Twitter instant messaging as SAR tool?

Andy Carvin wonders if Twitter text messaging might work as an SAR communications tool for first responders. One commenter suggests that it’s not reliable enough and HAM radio is the best way to keep first responders in touch. However HAM is very technology specific and labor intensive so if there is a way to use tools like phones and dial up laptop connections, WIFI, or Bluetooth that has some advantages unless the connectivity is down or unavailable (as might be the case in many disaster / remote situations)

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One Response to Twitter instant messaging as SAR tool?

  1. Fools Gold says:

    I guess availability and reliability are important.
    Often things go ‘down’ for strange reasons and unusual events take place.

    Katrina winds knocked out all established antenna but one ‘microstation’ had a sturdy antenna that carried all the traffic for days. Sometimes a small station will have a generator that works and larger stations have standby equipment that fails them.

    In one major blackout, few subway phones worked and many users didn’t know how to dial in the dark so one blind man came to their aid!

    The important thing is to have established procedures no matter what ‘bandwith’ or ‘transmission methods’ work. When voice phones fail often talking into the earpiece actually helps and is a trick that used to be used by foreign correspondents in war zones. Radio hams often have drills where they handle high volumes of ‘mock disaster traffic’ but even in relatively mild disasters some hams will be knocked off the air since antennas can be fragile.

    Twitter may not be around. It seems like just one of many players in a developing niche. If its there when you need it fine. If its not…

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