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The Katrina Experiment

10/27/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Sascha Meinrath of CUWiN, listed a number lessons that going down to New Orleans taught the networking volunteers. It was a real experiment to show how grassroots effort versus the hierarchacal structure worked in real life. Here are a few:

  • Volunteers working on shoe-string budgets and donated equipment can, under the right circumstances (especially in chaotic situations), be far more effective than "official responders."
  • Top-down organizing is often far less efficient than distributed (flat) hierarchies for some facets of disaster response.
  • Ad-hoc (wireless) networks were often the first telecommunications infrastructure made available to evacuees, beating out the major providers by days (and often weeks).

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