INSTEDD and to Change the Way the...

Uploaded by Google on 25.07.2007


PETER CARPENTER: First let me just get a
time frame from you.
Does anybody have to leave particularly early?
Because the last slide is sort of, OK, what does this mean to
you and how can you get involved.

INSTEDD is the first spin-off of
And for those of you who don't know, is basically
the charitable operation of
And it has a current asset base of about $2 billion that
the founders set up to pursue charitable activities.
And one of the charitable activities that they elected
to get involved with was being the founding grantor for an
organization that we talk about today called INSTEDD.
And we've subsequently received support from a broad
range of other organizations.
But Google is our original sponsor and the institution to
which we owe our existence.

What we want to do with INSTEDD is to basically bring
the information age to bear on the problems of disaster
response around the world.
And you're a bright audience.
I'm not going to spend my time reading what's on the slides.
Just glance through them.
You'll get some feel for the kinds of things
that we hope to do.

Most disaster organizations, and Dan is a perfect example
of this, are composed of individuals who are incredibly
dedicated to trying to reach out to people in the world
who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in the
midst of a calamity.
The difficulty is that disaster organizations are
organizations which have a very episodic
demand for their services.
And as a consequence, they typically are under-resourced.
And only when a disaster occurs does everybody sort of
say, OK, how can we help?
And then it's too late.
Because when the people go out the door to deal with the
disaster, they don't have time to get connected with the
people who want to help.
You are in a company that is immersed in technology.
And you take technology for granted.
Most of the people in a disaster community are
operating probably 10 to 20 years behind where you are
when you go back to your desk today.
And that's just the nature of the business, which is also
frequently compounded by the fact that, in a disaster
setting, frequently access to communications is usually
degraded if not totally eliminated.
So INSTEDD's mission is to try to be a facilitator, to work
with all the disaster organizations in the world,
and to give them better tools so that they can be more
efficient and more effective in things that they have
chosen to do.
And there are literally tens of thousands of organizations
around the world who perceive their mission being some form
of disaster response, disaster recovery.
Some of them are large organizations like UNICEF.
Others are very small organizations.
And when a disaster occurs, frequently many of these
organizations will all show up at the same place at the same
time in an incredibly uncoordinated but incredibly
well-meaning fashion.
And so what we hope to do is to be a totally independent
entity, independent of any company, any government, any
other institution, and to try to bring together all the
tools that the technology community has to offer to help
the people who are, in fact, responding to
disasters around the world.
And hopefully in the process of doing that, one of the
things we'll also do is increase the probability that
these organizations will work more effectively together
because they'll be using the same tools,
communicating the same way.

Now the range of disasters that we're looking at,
infectious diseases, man-made physical disasters, famine,
human rights abuses, and natural disasters.
And for each one of those, four categories: the
prevention, preparedness, mitigation phase, which is the
thing that you try to do ahead of time to make sure that we
as a world are better prepared.
Typically this function is dramatically underfunded.
And we don't do nearly as much as we should in terms of
prevention, preparedness, or mitigation.
Surveillance, we do surveillance reasonably well
with infectious diseases.
We don't do surveillance very well for most of the other
things that are listed here.
There is, in fact, a famine watch system that does a
reasonably good job.
We're getting a little bit better at predicting things
like earthquakes and tsunamis that result a consequence of
We don't do nearly as well with respect to
human rights abuses.
In fact, most people would not normally
categorize those as disasters.
We as human beings tend to think when an airplane crashes
and 300 people get killed, that's a disaster.
And yet in the same hour that that airplane crashed with
300, there were many more people killed around the world
by disease, by famine, by human rights abuses.
And yet the human mind tends to focus in and say well, if
it doesn't happen in a split second at one point in time
it's not a disaster.
We have tried to define the definition of disaster much
more broadly than that.
So that's why we include things like human rights
abuses and famine.

What we're in the process of doing, working with companies
like Google--
and we'll talk about some of our
other technology partners--
is finding the best tools that you have and making those
tools freely available to the disaster community, not only
freely available to them, but also working with them to help
them in the adoption of those tools.

So we perceive ourselves as facilitating the interface
between technology and human needs in a crisis.

Most of our original tools, by virtue of our birth place
being Google, our Google Apps with which many of you in this
room are familiar.
And we are in the process of doing something very analogous
to Google for Educators, which is basically Google for
disaster responders.
And we're taking the tools that exist here--
and I apologize for the slide.
It's probably the toughest one to read.
You won't have any more like that.
But we're taking all the different tools that Google
has and we're trying to package them together,
customize them so that they meet the needs of the disaster
community, and then making them freely available to that
entire community with strong support from Google.

One of the things we've been spending a lot of time on in
the last five or six months is talking to the customer,
making sure we understand what their needs are.
And it's been eye-opening.
Because when you talk to people who are actually in
this business on a day to day basis, you begin to realize
what an incredible opportunity advanced technology
brings to the table.
But you're also incredibly impressed with what these
people do, many of them without the kinds of tools
that you and I take for granted on our everyday basis.

So we have six initial projects: the consultation,
which I just described, the tools and technology, which is
basically what we are talking about developing a toolkit,
and with the Google being the main supplier, but IBM and a
number of other organizations coming on board.
I'll talk a little bit later in this presentation about one
of our partners, which is NASA.
And NASA is doing some very exciting things with us and
with Google.
But having tools doesn't mean anything unless you can
demonstrate that they work.
And so we have chosen three test sites around the world.
One of them is right here in New York City.
And it's the one that Dan operates, which is the 24-hour
emergency operation center at UNICEF.
And when you walk into that room, you see the tools that
they have and you realize that here's an incredible
opportunity for us to bring modern information technology,
and high-speed connections, and all sorts of other kinds
of things in to facilitate them doing the
job that they do.
The second test site we've chosen for a couple of
reasons, one of which is its physical proximity, the second
because it is an activity which if it's successful can
be easily replicated, is we're working with one of the 28
national Urban Search and Rescue teams, the one that
happens to be located in Menlo Park, California, quite close
to both the Mountain View campus and INSTEDD's
headquarters in Palo Alto.
In that Urban Search and Rescue team, is one of the
teams that came here to New York City for
the World Trade Center.
They went to Oklahoma City.
They went to Katrina.
They were responsible for the recovery of the Columbia
In each of these cases, they went out the door with road
maps from AAA.
They had no basically high technology.
The people at Google during Katrina were pumping
incredible imagery out the door.
And it went down to a desk in Louisiana and sat on the desk
because nobody had made the connection between the people
who are providing that invaluable information and the
people who are actually in the field doing the work.
And when we first introduced the people from Menlo Park to
the people from Google there was great sadness.
Because the people at Google said, well we sent all of this
stuff to you.
And the people at Menlo Park said, well, we never got it.
Nothing happens in a disaster situation that hasn't been
pretty well thought through ahead of time.
The people who go out the door go out the door with the tools
they have. If somebody else shows up and says, I've got
something great for you.
They say, look, we don't have time for great
things right now.
We've got a job to do.
And so there's a big disconnect there.
And so that's one of the challenges that we face in
project three.
And we'll come back at the very end and talk about how
those of you who want to might get involved in project three,
in general, and particularly getting involved in what we're
doing here with UNICEF and Dan and his team.
Project four is one of the efforts that we're undertaking
in the preparedness mitigation area.
There's a reasonably good chance, probably a higher
chance now than anytime in the last 20 or 30 years, that the
world will see a pandemic flu situation much like 1918.
If that occurs, it will change the way that you and I live.
It will overwhelm the health care system, not only of this
country, but of every country in the world.
And one of the things that will happen is that you and I
as individuals will be responsible for taking care of
ourselves and our families without recourse to 911,
without recourse to doctors, without recourse to hospitals.
And we just made the decision that one of the things that we
would do is create an online manual that any citizen could
use to figure out how to take care of themselves and their
family in these circumstances.
And that will be finished and published online on the 1st of
July of this year.
A federation is being created of the technology partners and
the disaster responders to come together to identify
opportunities for collaboration and needs.
And then a situational awareness project, one of the
things that we don't do particularly well, because we
tend to look at disasters as disjointed little things that
happen all by themselves, we don't have a good overview of
what's happening around the world.
And one of the most powerful tools for human beings is to
help visualize things like that, or things like Google
Maps and Google Earth.
When you can just imagine the world where every single hot
spot now shows up on a Google Earth presentation.
And you can look at a famine overlay.
You can look at a natural disaster overlay.
You can look at a human rights abuse overlay.
And you can begin to get some sense of really what's
happening in the world, not just simply by what you see on
CNN, but by having hopefully raw data from the point of the
disaster being transmitted and posted in such a way that as
all that information aggregates we really get a
good feel for what's happening around the world.

I won't spend any time on this.
These are the team members.
I'm one of the five directors of INSTEDD.
I agreed to serve in that capacity with the
understanding that it was one board meeting a quarter.
And shortly thereafter, my colleague said, well, gee,
Peter, we need somebody to run this organization.
And I'm now spending about five hours a day as an unpaid
volunteer as the President of INSTEDD, which I hope is going
to be a temporary role, certainly my wife does.
And we also have some people from the
organization who work directly with us and spend about half
of their time each, each of the three people listed there.

These are the organizations, the response organizations,
that we're dealing with, the donors and the technology
providers that we are beginning to collaborate with
in order to accomplish this mission.
And one of them, you'll see here is NASA Ames.
And I've chosen that just simply as an illustration.
I apologize for this slide.
It got a bit scrunched up.
But what NASA Ames is trying to do, these are the people
who basically are responsible for
running deep space missions.
And so the people that we deal with at NASA Ames are the
people that are in charge of robotics.
And it seems like sort of a strange thing.
But these are people that are really very good at trying to
get information from a distance and presenting that
information so that you can make decisions about it.
And so they're taking the technology that's been
developed for the space program, and they're saying
how can we apply this technology to disasters here
on the face of the earth.

And what they're doing is they're using a lot of stuff,
KML overlays with Google Earth, et cetera, to look at
things like landslides in Katrina and things like that
so that people now have really good real time information.
Instead of sending our people to Katrina with AAA maps,
we're setting it up now where they'll be an immediate
download once the alert comes in to all of the laptops to
the people who are going out the door of all the
information that's available on Google Earth.
And then we'll begin to do overlays so that they have
contemporaneous information that's updated every six
hours, or 12 hours, or 24 hours rather than
Because we're not presuming that they'll have Internet
So we'll have to do local Wi-Fi kinds of things in order
to reach that last mile, which in a disaster situation is a
very big challenge.

This is a fascinating project at NASA Ames is working on
that sort of illustrates the way that you can take modern
technology and bring it to bear on a very real problem.
What you see here is an Altair, which is the NASA
version of what the military calls a Predator, a very long
station-keeping time.
And the strange thing about it is if you look closely, you'll
see underneath it a pod which has on the side of it the logo
of the US Forest Service.
And what we've done with this machine is we actually took it
to Southern California during the fire season last year.
And we used it to do real time imagery of a very large forest
fire that was in an Wildland Urban Interface and
threatening a large number of homes and a lot of people.
And what we were able to do is to use the Altair.
And this shows you the overflight patterns.
And that was able to give the people on the ground real time
imagery in terms of what was happening because they were
operating with a number of different
portions of the spectrum.
So they had infrared.
They had visual, et cetera.
So they could define where the hot spots were.
They could define where the fire was burning
the fastest, et cetera.
And that information was pumped down with about a
three-minute delay between the time it was taken and made
available to the people on the ground, dramatically different
real time information then we had in any other disasters
that I've described to you.

So INSTEDD content, collaboration, communication,
early detection response, a facilitator, independent
source of information.
And now we get to you folks.
What can you do to make a difference
in the INSTEDD world?
Well, one of the things you can do is you can become a
Google volunteer involved in some of these projects that
I've described.
Another thing that those of you particularly on the
engineering side, is recognizing as you develop.
And I'm constantly amazed.
Every time I pick up the newspaper, there's a new thing
from Google, my maps, whatever it is.
It's just amazing the productivity of organization
that you're a part of.
But as new apps come along, ask yourself, well, might this
be something that we should put into the INSTEDD toolkit.
Would this help the people who we look to around the world to
respond to disasters?
Also, help us identify technology providers.
As you interface with other institutions and you see that
they have tools that might be useful to the INSTEDD toolkit,
make sure that we're aware of them and basically do the
introduction so that we can put more and more things in
this toolkit.
And identify disaster responder organizations that
they should be in the INSTEDD Federation.
I am just stunned as we continue to talk to people
every single day, there's another organization that I've
never heard of before that's doing really interesting,
exciting disaster work.
It tends to be a very fragmented community.
There are some big things like UNICEF, and there are some big
things like the World Health Organization.
But there are just literally tens of thousands of very
small organizations that are very specialized.
One of the people we have running project three, Dipak
Basu, was the founder of an organization called NetHope.
And what NetHope did was took a bunch of technology
companies, and they created a suitcase-sized Internet
connection that you can take any place in the world as a
satellite antenna.
And you can create Internet connectivity
in a disaster situation.
The probably with it is it's a very low bandwidth.
And it's very expensive because you get
charged by the databit.
But it begins to give us the ability to go to a disaster
situation any place in the world, open up the
[UNINTELLIGIBLE] is what it's called.
You open up the suitcase, orient
it towards the satellite.
And you have very limited, but you do have real time
So that's the story of INSTEDD.
And Dan's here.
What I'd love to do at this point is
just questions, answers.

Do any of you have any particular ideas that's you'd
like to share?
Any questions about what I've said?

Start in the back, move forward.

PETER CARPENTER: I'll give you the mic.
DAN TOOLE: Thanks.
I'm kind of Mr. Disaster at UNICEF.
We have about a $2.7 billion program globally, and about as
Peter said, 40% 45% of that goes for emergencies.
So it's over $1 billion a year.
We're in 150 countries.
we do about 350 to 400 emergencies a year from
tsunami in the Solomon Islands last week to flooding in
And one of the points I guess I would stress that Peter
raised is you hear about, for example, Solomon Islands.
It hit the newspapers.
It hit the press.
It was 20 people killed and about 50,000 displaced.
This week alone, we had 100,000 displaced and probably
34 people killed in Afghanistan from floods.
No press on it, no focus on it, because everyone's focused
on something else.
So it's a good example of what he described of the industry
that focuses on the flavor of the month, if you will, the
hot spot that hits the news rather than the ongoing and
the big emergencies that are ongoing every day.
Our work based here, as Peter said, we have a 24-hour
operation center that tracks the world.
We have about eight people who watch news in
all different languages.
We use Google Earth.
We use it also to present to others in the organization and
elsewhere to say here's what's happening and where.
We both track the world and then trigger response.
And so if I pick up on some of the points that Peter raised,
what we need is less what a typical person wants to give.
I literally this morning had a woman screaming down the phone
saying, I have shoes.
I want to give shoes.
I, frankly, don't need shoes.
What I need are better tools ahead of an emergency.
We have some early warning systems. We have some
preparedness kits.
We have schoolin-a-box that we can transport out.
I need that stuff before an emergency.
I don't need shoes packed individually, et cetera, or
blankets that someone wants to give that are 100 or 1,000.
In the Pakistan earthquake, we needed one million blankets.
So a few in Santa Barbara or New York City doesn't
help me very much.
So I think the things that you can do with us really are to
look at what are the tools that we can
use to track better.
We're using things like if you go on the web, you'll see
FEWS, the Famine Early Warning System of FAO.
You'll see other types of early warning.
We're trying to pull those together.
It is a disjointed industry.
Because it's kind of let 1,000 flowers bloom approach.
Except they're booming in a 150 countries.
One of the big changes, which Peter outlined, if I look
back, ten years ago I was the UNICEF representative in
Rwanda after the genocide there.
And we had some big international NGOs.
We had a few national and local NGOs.
If I then fast forward to the tsunami, in Aceh alone we had
450 NGOs working, some very skilled, some not skilled.
And I think the industry needs some better targeting on what
we do, some better tools that are accepted across the board,
and we need a better integration of some of the
stuff that you do as a business, which is the
high-tech capacity to analyze, synthesized, report, and pull
those pieces of information together.
So I think that's where some of the partnership is pretty
exciting for us.
Here in New York, we work at a global level obviously.
I do a lot of speaking.
But I do a lot of meetings convincing people that, for
example, Iraq is actually going downhill much faster
than even you see on television, and what we need
to do to prepare for that because it's going to happen.
Trying to convince governments like Bangladesh, or India, or
Nepal that please don't come knocking on my door to say
you're surprised by flooding this year.
It happens every year.
We should actually be prepared.
We should have people ready.
We should have rosters of people to respond, both
nationally and internationally for that kind of context.
And that's where I think some of those things where, both on
the early warning as well as the preparedness side and the
prepositioning side, technology could
help us quite a lot.
So I'm happy to answer questions on specific
emergencies or other things.
But that's kind of a quick overshot.
PETER CARPENTER: You had a question.

DAN TOOLE: Good question.
I don't have a quick answer to that one.
In big emergencies, we do need volunteers.
And we need volunteers to man phone lines.
It's not the sexy stuff.
The stuff that happens in country, we need doctors.
We need water engineers.
We need nutritionists.
And so if you have those skills, there may be
opportunities to deploy you in those kinds of emergencies.
But there's a lot of background work that happens,
in most cases, in very big emergencies.
So it's the tsunami, it's Darfur, its
Afghanistan or Iraq.
Smaller emergencies, the advantage of a place like
UNICEF because we are big and global, we
have offices 150 countries.
And so our job is to upgrade those offices when something
is about to happen or in a pinch after it's happened.
And there may be opportunities for that.
But I would be honest in saying I'd have to get back to
you if I know more of the skill set that you have.
Because I would also be honest in saying we
don't just need anybody.
Part of the problem in the tsunami was we had too many
people who had great intentions but didn't
necessarily have the skill sets we needed.
A woman actually came up to me with a suitcase full of teddy
bears in Aceh and said, I want to help.
Why won't you hire me?
I didn't need 35 teddy bears in Aceh.
And so it is a question of making sure that we're talking
ahead of time.
What are your skill sets?
What can you bring?
And how do we match that?
PETER CARPENTER: And one of the things that Google's
exploring-- and I can't speak for them, but I can speak
about what I'm aware they're doing--
had a program which was originally
called Google Pioneers.
And now it's going to be relabeled.
But it's basically where groups of Google people would
go overseas on a project basis.
And one of that things that you saw on my matrix was the
recovery phase.
It's important to realize that people think of the tsunami as
something that happened over a year ago.
More than half the people who lost their homes in that
tsunami are still homeless.
And yet it's off of our radar screen.
And so one of the things that I think Google might well
think about is as an institution that has
incredible social commitment, what about putting together
teams of people who are well-organized, who are
well-disciplined, who would go into a location in a recovery
period and make things happen.
The key to making that work though, is that you'd have to
organize it in such a way that you had a sponsor like UNICEF
that was able to say to the people on the ground, these
people are competent.
They are well-trained.
They are well-equipped.
And they can make a difference.
They are not going to show up with teddy bears.
They are going to show up with the tools they need to make a
difference, either to build houses, or to rebuild schools,
or make a difference.
So for those of you who are not on the engineering side
and want to get involved, I would encourage you to
stimulate a discussion internally about putting
together a team of people who could be responsive to Dan and
his colleagues when they had a particular problem, and who
could be quote "certified" ahead of time as being
competent and capable.
Because one of the real problems that we have in
disasters is what we call convergent volunteers.
The convergent volunteers are just a nightmare.
A convergent volunteer is the person who shows up with the
teddy bears or who says, hey, I'm a
heart surgeon, et cetera.
You don't have time in a disaster to figure out whether
that person's a heart surgeon.
You don't have time to figure out what to do with somebody
who shows up and says, I've got the answer to your
problems. They may well have the answer to your problems.
But you don't have the time to sort that out.

If Google, for example, makes the decision that they want to
have a team of disaster responders or disaster
recovery people, they need to organize that ahead of time.
They need to assure its competence.
They need to work with an organization like UNICEF, or
the International Red Cross, or someone else to establish a
relationship so that when the event occurs, those lead
agencies know oh, let's put a Google team in there.
One of the things, for example, we're doing in
project three is we are creating a mobile command post
that can go anyplace in the world, that will have the best
In will basically be a mobile information center that you
can put in any disaster in the world, that will have high
bandwidth connectivity, and that will serve all of the
disaster organizations that are there.
That might be a wonderful thing for Google to say, hey,
we'll staff that.
We'll provide the people that make that thing work.
And w will train those people ahead of time.
And we'll keep a roster of people who need to go.
Now the reality of disaster response is disaster response
to be credible has to be 24/7.
For example, the Urban Search and Rescue team that I'm
responsible for, we have to be able to put 75 people out the
door within four hours to go anyplace in the world, to be
self-sustained for a week.
In order to do that, we have to have over 250 people who
are fully trained so that in that four-hour window, you can
get the 75 people you need to send them out the door.
So if Google, for example, said OK, we want to have a
deployable team of 20 people that would run an information
center, you'd need to have 60, 70, 80 people who were trained
and ready to go so that when the call came in, the people
who were counting on you knew that, in fact, you'd be able
to product that number of people.

DAN TOOLE: Yes and no.
UNICEF is also part of the United Nations.
And so when you read in the New York Times, the United
Nations didn't do this or they didn't do that, you have to
understand that the United Nations is the member state.
So sometimes when the United Nations doesn't do something,
it's because, for example, the US stopped it from doing it.
And so on our website, for example, there's very little
that will be politically sensitive.
We have intranet.
And and Peter has seen it.
We have a whole early warning, early action system that we
share internally terminally.
But publicly, it's OK to put things like, hurricane is
coming to the Caribbean.
It's likely if hit these days.
You can actually find that information on lots of sites.
If I were to put up Iraq is going to
hell in a hand basket.
And it's really going to be at the bottom.
And Cuba we're watching because Castro may die, and
this, this, and this may happen.
We'd have some real problems. So a lot of countries that I
watch can't be on the public site and be quote "UNICEF's
estimate of what might happen".
So we are talking now about, for example, putting up, which
unfortunately have to be somewhat sanitized versions of
what we would call our sitreps.
So whether it's Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iraq,
Afghanistan, where we're producing either weekly or
monthly situation reports of what's happening right now, we
are actually looking to see how we could put that up in a
public way.
We just have to take a bit out.
The second part of the question on in terms of
people, what we've tended to do rather than say let's say,
we need 50 heart surgeons, we do, not unlike what Peter has
described, we have what we call standby arrangements.
And so we have agreements with at the moment about ten
different organizations, one in Australia, one in Sweden,
Norway, India, could possibly have one here, have one in the
UK with the UK government saying, here are the profiles
of the kind of people we need.
If you are willing to commit with this kind of contract, we
would say you can be part of the search capacity for
nutritionists, for IT people.
We have an agreement with a group called Telecom Sans
Frontieres, which is like Doctors Without Borders, but
these are telecom people without borders.
And they are a part of our surge for exactly some of the
things, the [? big guns, ?]
the communications and IT capacity in an emergency.
So that's tended to be how we've done it.
What we found is if we say we need let's just say 50 water
engineers, we get about 3,000 offers.
And even just wading through that in
emergencies is pretty rough.
And so we've used the standby agreements to preset who's
clear, who's ready to go, and where can we
call on for that expertise.
So we do have that.
But it's sort of stand by, ready to go partners, which we
could do, for example, with Google perhaps.
PETER CARPENTER: You had a question.

PETER CARPENTER: I think the biggest difference is the
resource base.
We tend as countries, both the United States and others, to
invest heavily in defense.
We tend not to make the same kind of investment in disaster
preparedness and response.
And disaster preparedness and response is usually a very
poor child until the disaster occurs.
And then everybody gets very excited.
But for reasons that Dan and I both spoken to, that
excitement at the time of the disaster is very difficult to
convert into a meaningful response.
Because it hasn't been built in a way, for example, that's
part of his certified surge capacity.
And so you can't just deal with the fact that suddenly
100 people want to do something.
The effort that the people in Mountain View put in to
providing data to cover the Katrina disaster was
incredibly impressive.
They basically set up a 24/7 operation.
They worked with NASA.
They arranged to have some special overflights done.
They created all this information and they shipped
it down to Louisiana and it never got to the
people on the ground.
Because the people on the ground and the people in
Mountain View ahead of time had not talked and said, this
is how we're going to do circulate the information.
Let me just give you an example of how a trivial thing
has a profound impact.

California Task Force 3, which is the task force that I'm
responsible for, had the responsibility for running the
entire water rescue operation in Katrina.
What the Urban Search and Rescue task forces did years
ago is they developed standardized methodology.
When they search a building, they mark the front of the
building with particular information so that people
know it's been searched, what was found in that
building, et cetera.
And so the next person that comes by knows that that
building doesn't need to be searched again.
So here they are at Katrina.
And they're going up house by house and marking the front of
these houses.
And the next day someone comes along in a helicopter.
They can't see the front of the house, doesn't know
whether that house has been search of not, put somebody on
the roof and searches the same house again.
How wonderful it would have been if everybody had a PDA
with GPS capability and they just entered that information
at the time they searched the building and within 30 seconds
it went on to Google Earth.
And anybody who is running an airborne operation could see
what the water-based operation had done and vice versa.
But they had none of that capability.
We sent these people out the door with cell phones and
satellite phones.
Nothing worked.
The cell phone system had basically been
degraded by the floods.
And the satellite system was totally
tied up by the networks.
The networks all showed up.
They would open up a channel on the satellite phone system
and they'd keep it open 24/7.
There were no channels left for the emergency responders.
They had a satellite phone that didn't work.
And so those are the kinds of problems you have to solve
ahead of time.
And if you don't solve them ahead of time, then the people
in the field do what they do with what they've got.
And one of the real problems also is that the disaster
community is not a community where culturally it's
acceptable to say I need this I need that.
It's a group of people who are used to operating under a
resource-constrained basis.
And so you have to talk to these people for a long time
before they say well gee, it really would be nice if I
could have some water or some basic thing.
So you have to push these people hard.
Because their attitude is look, we signed up to be in
this business.
We're going to go out the door with what we've got.
And we don't spend a lot of our time thinking about what
we don't have. And so one of the dialogues that's taking
place in the consultation process is bringing technology
people together with responders.
You saw this incredible operation that's been pulled
off by the NASA Ames people.
And you don't need a Predator airborne platform.
We had a meeting with the NASA Ames people last week.
And they're now in the process of creating a pod that can be
put on the bottom of a small, fixed-wing airplane or
And basically we can take these pods and give them to
Dan or anybody else and say, take this
anyplace in the world.
Put this on the bottom of an airborne platform.
And the data that's connected, it's going to come down.
It's going to be digitized photographs that are GPS
And within 30 minutes we'll be able to put it
up on Google Earth.
And all you'll have to do is just do a simple flyover.
And that data will be collected
and it will be displayed.
If you ask a disaster responder if they wanted that
kind of thing, they'd sort of scratch their head because
they say well, I've never had that.
What do you mean?
But then you begin to show them what we were able to do
with the Forest Service pod.
And it was incredible.
Because The old way of doing it is that you'd send out each
of the section bosses on the fire line would do a physical
map and send it into the operation center.
And people would then say, OK, this is where the fire lines
were six hours ago.
These are reports from our section bosses.
And you had information that's typically six to 12 hours old.
And suddenly we put them in a situation where they had
information that was three minutes old.
Is a totally different world and has dramatically increased
their ability to do their job.
But it took technology people sitting down with responders
to say, here's a place where we can make a difference.
DAN TOOLE: The other point I'd raise how we're very different
from military, and that again comes back to this UN side.
We work with governments.
A military operation primarily goes in to
take over and do things.
And I think what we see in most emergencies is that our
role is also to figure out how do we help government do what
it should be doing better.
Whether it's Katrina, where UNICEF actually helped with
some of the education opportunities there, or it's
in Afghanistan, how do you make sure that the government
can provide education services that it should
be providing anyway?
And in some countries they can't for resource reasons and
in others they can't for access reasons.
And so we're not a foreign occupying set of people.
We're actually there figuring out if the Ministry of Health
is to run the clinics the way it should.
It may mean that MSF, or Oxfam, or someone else has to
run them for a couple of weeks.
The goal is to get the government to be doing it
again or get a private sector to do it again and actually
have it be a self-sustaining system.
So that's a big difference from sort of a military force
that would go in, and do it, and leave.
PETER CARPENTER: And the other difference with the military
is that they tend to have pretty much total control of
the situation.
In most of the disaster situations that Dan and I are
familiar with, no one has total control.
It's almost chaos.
A good example is Oklahoma City when the
bombing occurred there.
That was a federal building on federal property.
It was very easy to determine who was in charge.
It was a whole new ball game when the World
Trade Center occurred.
Because then you had the City of New York, the State of New
York, the federal government.
The lines of command and control were incredibly
screwed up.
Our guys showed up as part of one of the many Urban Search
and Rescue teams that came to New York City and basically
could not establish any degree of report with the local
people because they were perceived as being outsiders
because they wore these FEMA uniforms.
And so the first night that they got here, they said hey,
send us Menlo Park Fire Department t-shirts.
They put those on and the next it was a
totally different attitude.
They were firefighters and totally accepted by their New
York brethren, interesting little cultural thing.
And so those are the kinds of issues that you face in a
disaster situation.
You have to be incredibly sensitive to local culture.
You have to recognize that what people need and what you
think they need are sometimes very different.
It's one of the reasons why it's really important that the
people you put in on the scene are people who are properly
certified or properly trained.
One of the real challenges in Aceh was that you had so many
people there who really had no business being there.
And they became a resource depleter rather than a
resource provider.


not only to become better educated ourselves, but create
program that help train others like us and to do that.
There's such a big population of people.
And there's nothing worse than turning away who want to help.
Obviously they have something to give.
But if they could be trained or taught or figured out that
that's when to use them, it can benefit everybody.
What would be your thought process on that?
PETER CARPENTER: Well the challenges that you raise is
that how do you marry that desire to make a difference
with the ability to present yourself to the disaster
manager as an asset rather than a liability.
And my many years of being involved in this, I began my
life is a smokejumper for the Forest Service literally
jumping out of airplanes putting out forest fires.
And the only way that that kind of thing works well is
you have to have it organized and you
have to have it trained.
And individual people who want to make a difference by and
large are a handicap rather than an asset
in a disaster situation.
So I would say to you and to other people who want to make
a difference, what you need to try to do is find a way to
organize ahead of time either in a corporate setting or in a
neighborhood setting so that you become known, dependable,
certified resource that other people can call upon.
On the 1st of July, for example, when we post this
citizens training manual for pandemics, one of the things
that you can do as an individual is to take that
training manual and say OK, I'm going to
work with my neighbors.
And I'm going to create the ability for our neighborhood
to take care of itself.
Because if we have a pandemic, you are going
to be on your own.
The world as we know it is going to change.
And we've run the numbers in California, we're going to
need 14 times the number of hospital beds that we have.
Well that isn't going to happen.
And if you don't have 14 times the number of hospital beds,
what's going to happen?
It means that individuals, and families, and neighborhoods
are going to have to take care of themselves.
And it gets a bit grim.
Because we have a wonderful system in our country of
getting rid of dead bodies.
When was the last time you ever saw a dead body being
moved from the place where the person died?
It happens very nicely, discreetly.
If we have a pandemic, that's not going to occur.
One of the things you're going to have to learn to deal with
in your community, in your family, in your neighborhood,
is what do you do with dead bodies?
Because there's not going to be somebody to
come pick them up.
So if you as an individual want to make a difference in a
disaster situation, I think you have to find a way to get
involved in an institution or create an institution which is
credible, and certifiable, and has a relationship with
someone like UNICEF, the Red Cross, et cetera, who's
responsible for responding to these disasters, and you
become part of their surge capability.

DAN TOOLE: I guess I would add that it's also about skills.
If I came to you and said, I'd really love to help at Google.
Can I volunteer three days a week?
You'd say, one, you're kind of old, and two, you don't have
the skill set.
And disaster prevention, disaster response as
disorganized as it looks and as it
sometimes is, it is a business.
So, for example, my niece who wants to be involved, I've
said to her, one of the things we need more of in UNICEF are
people who are specialists on child protection.
How do you find kids who've lost
their parents in emergency?
How do you help kids who've seen their parents killed or
their house burned down?
How do you get kids out of the military when
they've been recruited?
That's an area that is absolutely a growth industry.
We don't have enough people.
It's a new area.
And we need more people who know it, who have experience
in it, et cetera.
So there are some areas in the business of disaster response
where there are opportunities if you're really interested in
going deeper.
And it probably means doing a masters degree or going out
and getting some volunteer experience overseas.
It's not just something you can say I want to help.
And so, I guess, I would say don't belittle that we've
asked you for money.
Because without the money, we can't do it.
And that is a tremendous contribution.
And the second thing I would say is don't stop your
interest. Talk to your friends.
Talk to them at dinner, or go to films, and keep interested,
and get other people interested.
The biggest frustration I have living here in the US having
lived a very long time overseas, is one of the most
common questions I get is how's Africa?
How's the moon?
How do I respond to that?
That's actually the wrong question to ask to even start
a conversation.
And so help people figure out what are some of the right
conversations by reading more, talking to people, going to
lectures, whatever if that really
is one of your interests.
Or if you're truly, truly interested, do a master's
degree whether it's business administration because you
want to do logistics and finance or whatever, or it's
child protection, or its refugee law.
There are lots of different areas if you want to go
further than that.
PETER CARPENTER: Again, I think I pick along the point
that Dan makes about expertise.
And I think one of the things that is most useful to the
disaster responder managers is having groups of people who
have very well-defined certified skill sets.
Doctors Without Borders is an example.
The IT without borders is another example.
There's an organization in San Francisco that we're
collaborating with called the Fritz Institute.
And they specialize in logistics.
I'm meeting with them next week.
And one of the things that I want to explore with them is
can we create surge capacity within corporations where Dan
and his colleagues say, gee, we need a logistics team in
country X. Send us a team of people who can basically run
the logistics for this operation.
And these are people who really are experienced in
doing that kind of thing.
And so they go on the ground.
And they have the tools.
And they're self-contained.
And they're not a depletion of resources, but they, in fact,
help solve the problems rather than create the problem.
So I think what you want to do is you want to build around
institutional capabilities.
And you want to recognize that the disaster managers are
interested in, as Dan emphasizes, a capability.
Individuals are very hard to manage
in a disaster situation.
It's just very inefficient if you have to manage 50
independent individuals.
It's much better to be able to say OK, this is a team of 50
who are self-contained, self-organized.
We know how they operate.
We know what their skills are.
And we only have to deal with the team leader.
And we can give them an assignment and off they go.
And we know they're going to do the job right.
DAN TOOLE: Just as maybe a final concrete example of
that, UNICEF is constantly moving millions of tons of
blankets, and medical kits, and school supplies.
I just find it ironic that every time we have an
emergency, I have to find logistics teams. And I have a
few around the world, et cetera.
And we do that for this emergency.
And yet I know there's Unilever, and Proctor &
Gamble, and DHL, and all these other companies that do that
for profit, and do it exceedingly well.
And I keep wondering, why can't we figure this out?
Why am I hiring all these people?
And I'd come back to you, I'm also trying to make sure that
we have communications and the right kind of early warning
and prevention on the IT front.
And so I'm kind of hiring in and trying to
beg, borrow, and steal.
And yet, that's your company's business.
And you do it incredibly well.
Will I come to Google at some point and
say, I need your money?
My job is fund raising.
But what I'm really interested in is how do we harness what
is your core business for different kinds of purposes.
And that's where I think this is an exciting partnership.

PETER CARPENTER: So other questions?
And thank you so much for sticking with it.
We've gone a bit longer than the hour.

Megan has my contact information.
Those of you who'd like to be involved, let her know.
And she'll get you in touch with either Dan or myself.
And remember what was on that last slide.
Basically there are lots of things you can do.
You can get involved as an individual.
But you need to find some sort of a structure to do that.
If you're working on Google Apps constantly ask yourself,
is there some way in which this application can be useful
and meaningful to the disaster community?
And if so, push it to the INSTEDD team to make sure that
we include it in the toolkit.
If you're aware of other technology providers that you
think bring something important to the table, make
sure we know who they are.
And if you're involved with any organizations that you
think could profit from these kinds of things, again,
connect us to the.
Thank you very much.
Dan, thank you for coming.