Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley to Host 3rd Annual Disaster Management Initiative Workshop-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley to Host 3rd Annual Disaster Management Initiative Workshop-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley to Host 3rd Annual Disaster Management Initiative Workshop

Silicon Valley is no stranger to disasters on a large scale. As the center of technological innovation, the Valley possesses the technology and resources to revolutionize disaster preparedness but a smarter and more resilient community is also instrumental in preparing for the next big one. For the past three years, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley has led an initiative to develop next generation technology and solutions for disaster management by bringing together corporate partners with key community public safety and emergency response leaders in an annual intensive workshop.

This year’s invitation-only workshop will focus on community resilience, testing technologies that can potentially improve community resilience in preparation, response and recovery from emergencies. The program, which takes place over November 4-5, will feature several plenary keynotes, including a presentation on “Prepare Silicon Valley, Empowering People to Become Resilient,” by Barbara Larkin, CEO, American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter and Patti Fry, Chair, Prepare Silicon Valley.

A key component of the 2012 workshop will be testing Survivable Social Networks (SSN) as a communication tool for communities within the new Silicon Valley Resilient Network project. Emergency situations often result in downed electrical grids, telephone power systems and cell networks. This breakdown of traditional communication channels combined with the increasing ubiquity of communication over social networks and dependency on communications infrastructure means that community resilience could depend largely on survivable access to the Internet.

Dr. Bob Iannucci, Director, CyLab Mobility Research Center, will run a Community/Agency Interoperability event with the CMUSV student SSN project team. They will test a resilient way of communicating data between communities, agencies and local government through robust social networking tools even when power and Internet infrastructures are compromised. Items such as photos, status updates and geo-located data will be exchanged using resilient web servers, databases and stand-alone PBX telephone networks.

Along with the CMUSV Emergency Operations Center developed from last year’s DMI Workshop, the Palo Alto Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) and National Guard will demo the communication flows possible during a disaster. “We’re excited to be involving both the community and agencies in a exercise that shows that even when the Internet is down, communities can still share data and can still interact using modern tools,” said Dr. Iannucci. “This demonstration is a big step forward in our Silicon Valley Resilient Network Project and we’re hoping the feedback and data we collect from this workshop will help us make survivable social networks a real possibility for future disaster management scenarios.”

The workshop will also bring speakers from Motorola, FEMA, Mountain View Police and Fire, Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services and other industry and community partners, who will join CMUSV professors, researchers and students in parallel presentations, workshops, demos and experiments. Multiple mobile command centers and communication vehicles will participate in a series of interoperability exercises as part of the Emergency Vehicle Plugfest led by CMUSV Distinguished Research Fellow Steven Ray. "The response from the community, industry and local government has been enthusiastic. Carnegie Mellon is meeting a need no other organization has been able to do - namely, bringing together first responders, researchers, developers and policy makers to work together towards the common goal of community resilience and effective disaster response,” said Martin Griss, Director, Disaster Management Initiative, Silicon Valley campus.

3rd Annual DMI Workshop "Making Smart Communities Resilient"
Nov. 4-5, 2012 (Sunday- 1:00-6:30 PM) (Monday 8:30am-5:30 PM)
Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley campus