Educational CyberPlayGround ®☰ Menu

Hurricane, Typoon, Earthquake Weather Disaster Emergency Communication

The main problem is no communication.
Connectivity and telecommunications will breakdown.

Google Hurricane Response:
http://www.google.org/crisisresponse/faq.html

FIND A WIFI HOT SPOT

Cell Phones Fail

The same thing happens every time there is a crisis in a large city. During large-scale crises this vital lifeline is all-too-frequently cut off. The culprit is usually congestion. During a disaster, call volumes spike and overwhelm the over-subscribed capacity of wireless carriers' networks. On September 11, 2001, fewer than 1 in 20 mobile phone calls in New York City was connected. The same thing happened after the August 2011 earthquake that shook the East Coast. And in Boston during the Boston Marathon bombing. But, as we learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, wireless carriers have also neglected to harden their networks against extended losses of electrical power. Thousands of towers were knocked offline in the New York region alone when backup batteries failed. Yet as a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo's NYS Ready Commission this fall, I was stunned to learn that wireless carriers had never formally discussed plans with the region's electric utilities to restore power to cell sites after a major disaster. Despite our utter dependency on cellular networks, the industry has failed to act substantially to improve the reliability of these systems. These companies have sold American consumers a digital lifeline without honoring their responsibility to assure it works at our time of greatest need.

Cyber criminals tying up emergency phone lines through TDoS attacks. Similar to DDoS attacks, TDoS also used to extort cash from targets, including businesses and public service agencies. Emergency-service providers and other organizations are being targeted with TDoS (telephony denial of service) attacks, according to a security alert from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI

Superstorm Sandy wreaks havoc on internet infrastructure
If it did [wreak havoc on the internet], then the fewer and fewer larger and larger communications conglomerates that control more and more of it have damn-well FORGOTTEN its original design goal (during the cold war): to withstand an extensive nuclear attack!  To detect failures and route around them - as John Gilmore (and others) described it (when some net-naive university administrators tried to censor "undesirable" content ;-).

 
Almost every cell phone available today is able to send and receive SMS text messages. SMS infrastructure generally holds up better in times of crisis than email, and it automatically appears on your phone's screen when you receive one.

 

WHERE TO FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING

National Hurricane Center Hurricane Cat 1,2,3,4,5
NOAA's National Geodetic Survey - Satellite images Joint Typhoon
Warning Center
NOAA WEATHER UPDATES
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
CARIBBEAN LIVE REPORTS
Cyclone Watchers Hurricane Chasers
Hourly Weather for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Center
Weather channel NASA Weather Forecast

 

Trusting cell phones to work in many emergency situations can be dangerous or fatal.

 School Emergency Email

emergency notification broadcasts: If you are a government agency or nonprofit community service: (local, state, or federal) and you want to be able to send emergency notification broadcasts on the Emergency Email Network to citizens in your area please click here.

School DirectorySchool Directory

 

 

GET

Emergency Email & wireless network GET BREAKING WEATHER sent to your Wireless Palm & Email -- then Click on your State.

Buy satelite connections

1. Pre-paid cell phone cards some cell phone users will able to make outgoing calls, but can't receive calls.

2. Buy satellite phones to ensure that communications remain in place. High end stars at $1,000 used, and $20 a day to rent. Low as $300 used or $45 a week to rent. If you're heading to an ultraremote location, be sure to bring along a solar-powered battery charger (about $40).  Choose a provider. Satellite telecommunications companies such as Globalstar USA and Iridium Satellite offer competitive plans and varied coverage zones.

3. generator / fuel

4. more batteries

5. radio

Tech manufacturing: A disaster waiting to happen
By Peter Cochrane June 18, 2012
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/cio-insights/tech-manufacturing-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/39748883
Takeaway: The manufacture of technology, along with its essential raw materials, is now concentrated in a single region. This lack of resilience leaves the industry dangerously vulnerable to disruption. Written in at Abu Dhabi airport and despatched to TechRepublic via a free 23Mbps free wi-fi service.
Historically, mature markets settle down with three big competing suppliers and a handful of niche players. This rule of three has tended to dominate regions such as North America, Europe and south-east Asia. But since globalisation took hold, geographic diversity has become distorted along with the resilience of supply.
Examples of a growing supply-chain brittleness include manufacturers temporarily denuded of LCD screens, memory chips and batteries by fires, a tsunami, and industrial problems. With only a few plants located in south-east Asia, we are running the gauntlet of man-made and natural disasters.
Underpinning this limited number of suppliers are the producers of vital rare earths and other basic components. So we now have a concatenation of limited sourcing and manufacture in the supply chain concentrated in just one region. These set of circumstances amount to a major disaster just waiting to happen.
The 10 dominant contract manufacturers
So what of our electronics and computing power? Is the situation any better for the PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones? Today, all these devices are produced by just 10 dominant contract manufacturers. This small group is spearheaded by Foxconn of Taiwan, which manufactures for Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Nokia, Intel, Cisco, Nintendo and Amazon among others.

 

Iridium trumpets latest satellite phones for emergency response
Just a month before the official U.S. hurricane season begins on June 1, Iridium Satellite LLC today unveiled satellite telephone communications equipment that will interoperate with existing UHF and VHF radio systems already used by police, rescue agencies, firefighters and other first responders. The Iridium systems offer interoperable voice and data communications, will work anywhere and are portable, according to the company. The data services include integration of radio frequency identification tags to help track vehicles, supplies and personnel wirelessly during emergencies so that response efforts can be monitored. Iridium, Satellite telephone handsets are priced at about $1,500 each, while a fixed base station that can be used in a rescue facility costs about $3,000, including an external antenna. Small mobile wireless modems that can be attached to vehicles and supply containers for wireless tracking cost about $500 each if tracking capabilities are to be deployed. The equipment can be used with solar chargers so it can be recharged when power is out, or vehicle battery charger adapters can be used.


Friends,
I am the secretary of the international cellular emergency alert  services association (CEASa). I noticed your discussion about cell broadcasting and thought you might like to know that our group is now working with FEMA on the deployment of cell broadcast for public information purposes just as you have discussed. By the way I want to congratulate you on understanding it so well, when many seem confused about what it is.
see our website at www.ceasa-int.org for more details, or dont hesitate to write to me for more  information. We are currently working on Washington DC, Kansas and New Orleans.
Warm regards,
Mark Wood From: Mark Wood <mark.wood@engineer.com>
Date: April 13, 2006 4:18:38 PM EDT


An April, 2004 report by the Government Accounting Office:
"The wireless communications used today by many public officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public safety agencies do not provide [the ability] ... to effectively carry out their normal duties and respond to extraordinary events."  There are approx. 3.2 million emergency responders in the United States. THE PROBLEM is that police departments, fire departments and EMT services don't want others sharing their spectrum This has always been about control: do the police control the spectrum? This is about first responders solving turf wars and deploying digital technology to use their spectrum more efficiently. Communication Networks for Humans

April 13th - 19th National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
The lesson is that even the most modern communications technology can fail, and that there is still value in having an independent communications infrastructure, especially when it costs the community little or nothing to maintain it. Dedicated Amateur radio operators assist local, state and federal workers by providing needed communications services both in the region and also to other parts of the US. ~ Andrew Seybold (W6AMS)

9/2/05 Who is jamming ham radio communications in New Orleans?

Communications backup plans in advance of Katrina, which has left hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people dead. Siemens acted as integrator to arrange for satellite network bandwidth, allowing the users to connect to a Siemens IP-based voice switch in Atlanta. With the Siemens VoIP phones, the workers can make five-digit calls over a familiar device to co-workers without needing special codes for the satellite links, Perez said.
All of the wireless carriers in the region have supplied thousands of cell phones to be used by relief workers and emergency personnel. Even so, the cell phones are only as good as the network that supports them, said Jack Gold, an independent wireless industry analyst based in Westboro, Mass.
"When stuff's under water, electrical stuff doesn't work," he said. "Fundamentally, you are still dealing with the laws of physics."
Gold said emergency personnel and utility workers from hundreds of different groups face the same lack of radio interoperability with their private system emergency radios that has plagued police and fire departments for decades. The hurricane and the resulting flooding are another reminder that "we're not moving fast enough" to create emergency radio interoperability for responding to homeland security and natural disaster emergencies.
"There's a lot of work to be done with radio interoperability, since we have 80 years of private radio networks as an installed base," he said. Gold noted that Austin and its suburbs, as well as some communities in California, are working together to find common radios. But most municipalities don't have the funds to abandon their systems.
A number of small companies is offering portable mesh networks that work over Wi-Fi and can be driven to disasters on short notice to provide a common IP platform so utilities, police, fire and other officials have interoperable communications, Gold said. "One universal IP network would help, but how you coordinate that is the problem," he said.

The US Army is shipping its Battlefield Medical Information System-Tactical (BMIS-T) to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams working in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf coast. The system consists of handheld devices that will give medics quick access to patient records and notes on potential treatment. BMIS-T uses iPaq handhelds from Hewlett-Packard to enable medics to document a clinical session in seconds, embedding patient records into the system. The Army has used BMIS-T in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Telecoms face 'one big mess' in Gulf Coast region 9.1.05 - Matt Hamblen
Cellular and other communication services are gradually improving in the Gulf Coast region more than three days after Hurricane Katrina blasted through, but service providers said today they still can't reach equipment in the flooded city of New Orleans to make needed repairs.
Officials at Cingular Wireless LLC, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Corp. and BellSouth Corp. reported separately at noon today that with flooding and power outages in New Orleans, crews can't access cellular sites
and switching stations for repairs. Sprint's crews are waiting in Baton Rouge, La., until officials say it's safe to enter New Orleans, a spokesman said.
The carriers are all relying on backup generators and in some cases portable generators and cellular transceivers carried on panel trucks. When possible, the carriers are also increasing power to rooftop cell
sites in New Orleans to boost signals, the spokesmen said.
"I think it will be a long time before we can determine how each carrier is doing, but it will not be easy," Kagan said. "This is much worse than the 9/11 emergency. It is not just a part of a city like New York. It is the entire Southeast that has been devastated.
Only a small portion of a cellular call is carried over a wireless link, with cell sites usually connected to the rest of a network through T1 or fiber-optic connections, the spokesmen said.
"Flooding has its most dramatic effect on land lines, such as T1s and fiber," said Verizon spokesman Patrick Kimball.
Where there is service, even in restored areas, network congestion is high, and land-line users have heard "all circuits are busy" or a fast busy signal, Bill Oliver, BellSouth's president of Louisiana operations, said in a statement. The wireless providers urged callers to use text messaging as an alternative to voice calls, partly because it requires less bandwidth.
None of the carriers could predict when service will resume, but Oliver said "key fiber breaks" in southeastern Louisiana will take more resources to repair. Of about 1 million landline phones in Louisiana that were out of service after the deadly storm hit on
Monday, only 130,000 have been restored so far, Oliver said.
Various reports from New Orleans tell of desperate survivors offering to pay strangers to use a cell phone to reach family and friends.
Meanwhile, a few companies in the Gulf Coast region set up communications backup plans in advance of Katrina, which has left hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people dead.
Siemens acted as integrator to arrange for satellite network bandwidth, allowing the users to connect to a Siemens IP-based voice switch in Atlanta. With the Siemens VoIP phones, the workers can make five-digit calls over a familiar device to co-workers without needing special codes for the satellite links, Perez said.
All of the wireless carriers in the region have supplied thousands of cell phones to be used by relief workers and emergency personnel. Even so, the cell phones are only as good as the network that supports
them
, said Jack Gold, an independent wireless industry analyst based in Westboro, Mass.
"When stuff's under water, electrical stuff doesn't work," he said. "Fundamentally, you are still dealing with the laws of physics."
Gold said emergency personnel and utility workers from hundreds of different groups face the same lack of radio interoperability with their private system emergency radios that has plagued police and fire departments for decades. The hurricane and the resulting flooding are another reminder that "we're not moving fast enough" to create emergency radio interoperability for responding to homeland security
and natural disaster emergencies.
"There's a lot of work to be done with radio interoperability, since we have 80 years of private radio networks as an installed base," he said. Gold noted that Austin and its suburbs, as well as some communities in California, are working together to find common radios. But most municipalities don't have the funds to abandon their systems.
A number of small companies is offering portable mesh networks that work over Wi-Fi and can be driven to disasters on short notice to provide a common IP platform so utilities, police, fire and other officials have interoperable communications, Gold said. "One universal IP network would help, but how you coordinate that is the problem," he said.

© Educational CyberPlayGround ® All rights reserved world wide.