E911 Hosted Solutions Featured Article
FEMA Collecting Ideas to Combat Disasters and Implement E911 Hosted Solutions
By Raja Singh Chaudhary, TMCnet Contributor
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an organization that aims at supporting first responders to work together for building, sustaining and improving the nation’s capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to and recover from all hazards and disasters, has offered a new challenge to all the U.S. citizens. It has invited them to come up with ideas to aid in disaster preparedness so that the nation is able to provide its people with adequate help, support and E911 hosted solutions when they need it the most.
Craig Fugate, administrator at FEMA, has been encouraging the organization to leverage Internet technology and social media to its maximum potential, setting up a YouTube (News - Alert) channel, blog, widgets and a mobile Website. During January, Fugate stayed in California to attend discussions with the leaders of social media companies; and has also roped in a senior manager specifically for digital engagement.
Taking the next step towards moving the organization into the direction of enhancement through digital media, Fugate has decided to crowd-source a number of ideas through the Internet on the topic ‘Preparing our Communities Before a Disaster Strikes.’
As a result of the initiative by FEMA, contributors have begun sharing their ideas, and a number of them are comprehensively non-technical in nature. One of them suggested that disaster victims must be provided with ‘Barracks in a Bag,’ which will be a zippered vinyl bag containing a bedspread, pillow, pillowcase, sheets and a blanket. Another idea emphasizes upon converting the construction-site food trucks also known as ‘roach coaches’ into disaster sites; while one of them suggests to ship multiple number of trains loaded with non-perishable emergency equipment and supplies throughout the nation in the event of an emergency.
Not all the suggestions are non-technical though, as some technologically advanced proposals are related to the use of the Internet and mobile phones. One among the category suggests the development of a free smartphone E911 hosted solution that receives alerts based on location, not phone number. It will be helpful in guiding the users in disaster to take necessary actions or to go to specific locations.
Winners of the challenge will be announced on the Feb 20.
Recently, The Federal Communications Commission was seeking comments on how Next Generation 911 – including E911 hosted solutions – can allow the public to receive emergency response by using varied technologies. Under a National Broadband Plan, options such as text messaging, e-mail, video and photos from mobile and landline broadband services – all have a role to play in 911 calls, according to an FCC statement.
Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jaclyn Allard