Hurricane Maria: Summary of communication status - and lack of

Jean-Francois Mezei jfmezei_nanog at
Mon Oct 2 08:15:44 CST 2017

On 2017-10-02 02:58, Wayne Bouchard wrote:
> Well, that's why recovery efforts in broad scale events like this have
> to go from a central point to pushing a perimiter farther and farther
> out. Create a habital, functional zone where workers can return to
> both to organize and recouperate and then go back out and push farther
> afield. 

Logic yes. But...

I have read stories of sick people in shelters dying because of lack of
electricity, lack of O2. Stories of FEMA sending water/food for only
half of population of a village.

This is where telecom plays a role.

If the shelter had comms, it could have told mayor "we need generator,
we need 5 tabks of O2 for sick people". Mayor could have sent request to
FEMA ASAP. My **guess** is that by the time FEMA got the requests, it
was too late  and people died.

In hindsight, every village should have been given a sat-phone BEFORE
the hurricane,

Ajit Pai complained about iPhone not having FM radio. But it is more
important for reverse communication from villages to headquarters/FEMA
to be able to transmit urgent needs, status reports, how much food/water
needed etc.

I suspect that if such comms had happened right off the bat, they would
have known that waiting for roads to be cleared wasn't sufficient and
taken a different philosophy for immediate help.

I think that disaster planners have made wrong assumptions about
cellular and terrestrial communications being robust enough to survive

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