FC: Thomas Lipscomb on "Emergency Online Broadcast System"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Nov 02 2002 - 09:28:01 PST

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    From: "Thomas Lipscomb" <tomat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: RE: Terra Lycos wants "Emergency Online Broadcast System"
    Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 11:30:08 -0500
    I'm afraid I disagree.
    One of the lessons of 9/11 is what a lousy job everyone did in getting the
    simplest information out quickly to those in the NYC area... much less the
    rest of the world. Take a look at the Office of Emergency Management website
    of NYC.gov... .
    Totally useless... STILL.
    And yet no one could find out what subways were still operating... what
    trains were and were not running... which streets were blocked. Where the
    actual impact zone was... . What kind of attack we have experienced. Who to
    call... whether there was really any need for all the blood donors and
    volunteers who flooded area hospitals etc... what broadcast media were
    available with information where... etc etc... .
    there are "combat information center" templates available to have this kind
    of information preformatted with maps, information that will need filling in
    etc... for everything from an anthrax impact zone, to a dirty nuke.. or just
    a truck bomb.
    We are going to get hit again. The only question is where and when... .
    True enough the old Civil Defense structure is an antique. But the need for
    this information remains easy to anticipate... . And WHO is going to do it?
    It is bad enough that hundreds of emergency workers died senselessley on
    9/11 in a veritable "Charge of the Light Brigade" into buildings experts
    already knew would collapse and the city authorities have so far managed to
    cover up.
    Clearly a major reevaluation of the intramural squabbling that lead to
    incompatible communication systems for emergency services is required.
    Having every emergency vehicle and ambulance in the city in a traffic jam
    neat the WTC was criminally stupid.
    But the information to the local populations can be critically important as
    these attacks occur to minimize panic.
    It is time to focus on this need. Not to reject attempts at it
    Thomas Lipscomb
    Center for the Digital Future
    New York
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