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RIM and Blackberry helped me to manage a disaster
For those of you who don't know the city of Thunder Bay (located in North Western Ontario, Canada) was declared as a state of emergency on Monday, May 28th. We had received record amounts of rainfall (up to 110 mm) and the flooding washed away roads and filled basements. The worst part was that the water caused the sewage plant to fail and flooded the building. Normally it would deal with 65-80 mega Litres but it was forced to deal with 700 as of 2 am. The flooded plant caused sewage to fill people's homes and caused wide spread damage.
A facebook page was started and it eventually got to the point where volunteers were running a command center out of the basement of a church. To try and keep everything running smoothly we used facebook to coordinate. A friend and I were the ones running the site and keeping people updated. Much of the time I spent doing this was on my Bold 9790 or my playbook. My friend also has a 9860 which he used to keep in touch with people. We organized pumps to get people's basements dry, we got heaters for when the temperature went down to 0 and people's gas was still turned off. We were able to pass on the message to news, friends and the facebook page which got close to 6,000 people.
While I will not take really much credit because there are so many more people who helped to make it run. My blackberry bold and playbook were there to help me through this, help me make it work and get the help to the people. Greatly appreciated RIM, thanks for making a great product which is so socially integrated.
On a side note, it would be great for bugs with PB facebook to be fixed and group support added to the mobile FB. Other then that it was great! BB people "do"
- 06-03-12, 11:06 PM #2
Its good to hear stories like this, regardless of which devices are used... just the fact that you got the help and support you needed is great to hear.
We also had a similar thing like this in toronto yesterday with the shooting at eatons center in which many of the people on the scene first alerted media and authorities via twitter and cell phone calls. If this had happened 10 years ago it may have taken a lot longer for first responders and there may be a lot more people injured or dead.
I wont give credit to any single device, because that isnt the point, the point is that technology in general can help save lives... and that is great to hear.
- 06-03-12, 11:59 PM #4
Good to hear you survived the Flood of 2012.
As I read your headline the first thing that popped into my head was I thought "RIM and Blackberry created a disaster." I am just kidding.
- 06-04-12, 11:48 AM #6
While I'm glad that you were able to communicate to help manage this disaster, I'm not sure why RIM is being thanked specifically. The devices mentioned wouldn't have worked at all if the carrier they connected to wasn't in service--so I'd say more thanks goes toward whatever service provider was able to maintain coverage during this emergency. As long as the network is up, then any smartphone would work -- not just one made by RIM.
This emergency seems relatively minor, you should think about how you might communicate if all carrier networks in the area were not in operation. That Playbook would be good for little more than a game of Angry Birds -- as would any unconnected device.
- 06-05-12, 07:58 AM #9
Cool story. We had a similar disaster in RI two years ago, and then again last year when a hurricane left us without power for a week. I'd charge my BB and PB at work, and then practically live on them for information and communication when I got home. Wife wasn't so lucky, as her iPhone seldom had a good enough signal to be able to do anything without WiFi. So yeah, I gave my BB very high marks for reliability when I needed it most.