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New Tools For This Hurricane Season

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New Tools For This Hurricane Season

By: Christie Sutton 

Christie4This year one of the most exciting new technological devices that Emergency Disaster Services has acquired is the SX1 GPS tracking unit made by Orbit One Communications.  The SX1 allows us to track the location of our deployable resources during response and recovery operations.  Each canteen, field kitchen, satellite communications unit and various other disaster vehicles within the Southern Territory, is equipped with the tracker. Nearly 300 units have been installed thus far and it is revolutionizing the way the Army remains accountable for our assets.

The SX1 GPS tracking device is portable and lightweight, roughly 3" x 7" in size, and is installed on the roof the unit being tracked.  These particular devices are programmed to give one standard location message each day, and when the vehicle is in motion, the unit will give additional motion messages every 30 minutes. On any given day, the exact location of a corps' canteen or its path during service delivery can be tracked online.  No longer are the days of wondering if canteens have made it across the division or territory to their deployment destinations. 

Logging into an online system, each unit shows up on a map where detailed street addresses are given as location pin points.  The breadcrumbs tracking feature allows the user to see where a unit has been during specific time periods, giving a visual picture of the "breadcrumbs" track on a map.  Geofences may be built within the system and set to alarm the user(s) via email or text message when a unit has either entered or left a specific geographical boundary point.


Already this year the SX1 has been used to track the Army's response during tornado touchdowns in AOK, ice storms in KTN and flooding in MWV. Not only are corps officers given online viewing rights, but divisional and territorial leadership have access as well. Externally, and when appropriate during incidents, county emergency operations center officials may be given basic viewing rights into the Orbit One system allowing them to record exact canteen numbers and their respective service delivery locations.  PIO's may use the online system to share with media, while Army leadership may use the system as a resource when communicating with donors.

Whatever the forecast for the 2009 hurricane season brings, "just remember it will be a very bad and memorable hurricane season, even if there is a total of only one Atlantic hurricane, if that one strikes your area" said Dr. Steve Lyons of The Weather Channel.  In preparation for a more effective and efficient response from a logistical standpoint, whether it be for one hurricane or many, the SX1 has put the Army on an entirely new level.



Instructions of how to log-in to the GPS system:

web address:

organization: salvationarmy (caps sensitive)

user: GeneralView (caps sensitive)

password: Salvation1 (caps sensitive)


Photo Caption 1:SX-US Southern Territory

Photo Caption 2:Canteen Tracking in NCV

Photo Caption 3:Atlanta Red Shield Canteen Resonse in Galveston

Photo Caption 4:Houston Geofence



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