Speaker Tim McNamara
Time 2010-01-21 14:30
Conference LCA2010

Technology that can be used to save lives.

With a little bit of help we can do a huge amount of good, and can make a huge difference.


Why would you use something that needs batteries in an emergency situation?

Computers need

  • power
  • connectivity
  • security
  • trained users

Disaster zone:

  • No power. Diseal generators don’t generate true sign wave.
  • Isolation
  • Looting
  • N00bs. No experts, nobody ever used system. No computer experts in disaster management.

Big problem is the price of open source software.

Cost: “What if someone dies because we didn’t get the good stuff?”

Support: “Linux what?”

Shame: “Isn’t that for hippies?”

Training: “So how do I use it?”



Keisha is an 8 year old girl. Her parents are missing. A man she does not recognise claims to be a relative.

Samuel is 34 with two teenage daughters. He had missed a few load payments by the time of the storm. A gentlemen arrives at the shelter and asks if he has shown up.

Why bother?

  • Social media has completely changed disaster response.

communications by humans, too much information, structured in tree, information has to go up to top and then be passed back down again.

communications by computers, every node is up-to-date and knows what is going on.

sahana == project == sahana-py (python) + sahana-php + …