Urgent Evoke

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  • What are the most likely natural disasters, food shortages, power outages, political crises, health outbreaks, or other social disruptions that YOU should be prepared to face with resilience?
    Pick one.
I live in Southern California, so the most likely crisis for us to face is an earthquake with the associated transportation, power, and water infrastructure damage.
  • What different kinds of data would you track in the crisis?
For disaster relief workers, tracking downed buildings, trees, power lines, and damaged roads would be invaluable. By crowd-sourcing the damage reports, they could greatly expedite recovery efforts.

  • What different kinds of urgent information and resources would you need to collect and share?
From the citizen level, updating people on what roads still function, where power outages are suffered, whether they need to boil water in
their area or save the water in their toilet tanks, if there will be any
evacuations, that sort of data would be useful.

I worry a bit about technologies like this because sometime power outages and damage to cell phone towers limits the availability to both post and receive this information. Safe, smart grids would be essential to effectively deploying them

Views: 23

Comment by Nicholas Nagao on May 13, 2010 at 5:11am
Nick you bring up really good points about many grids going down during disaster. Even if a smart grid is in place, if enough nodes go down, saturation at certain points will still be a problem. I think using old technologies such as ham radios might one solution. Perhaps another would be to think about portable technologies that you could deploy to fill the grid in where the most nodes have gone out. Maybe you could use things like special humvees or other all terrain vehicles that could carry communications equipment, not just for itself, but to become a temporary node in major communication grids.
Comment by Nick Heyming on May 13, 2010 at 5:55am
When I worked with Hands On Disaster Response, one of our goals was to develop a mobile disaster response vehicle complete with satellite internet, power generation, water filtration, multiple toilets, conference room, etc. We had a working prototype, I'm not sure if they ever deployed it though. Burner's Without Borders had something similar in the works using old rail cars.

Hopefully one of these organizations will develop something like that that can be of use not just for their own bureaucracy (as Salvation Army and Red Cross do), but for the community they're serving and to help coordinate all the organizations that are assisting.

The best one I've seen in action was the East Biloxi Coordination Center, which was a modular building created by Can-Do.org and some donations from Islamic Relief, Methodists, and FEMA.


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