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest.
Duke Energy observed that North Carolina residents had endured several disasters in the past year. Those included ice storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. So, the company offered communities throughout the state grants that would enhance their resiliency when facing major weather events.
The grant application period began March 15, 2019 and closed June 15. Then Duke set the deadline for grant decisions at August 31. Every region in North Carolina served by Duke Energy Carolinas or Duke Energy Progress was eligible to apply for a grant. The company prioritized communities affected by severe weather in recent years when making grant decisions.
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