Re: Tech Comms for disaster relief

Subject: Re: Tech Comms for disaster relief
From: Barry Campbell <barry -dot- campbell -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 11:03:10 -0400

On 8/30/05, Jerry Muelver <jerry -at- hytext -dot- com> wrote:

> Does anyone know of a clearinghouse for tech comm support for disaster
> relief for Katrina? I suspect there is going to be a need for buisness
> data-flow reconstruction, user and instruction manuals for relief and
> reconstruction volunteers, and the like, that could use tech comm skills. Is
> there some kind of plug-in channel for this in existing disaster relief
> programs?


Existing relief agencies have well-established processes and
procedures already in place, although the nature of the work demands a
great deal of on-the-spot improvisation on the ground. So does FEMA
(check out their website for guidelines on disaster recovery and
business continuity planning sometime.)

My suggestion is that the best contribution you can make immediately
would be money, to (e.g.) the American Red Cross; if you want to
contribute expertise, look for a process-intensive function managed by
a voluntary organization and introduce yourself to them, but that's
very much a long-term project. Short-term need right now is cash.

Example of possible long-term contribution:

Whatever your feelings on the Southern Baptist Convention, for
instance, their teams of mobile emergency feeding kitchens are widely
acknowledged to be among the best on the planet at what they do; they
are already in place helping the victims of Katrina, and pretty much
show up within 24 hours of any significant disaster, as reliably as
sunrise. They have pretty much (literally) written the book on how to
do this. (They were in New York City within a few hours of the attack
on 9/11, feeding rescue workers.)

Think about the logistics of that.

Such an organization might well welcome the offer of free assistance
in optimizing, maintaining and updating their written procedures.

Barry Campbell <barry -dot- campbell -at- gmail -dot- com>
AOL IM: bcampbellnyc


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Tech Comms for disaster relief: From: Jerry Muelver

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