Tag: Katrina New Orleans Wi-Fi Business Continuity Plan Disaster Recovery Catastrophe. Geeks improvise to let the Mayor call the President – on a VOIP phone – when Bellsouth and the electricity are toast.

Cat 5 BCP? Take an EVDO, VOIP, and 802.11g, and Skype the President in the morning

Wi-Fi is part of the continuity plan for New Orleans, as is VOIP.  The big question I have is why it isn’t part of yours as well. There’s a great article in Network World this week about how the City of New Orleans
used VOIP to connect Mayor Nagin with the President in the midst of the
Katrina mess –

“(NO CIO Greg) Meffert gained national attention immediately following Katrina when he went into a looted Home Depot, grabbed a Cisco router, found a single live connection at the Hyatt Hotel where the mayor was holed up and used a Vonage client to connect the mayor with President Bush.” – Network World, 8/21/2006

(My thoughtNever underestimate the innovation that can be done by a geek in the eye of a disaster.  Meffert’s McGuyver manuever with a router, an internet connection, and some luck got the Mayor back in touch with the President.)

Read the rest of the article for more info on how they’re planning to use these technologies in the future, as well as how they’ve deployed a mesh network to cover the center of the city for future disasters.   (an earlier article discusses the mesh network in slightly greater detail, and how it’s helping the NOPD fight crime)

Another article discusses the secondary and tertiary challenges faced by the city, including how to handle the flood of building permits, inspections, and demolition needed to bring the city back – create kiosks (just like the airlines.)