Info tech for disaster preparation

What preparations should we make to prepare for various disaster scenarios? I imagine that I need to involved in planning at different levels:

  • as individuals within a household
  • as a block within the neighborhood level
  • at the city level


Ideally, in an emergency, I’d like to be able to grab my laptop, tablet, phone, and backup batteries in addition to the standard emergency supplies. Accordingly, I should figure out how to make that more likely: what to fill my to-go bags, where to store them, and how to keep them up to date.

What happens when I can’t grab my laptop or have to abandon it (like having to evacuate a plane or BART or if I’m out and about and an earthquake happens)? I’d like to still have a USB keychain and a phone ideally. What should be on the USB keychain and my phone?

But what if I have nothing but the clothes on my back and all my gear is destroyed — how to prepare for that situation? My quick response is: I’d like to have a master password (that I can share with my spouse) with which I can use with a network connection to recover a core set of files. For example, study the models at:


One of the main challenges is organizing neighborhood level information and ensuring accessibility and updatability during an emergency situaion. It seems like Neighborhood
Emergency Plan
or A Guide to Organizing Neighborhoods for Preparedness, Response and Recovery


As someone organizing CERT across Albany, I’m getting up to speed on strategies for coordinating people across the city after a large scale emergency. I working on getting a clearer understanding of the city’s tech plans for a disaster.

I don’t know the likelihood that cellular or wifi networks will be functioning after a big disaster — though we should plan for large scale outages. I’m wondering about whether mesh networks will be deployed, such as those described in Responding to disaster with IoT and SDN mesh | TechCrunch.

Also, is there a network of amateur radio operators ready to jump in with a diaster in the East Bay? I believe East Bay Amateur Radio Club could be such an organization. Emergency Communications Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators provides some context behind the force that has gotten me interested in amateur radio. What is Ham Radio is a good introduction for people interested in using amateur radio for emergency coordination.

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