Things have luckily quieted down for us a bit.There is still a long way to recovery for the wider OKC area but for the last week we have mostly been monitoring and supporting the already installed locations and catching up on admin and logistic. Last week we did however receive a request to provide a small public internet facility in the Steelman Estates in Little Axe East of Moore. More than 60 families live in that area and their houses have been either destroyed or severely damaged. Because it’s a bit away from Moore it has received less attention and support initially and the work is mostly been organised and managed by locals from a tentcamp. We are now happy to say that we’ve installed a few laptops in one of the tents connected to WiFi internet access providing locals and relief workers there with a reliable internet service.
We started work on a 10-seater public internet facility at the Highland Baptists Church in Moore yesterday. This facility will be open to the general public and will provide 10 laptops with Internet access and free/public WiFi. The laptops will have browsing software and unlimited Skype accounts. The Skype accounts will not only allow people to make Skype-to-Skype calls but also Skype-out calls to landlines and cellphones at no costs. The facility will be open from 9am – 6 pm and will be staffed by volunteers who will assist people in getting online as well as providing a wealth of other relevant info.
At the moment the VSAT Internet link is in place and the WiFi network has been installed. The laptops will be going in later today and we hope to open this facility no later than Friday morning.
Below are some pictures of the equipment being installed:
As a lot of the urgent needs for our services had disappeared by last Friday we made the decision to stand down some of our volunteers and equipment during the weekend. This decision proved pre-mature as the greater Oklahoma City area was hit by no less than 5 tornadoes on Friday evening causing widespread damage and flooding. Based on this we are extending our area of operation to the greater OKC area and are working on bringing in additional equipment.
If your organisation, community group, shelter location etc requires our internet access, a wifi network of VoIP lines please file a request here.
If you would like to assist in our work in the OKC area please see here a list of the skills we require.
If you want to support our work by making a financial or material donation please check the list of our requirements.
In the last two days our volunteers have been working on providing a number of locations around Moore with internet access and WiFi services. One of these is a Mobile Medical Vehicle operated by “Heart to Heart”. This vehicle is travelling around the affected areas in Moore providing much-needed medical services. We were put in contact with the people from Heart to Heart on Thursday and arranged a conference call to assess their needs. One of the most urgent ones was connectivity for the Mobile Medical Vehicle so a team of engineers was dispatched on Friday to track down the location and since yesterday the vehicle has Internet access backhauled via a VSAT terminal.
We’ve also conducted a wireless signal survey in the affected areas measuring all wifi & cellular services and this data is currently being processed. Lastly we’re building a public internet location in the Moore area where local residents can go online using a number of provided laptops or their own devices. This will help them to do such things as register with FEMA, file insurance claims but also to get in contact with friends and family. We’re also hoping to provide printing & scanning services at this location.
One unfortunate aspect of this work is that we depend on support by donors to fund our operating costs. While all our volunteers are unpaid and we work mostly with donated equipment we still have operating costs that need to be met. Deployments are always costly so we’re appealing for people to make a donation so we can continue our work. You can donate securely online by clicking on the below button. If you want to make a donation by bank you can find all the details on this page.
Our equipment has arrived at our staging area in Moore and we have a team of volunteers on the ground since Wednesday. We’re currently working to assess the damage to existing communications networks as well as the need our services by the various organisations so that we can prioritise them. Requests for our services can be submitted here.
Last night we worked together with ITDRC to build a network and internet access on a location manned by Team Rubicon on SW 19th street.
We’ve also used Crowdmap to map installed locations as well as location request around the affected area. You can view the map here. There isn’t much listed yet but we will be updating as we go along.
Lastly please check our “Needs” page to see how you can help us.
Disaster Tech Lab is currently deploying to the city or Moore, Oklahoma to assist in the disaster response following the devastating tornado there.
We will update this page with more information as the deployment develops.
Our needs in regards to this deployment and for ways to support us you can check out this page.