NHMC Continues to Discuss the Devastation in Puerto Rico, Highlighting Opportunities to Improve Emergency Communication Planning

The Internet of Life Saving Things Conference in Santa Clara, California was an opportunity for public safety officials, emergency planning experts, and vendors to discuss how technology and safety operations intersect to save lives. On May 14, 2018 panelists discussed a range of topics including technology used in life-saving devices, data privacy concerns, obstacles associated with disaster relief, and developments in artificial intelligence. For NHMC, it was an opportunity to discuss Lifeline and the ongoing need for aid in Puerto Rico.

Francella Ochillo, NHMC’s Director, Government & Legal Affairs, made a presentation on ways to use the Federal Communications Commission and elected officials as resources in emergency planning. She explained the importance of Lifeline, citing examples of how it has been used in emergency relief efforts. Using the devastation in Puerto Rico as both a case study on ways to improve and cautionary tale for what happens if there is no emergency telecommunications plan, Francella encouraged attendees to find ways to forge public and private partnerships in emergency planning before a disaster strikes.

The other three panelists included Michael Marusich (State of Washington Technology Solutions), Corey Reynolds (Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative), and Stephanie Hayden (SmartOakland.org). Bill Schrier (FirstNet) served as the moderator.

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