Communication breakdown – avoiding old problems with new technology this hurricane season

So as of June 1, hurricane season is back. How well prepared do you think we are to handle any upcoming crises? Stocking up on bottled water and canned goods is one thing, but how are we as a city going to deal with potential communication challenges?

Last year’s mass Houston exodus from Hurricane Rita was atrocious and fatal – I personally feel like a lot of that could’ve been avoided with more efficient and accurate communication. And what about on a national level with Hurricane Katrina – there were some major issues going on coordinating relief efforts, evacuations, alerts, etc. We were seriously unprepared.

My point isn’t to beat a dead horse, but seriously – are things any better this year? Granted not everything can change overnight (or in one year), but do you feel good about where we are?

If you are technologically inclined and this is an issue that matters to you, you really need to go to the Refresh Houston meeting tonight at the Buddha Lounge (2670 Sage Road).

They’ll be discussing pro-active technology solutions to make sure we don’t face the same issues again. With basic formats – like Common Alert Protocol (CAP), People Finder Information Format (PFIF) and microformats – there’s no reason we can’t communicate efficiently in times of crisis – on a local, national or even international level. It’s all about working together and being prepared. Hope to see you there!

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