Hurricane Gustav Comes to the Gulf, Invited or Not


1978 shipwreck
Originally uploaded by eschipul

As I type this, Hurricane Gustav is approaching
the coast of Louisiana, New Orleans has been evacuated, and Texas to
Alabama are on watch. It has not made land fall yet, but social media
mavens are supporting solutions ahead of time. Social context charges forward, Obama made history and McCain inexplicably chose Palin as a running mate. And Palin rumors are spreading.

But what started this blog? It was being incensed by the crappy response to Hurricane Katrina. And a simple blog post saying, in 2005, that we don’t have an "RSS for emergencies that is widely accepted." From my Emergency RSS post:

To that end I want to state that we need a simplified RSS type system
to track data in an emergency.  No one site can handle all emergency
response.  Even if it could it would create a single point of failure.
We need something as simple as RSS, call it emergency RSS or ERSS, to
handle the needs that arise in an emergency.

It’s pretty clear I was a newbie blogger. No outbound links, but the
thoughts still hold, and the need still has not been met. The post on Emergency RSS continues:

With Katrina, which hit in 2005, what I observed were numerous sites
heroically put up, only to go down once they were picked up by the
blogosphere and the media.  Go here for help … everyone does globally
including the curious from other countries …. Server dies.  Nobody gets
help.  Next site is suggested.  Repeat the process.
…..
I am not inventing anything here.  I am just screaming that we should have this in place for times of crisis already.

Since 2005 many many things in my life have gotten progressively better. But my original call to action for blogging is still unmet. And CAPS (Common Alerting Protocol)
is just too complex. If only Dave Winer lived in New Orleans, THEN we
would have a simple solution. Perhaps I am unfit for the task on this
one given it is now three years later.

In closing, thoughts, prayers and good wishes for the folks in the path of Gustav. Stay safe!

Note: That photo? It is a shipwreck blown ashore by a hurricane in 1978 in Dominica. The ship is still there. Not only have the lessons not been learned, but the ship remains on shore. Sad really.