Hurricane Irma: Help Maximizing Use

Trying to set up my nodes for relay mode for family and neighbors about to be impacted by Irma.

Any help and guidance on how to do this in the next 24hr would be HUGE.

I have two GTMesh. One was paired one wasn’t. What’s the most effective way to:
1: set up the products to maximize widespan use;
2: connect my friends and family to it once set up.

Sorry for this pedantic topic. I just think this could have huge implications for FL as we brace for impact.

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Hi @DCannon, stay safe out there! Are you very near the coast?

I’m going to add @LAFD_CERT_Battalion2 and @gua742 as they may have the best tips about what to do. I would normally say you should put your relay/unpaired unit on your roof to get max altitude/range but with all the rain and wind you may lose your goTenna Mesh unit unless it’s super secured.

Do your family & friends have goTenna Mesh units as well or do you only have two?

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Oh @Sig556sbr is from southern FL and has 4 units though don’t know if you guys are close to each other — perhaps you can trade ideas?

Adding some other folks here who identified themselves as working or volunteering in search & rescue, disaster relief or some other form of public safety besides the people in my prior post: @maingear @AMcL @Static9891 @Risus


Hi All and thank you @danielagotenna for remembering me. I’m unfortunately (or fortunately depending on view) on the furthest point one can get in continental US from south Florida. Also, my units are still in shipping mode.

I think for this disaster because we still don’t know the hurricane’s path, people should plan on getting out if they need to and then come back as soon as able then use the Mesh’s as designed to quickly set up Coms. (Most) Radios don’t give position. I think Mesh’s ability to easily send location will help out Incident Command to know where all the people helping are. Good for safety and for real time planning of resources.

@Sig556sbr, great handle. I lived near Exeter, NH for a long time so understand it.

To speak to the original post: If you only have 2, it still helps but only the 2 are there then I think having both paired will be better so you can at least do point to point. Hopefully others will come in from other locations to help and will benefit from mesh if close enough. Florida is pretty flat so the signal should go for a few or more miles I would think. If you do have one as a repeater after the hurricane has passed or is safe to go outside, try to get it higher up for further range. If you have any of the popular solar camping/backpacking chargers you can use it to keep the repeater going if in a secure location. Good luck! :four_leaf_clover: I have family and friends in the area. Hopefully the storms goes northeast. If it is coming right to Miami or making landfall nearby and a Cat 4 or 5, the best thing to do is get out of the area and come back after clear. Better to be alive. Be safe.


@DCannon Stay safe out there - you might also be able to ask this guy I saw on Twitter who used goTenna during Hurricane Harvey and seems to work in disaster relief:


Looking forward to hearing the story and use of gotenna in Harvey. I saw the tweet referenced above in my tweeter feed the other day.

My guess is they probably used gotenna v1 and not mesh gotenna. Either way both are great products.


The only way to get coverage is to physically have them in the area and have them powered. I would protect them until the all clear, then use debris as material to elevate the device. Don’t draw attention to the device in any way, people may be watching that don’t have you’re best interest in mind. A simple nail or drywall screw and screwdriver is all that is needed to hang it from a 2x4 stud. Download the mesh app on all devices that can run it (even iPad & iPod Touch). No iTunes store in an outage.

@DCannon Do you have any family or neighbors that work at a FedEx Ramp in you’re area?

I use these: EasyAcc 6000mAh Ultra-Slim External Battery Smart Output Power Bank Portable Charger with Built-in Micro USB Cable for Smartphone
Got it from here:

I would also get a clip on battery to cigarette lighter adapter then plug a usb to car adapter in it so even a 12v lawn mower battery can top charge your phones & gotennas. You need one at each location, get a spare so if you can loan it to you’re neighbor if they have the mower and you don’t.

Best of luck,




Thanks for the tips, great advice. I will go searching for the adapter after securing the home in a bit.

I truly appreciate the offer to Fedex the units. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who works at the FedEx ramp - I wish I did, I’m certain this would be extremely useful to many in my community.


I’m about 10mi inland - not much but enough to avoid coastal surge. The eye looks to be making landfall, as of Adv.34, around 5mi ESE of my location. I’ll power up the beacon post-storm for comms purposes and if I am lucky enough to have any cell reception or internet (doubtful) I will send updates on here.

This community is a fantastic resource and I appreciate all of you for your help.


Also change the relay units GID before putting it up as a relay

This message has been sent from George’s iPhone. If you need to reach him right away please call or text (206)-488-8987

Thank you.

Yes, they did use v1. This is what they told me via email about how they used goTenna during Harvey (and they’re about to deploy to Irma, potentially with Mesh this time, if I hear back from them in time):

We initially decided to bring the goTenna to TX because we learned from our mistake. We were out in New Orleans during the 2016 flooding/Hurricane Matthew time and were unable to reach each other. It was awful how uncoordinated and stuck we felt. It was a lot of trial and error, back and forth on what communication devices to use so we tested goTenna out first in the Rocky Mountains out in Denver during a hike (plus we have tmobile, which isn’t the most reliable). We volunteer with a variety of disaster relief organizations but the most recent one is with All Hands Volunteers and they use GroupMe on the phones and we had already ran out of data so we were never updated.

We ultimately use the app the most to communicate our location to each other if we are out in the field. It’s also common for us to reach out to teammembers with people we’ve met that are lost, i.e. “We found a girl named Jane Doe, be alert for ‘X’ family/friends looking for a lost girl. than include basic description” But its also been helpful in a boatful of SOS situations that were unexpected.

I was going into a house and suddenly got trapped by this trap door and had to message my friends to find my truck and boat to bring some tools to open the door but eventually had to carve a hole out. This is where I must of had my goTenna ripped away from me in the pull out (wasn’t sure if it was good to have it submerged in water so I put it in one of those underwater phone case bags when I was trekking through flood waters + didnt want it to be contaminated from the flood waters too). I think it slightly hindered the signal being in the waterproof pouch but not too bad because it worked - just got to work with what you got too.

I will definitely have to go get another pack at REI when I head out to Miami. We are both in our mid 20’s, so like many young adults our age, in iPhone’s we trust, but when there is no service, we’ve never felt so stunned and caught off guard when we’re completely disconnected. Nevertheless, moral of the story is everything after a natural disaster is unexpected and unforeseen so having the goTenna on us at all times is an absolute blessing in these dire situations. We don’t use it much now since most servers are back up but it is definitely so relieving/comforting to know we have it just in case service/weather/something goes awry that we have no control over and it becomes one less (crucial) thing we don’t have to worry about. Since we’ve used it I think its one of the essentials to have in your emergency go-bag because without communication, nothing would have been possible. Also for the price, its nothing compared to the benefits and potential in events like these.


What is the nearest major airport to you? I may be able to ship these supplies direct to you, or to the station nearest to you. I can see if we have suspended revenue flights. We will not send packages downstream we can not deliver. If the area is already declared a disaster area it may be recovery supply shipments only.

So in this pic (left to right) we have the goTenna mesh, original goTenna, battery to cigarette adapter, USB to cigarette adapter, tape to keep the adapters together, adafruit mintyboost usb charger, wire and screws to secure the goTennas to a structure, AA batteries for the minty boost USB charger.



I called the Ops desk and they are good for evening flights. Message me and I’ll get them shipped.



@maingear you’re an angel! @DCannon please note goTenna v1 and goTenna Mesh are not interoperable


Nearest major airport is FLL or PBI. I’m in the middle. DM inbound.


Tracking number sent, no signature required, declared value is $400. You’ll have it by 11AM!

Good luck!



I would like to personally request gotenna unleash the goTenna plus feature to the areas affected by the disaster areas.

Also remove meshy 4rax7x1gqax from the map or change it to an angel LOL!

It’s on its way to FL! :wink:


I wish we could; app updates can take days to be approved by Apple/Google – plus QA & dev a good long while before that too and we need to focus on UI and feature enhancements for our next release…

What is this? @Rahul_Subramany do you know?

Wow you’re the best. @DCannon be safe and keep us posted!

On the newtork map. It was one of the meshies in Bartlett TN, I sent it to DCannon.

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Ohhhh! Haha of course :raised_hands::angel:t2:

Just FYI we are deploying a few dozen goTenna Mesh units with All Hands Volunteers on Sunday morning to Florida. One of our team members who has EMT training and used to be in the Navy/Marines is deploying with All Hands’ landing team to do Irma recovery work. The storm still looks really enormous/strong, everyone stay safe out there!

(If you want to donate to All Hands’ Irma recovery work here’s the link: