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Starlink puts towns devastated by wildfires online for disaster relief workers

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SpaceX’s Starlink has showed its utility in connecting far-flung locations to the internet quickly and relatively simply in Washington, where like much of the west coast wildfires have caused enormous damage to rural areas. A couple small towns in the state have received Starlink connections to help locals and emergency workers.

The town of Malden was almost completely destroyed, but restoration efforts are underway, and of course it helps to be able to access the internet for communicating with residents and authorities. With power and cellular service unreliable, satellite internet is a good temporary option, and Starlink stepped up.

As SpaceX founder Elon Musk said on Twitter, the company is prioritizing emergency responders and areas without internet:

The effort is being organized through the state’s Emergency Management Division, a part of the military that, as you might expect, helps manage emergencies.

Steven Friederich, an EMD public information officer, explained in an email that the division has been using Starlink for a few weeks to provide public internet hotspots. The town “had a pretty big fire come through town and it burned a good chunk of the area, including the fire station and the post office. There simply hasn’t been a way to get a fast and reliable Internet connection there for the public to use,” he said.

A phone, wifi hotspot, and outlet for use by people in wildfire affected areas in Washington.

Image Credits: WA EMD

“Space X volunteered the use of their equipment to us and our Emergency Communications staff were grateful to have it,” he continued. “We were given seven terminals to use wherever we could use them free of charge. Space X, as you know, doesn’t have coverage everywhere in the country, but as it happens, they have coverage here in our state.”

That would be due to the incompleteness of the Starlink satellite constellation, which will eventually be thousands strong but currently “only” has about 600. Reliable coverage is limited to certain areas while SpaceX fills out the system.

The EMD has been working for some time on the problem of how to maintain connectivity in the case of a disaster (or indeed a pandemic) and Starlink happened to be the method they chose to test out this time.

“This is a device we could definitely utilize should we have more wildfires or even larger disasters, such as a Cascadia Subduction earthquake event, where communication problems would be a huge hurdle,” said Friederich.

The Cascadia Subduction event is the looming catastrophic earthquake on the order of a 9 referred to colloquially (and fatalistically) by those in the region as “The Big One.” If there’s anything left at all after that, satellite internet connections will indeed be helpful in putting things back together.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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