Craig Fugate: The Cellphone is a ubiquitous comms tool amidst disaster

by Maureen Couch 

Craig Fugate, senior advisor at BlueDot Strategies, sat down with Jim McKay at Emergency Management to offer solutions to disaster response as we slide into hurricane season while riding a pandemic.

Hand in hand with the work of goTenna, a mesh networking solutions company, Fugate suggests that community leaders can build volunteer networks out of residents, then issue them access to disaster response teams via an established mesh network for the purpose of communicating before, during, and after the strike of a natural disaster.

“We have two solutions here, we have people who are in the area and are available to go to work, and we can put them to work and they have a ubiquitous communication device, called a cellphone,” he said.

The cellphone is a tool that can be used with the mesh network to deploy consistent communication block by block.

“You won’t have a lot of bandwidth, you’re not going to be doing full-scale video, but I can text and send out messages,” Fugate said. “Whatever the connection is, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, you log in and there may be an app or something you add but it basically goes back to the idea that a phone without cellular networks is a brick.”

Rather than having a bunch of radios, the mesh units can be placed out every block or two to cover and area and get the necessary people linked up. “Like in a warehousing operation or a big food production operation where people are scattered over neighborhoods. I can link them up all pretty easily,” Fugate said.

To learn more about goTenna and their disaster response solutions, please visit the full article at Emergency Management.