BMERS: Resilient Email Communications System for Health Facilities

In the event of widespread infrastructure loss during a disaster, NLM’s BHEPP Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Emergency Radio System (BMERS, pronounced "beamers") can provide resilient communication services to medical facilities.

  • BMERS provides email services without a live internet connection, using off-the-shelf amateur radio and IT equipment (computer, Wi-Fi routers, etc.), and free software provided by NLM.
  • A trained BMERS radio operator manages the amateur radio station.
  • BMERS users access a familiar webmail interface from any Wi-Fi capable device—i.e., almost no training is needed to send and receive emails.
  • Remote correspondents in unaffected areas do not need special software or equipment to communicate with BMERS users.

BMERS was originally designed to support the preparedness activities of the Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BHEPP), but it can be used in other settings to support the work of Incident Command System and other staff during emergencies.