Home > BLOG 2, Capstone, Uncategorized > BLOG 2: The most important community information need.

BLOG 2: The most important community information need.

I think the most important information a community needs is disaster or emergency preparedness communication. In times of emergency, there is often a lack of organization in terms of both how emergency organizations communicate with the community and how they communicate with each other. This past weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 and while many horrible things happened that day, it did offer us the chance to reflect on our communication both during and after that emergency.

One interesting article I found notes that our 911 phone systems are still very antiquated with regards to commercially-available technologies. The most important information, I think, should come from organizations like police agencies and FEMA in disaster situations warning people who might be affected. The above article mentions that FEMA is working with New York City to implement an emergency alert system using cellphone towers to broadcast information to everyone within a specific area who has a cell phone. Here are some more specifics on that plan. Many universities, such as Mizzou, already have a system like this in place. This is not a question of technological capabilities. So why is it, then, that the Columbia Police can’t do something similar to alert citizens? I think this is something we can definitely look into going forward in this semester.

  1. September 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    This is a good post. Disaster and emergency information certainly seems like essential information. The idea of having cell towers broadcast emergency information makes sense. There may be privacy issues, but it seems the benefits could outweigh the costs. Soon we will all be receiving and transmitting information on a regular basis, serving as both sensors and recipients of emergency information.

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