Posts Tagged ‘Free

20
Jan
11

Open Source EM

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

A few years ago, if you were to suggest using civilian technology for emergency response, you would have been laughed at.  It seems everyone was spending money like it was going out of style, thanks largely to the large amount of grant money.  Everyone had their own mobile command posts, high tech radios, etc…but those times are gone.   The grants have dried up, the costs to maintain the equipment bought with grants is very high, and EM‘s and first responders are doing more with less.  What about doing it for free?

There are now a lot of free software packages and online programs that allow you to do a lot for very little money or no cost at all.  Google docs and groups allow you to collaborate in real time.  They work very similarly to Microsoft sharepoint but are completely free.  EAS systems can cost 10’s of thousands of dollars to buy and maintain and now we are finding that free social media services provide better warning and allow for two way communication.  You can even provide free webinar trainings using http://www.dimdim.com (although not for long).  I was a strong advocate of public safety designed gear, and in many cases this is still the case, but I use these free services all the time.  I couldn’t function without them.

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