Magazine Article | September 27, 2011

Rugged Tablets Improve Disaster Response Operations

Source: DLI

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine

It's one thing to track a truckload of, say, canned goods or furniture from a warehouse to a retail store. But what if you had to track millions of cubic yards of storm debris using dozens of subcontractors, and you had to set up your automated tracking infrastructure on a moment's notice?

That was the challenge faced by Phillips & Jordan (P&J), a nationwide contractor that specializes in emergency response/recovery services. The company used rugged tablet computers manufactured by DLI and a specialized software solution to manage debris removal after tornados ripped through Alabama and Missouri.

In order to facilitate cleanup after disasters, companies like Phillips & Jordan and a host of subcontractors haul tons of vegetative, construction, and demolition debris to dump sites. For large cleanups, hundreds of truck drivers may haul millions of cubic yards of material and other debris to these sites. Contracting municipalities, states, or federal agencies (like FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [USACE]) agree to pay these companies by the cubic yard or ton, but accurately tracking exactly who hauled which pile of debris (and where that debris came from) has been difficult.

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