Friday, September 09, 2005

Two Insights into Emergency Management
1. From the New York Times today: "...Hurricane Katrina had exposed a critical flaw in the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to the administration's senior domestic security officials, the plan failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated."

2. From the Wall Street Journal today: "Toward the end of last week, the "cavalry" began arriving, says Mr. Meffert, in the form of several thousand walkie-talkie phones provided by Sprint Nextel Corp. The phones operate directly between users within short distances, so they do not require cell towers to transmit."

The second item is very relevant to the Automatic Vehicle Location project I'm working on at Corpus Christi. We are using the citywide WiFi mesh network to test our vehicle location tracking system. We worry about what would happen to our system in case of various types of catastrophes that affect the underlying networks.

A mesh network would be perhaps the best method of dealing with breakdowns of the New Orleans kind. One can only hope that mesh networks proliferate - rapidly.


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