The Case for Evidence-Based Disaster Technology Response

“The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.” A disaster happens somewhere in the world. Disaster technologists and digital humanitarians mobilize. Maps are crowdsourced, satellite dishes and networks are deployed, UAVs are flown, apps are hacked in marathon sessions, social media mined. All these things happen incredibly rapidly because of the army of passionate individuals and […]

A Cybersecurity Wake Up Call for Emergency Managers

Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States government has been increasingly concerned about the implications of cybersecurity on a technologically dependent society. While cybersecurity has been a significant priority for policymakers and the national security organizations of the United States, the intersection of cybersecurity and traditional emergency management remains less well-known, with relatively few agencies […]

Haiyan: If #CommIsAid, We’ve Got a Scope Problem.

“…the effective, timely deployment of telecommunication resources and that rapid, efficient, accurate and truthful information flows are essential to reducing loss of life, human suffering and damage to property and the environment caused by disasters” – The Tampere Convention As I write this, I’ve recently just returned from the Philippines where I and many of […]

Digital Volunteers and Disaster Stress

“You can’t patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” – Michael Connelly In 2005, I came back from a disaster deployment during Hurricane Katrina changed in a lot of ways. For six months after I left New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, I was inexplicably angry; there was an invisible, ever present chip on my […]

Transparency, disasters, and the private sector.

Truth never damages a cause that is just – Mohandas Gandhi As astute readers of this blog may know, I work for a relatively large tech company ($VENDOR) with the day-to-day responsibility of preparing and helping the public sector when a crisis happens, whether that’s a natural or man-made event. For free.     Think […]

Whispering to geeks.

In addition to all the disaster tech work that I do, I happen to be the social media guy for our group at work.  It’s in this capacity that I was this week’s guest on The Geek Whisperers, a podcast that discusses the use of social media in the enterprise.  Why yes, of course #smem […]