Launched in 2004, National Preparedness Month (NPM) is managed and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Ready Campaign. The observance occurs each September to promote preparedness for disasters and emergencies at home and in the community. Among recommendations related to NPM is that passenger cars and trucks always have a half tank of gas in case evacuation is necessary and a full tank if evacuation seems likely. The battery should also be in good working condition and be inspected periodically for damage, dirt, wear and adequate charge.
Municipal Fleets: The Front Line for Emergency Response
In addition to cars and trucks, other types of vehicles require dependable batteries to enable effective responses to a range of emergencies, including natural disasters; extreme weather events; criminal, terrorist and military aggression; and environmental disasters. Municipal governments often find themselves deploying first responders and must depend on their fleets of police cruisers, fire engines and ambulances to rescue victims and coordinate evacuations.
For rescue or patrol vehicles, battery reliability is critically important, as it powers not only starting, but also accessories such as radios, computers, cameras, lighting, sirens and other devices. Additionally, tolerance for high-impact shock and extreme vibration placed on the vehicle during high-speed emergency driving also requires a durable battery.
The demands on a battery from an ambulance are even greater. Ambulances typically use more than one battery to provide adequate power and backup protection. Accessories must continue to function while the engine is idling or even turned off. Critical onboard accessories will include most of what a police cruiser carries, as well as a tail lift, a separate air conditioning system, patient monitoring systems, life-saving devices, such as a defibrillator, and other related equipment.
Extreme Weather Events: Emergency Response to Snowstorms
Extreme weather events, like snowstorms, are among the emergencies that require dependable vehicles for effective responses. Local governments often must manage snow emergencies with fleets and equipment that are municipal property. Keeping roads clear for police, firefighters and ambulances, as well as evacuation, helps ensure safety. To provide extended operation in cold and wet conditions, fleet vehicles and their components, including the batteries, also must be kept in good repair. Batteries should be cleaned and tested for charge before vehicles are deployed. If a charge is necessary, the battery manufacturer’s specifications will provide the proper charge level.
Even powersports vehicles can play a role in emergency response. The snowmobile, for example, can travel on snow and ice among isolated communities to be a lifeline to locations that are rendered otherwise inaccessible. As a vehicle designed specifically for use in winter weather, its components, including the battery, must be dependable in low temperatures and rough conditions. Like other contemporary vehicles, today’s snowmobiles are also equipped with battery-powered onboard accessories.
Vessels and Vehicles Aid in Rescue and Evacuation
Emergency response can also involve motorboats, especially to assist with flood rescue. Safe boating requires consistent monitoring of weather updates with appropriate radio receivers. At least two communications devices should be onboard that can operate when wet, such as satellite phones, radios and beacons. Given the importance of reliable communications in coordinating evacuation, a dependable dual-purpose marine battery will provide the power to start the engine and run the various critical onboard electronic communications equipment for weather notifications and emergency contact.
In addition to passenger vehicles, municipal fleets, snowmobiles and motorboats, other types of vehicles can play a role in emergency response. For example, heavy-duty trucks can be used to transport needed supplies. Their battery-powered cabin features, such as appliances and electronic devices, could prove to be useful for evacuation and shelter. Recreational Vehicles (RVs) employ similar battery-powered features that also could aid in evacuation and shelter.
ODYSSEY® Batteries are Dependable in Emergencies
A premium battery can provide better performance and reliability. Non-spillable, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) ODYSSEY® batteries are manufactured with proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology. Their advantages include:
- Virtually maintenance-free operation, as watering is not needed
- Slower self-discharge rates, less corrosion and faster full recharging, at four to six hours, than alternative battery chemistries
- Compressed AGM plate separators to protect against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration that cause premature battery failure
- Temperature range of -40°F (-40°C) to 176°F (80°C)
- Deep-cycle capability
TPPL technology employs pure lead plates that can be made thinner, so more fit in the same battery footprint for greater active surface area. More surface area enables more electrochemical reactions with the electrolyte for up to triple the cranking power of equally sized conventional flooded batteries. These features make ODYSSEY® batteries from EnerSys® invaluable for emergency response operations.
EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Energy Systems, which combine enclosures, power conversion, power distribution and energy storage, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies and numerous applications. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles requiring stored energy solutions. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. With the NorthStar acquisition, EnerSys has solidified its position as the market leader for premium Thin Plate Pure Lead batteries, which are sold across all three lines of business. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at www.enersys.com.
Sustainability at EnerSys is about more than just the benefits and impacts of our products. Our commitment to sustainability encompasses many important environmental, social and governance issues. Sustainability is a fundamental part of how we manage our own operations. Minimizing our environmental footprint is a priority. Sustainability is our commitment to our employees, our customers and the communities we serve. Our products facilitate positive environmental, social and economic impacts around the world. To learn more visit: https://www.enersys.com/en/about-us/sustainability/.