Starlink will be providing internet connectivity to first responders in Florida after Hurricane Idalia crosses into the state.
The storm is expected the make landfall Wednesday morning. A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida’s Gulf Coast from Longboat Key northward to Indian Pass.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has deployed nearly 250 Starlink units to the areas expected to be hardest hit. He added that another 529 units are staged across Central Florida.
“Those are ready to be deployed in impacted areas and to EMCs (emergency management centers) across the state as the need may arise,” DeSantis said
Instead of using cable or phone lines, Starlink will allow first responders to connect to the internet via satellites orbiting the Earth.
Starlink has about 4,000 satellites hovering above the planet, many of which were launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Internet is not the only utility people are concerned about losing when Idalia hits the state. Power is also a major concern.
DeSantis said 25,000 linesmen are in place ahead of the storm, ready to respond. He added that up to 40,000 more linesmen are prepared to deploy to hard-hit areas.
After Idalia makes landfall in Florida on Wednesday, it’s expected to hit southern Georgia. The storm is forecast to weaken over land, but it could still bring heavy rain and wind to the Carolinas.