When the earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010 we immediately ran to Ushahidi for help -- I first ran across them two years prior at a NetSquared mobile technologies summit where we were premiering great new tools like theirs. They won an award for being quick to respond and scalable to any disaster, two essential needs for crisis work.
So far the Crisis Commons team has connected with Ushahidi for a handful of disasters in 2010, and we expect this to scale to dozens if not hundreds of situations as this work grows. As geolocation tools become standard on all mobile phones we all have the power to report situations as they occur and help each other navigate through tough problems together....as long as the access lines hold. Keeping up the mobile access is essential and thankfully there are more satellite launches regularly to keep our networks robust in times of volcanic ash or major earthshaking.
By 2020 I expect Ushahidi will be employed in most major cities at least once a decade to handle major catastrophes: floods, serious storms and acts of nature, wars and other turmoil caused by men and machine as well as by climate change. Learning how to use these tools NOW is easy and plan to teach others how to do this as you organize locally within your communities.
Every neighborhood will need a response center and this is where the HEXAYURT
shines as a low-cost solution that can be built anywhere using any available materials. You can provide a small home or office for a very small cost using the open-source HEXAYURT solutions provided on the web to offer shelter for mobile charging stations, aid distribution and satellite communications.
If you have any questions about the deployment of these systems consider researching STRONG ANGEL: http://www.strongangel3.net/
and the international network of technologists making these innovations possible.