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Disaster in Gulf Further Illustrates the Need for Video in Disaster Response

June 19, 2010 - 0 Comments

Guest post by Kourtney Wooten, author for Break Down the Walls

At this point everyone is aware of the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico involving an oil leak that resulted when a BP oil rig exploded and sank. The resulting gusher of crude has escaped all attempts to plug it up, and although BP has been able to successfully start pumping some of the leaking oil to the surface, much is still making its way into the Gulf.

To make matters worse, the oil has started reaching beaches, with tar balls washing up on shore and threatening very sensitive wetland habitats and ecosystems across the Gulf Coast.

A disaster such as this oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico requires an extensive, coordinated and complicated response. Teams are working to plug the source of the crude and reduce or eliminate the amount spilling into the water. Additional workers are creating barriers to help protect sensitive ecosystems and mitigate the damage of oil that washes ashore. Even more individuals are involved in clean-up efforts, working to save animals, birds and beaches currently impacted by the oil in the water.

These involved and multi-tiered disaster response and recovery efforts need to be well coordinated and require communication and collaboration between those on the scene and leadership. This is where technologies like video teleconferencing (VTC) can help.

VTC technologies available on the scene can enable rescue, response and recovery personnel to communicate face-to-face, as if they were right next to each other. This ensures that all forms of communication, including verbal and nonverbal are received and the message comes through.

VTC can also allow those on the scene to provide instantaneous visuals and illustrate the extent of damage and impact of a disaster to policy makers and leadership elsewhere. This allows government and military leaders responsible for running rescue and recovery efforts to survey the scene and make decisions without being physically present. This saves time and ensures that decision makers are always informed with the most up-to-date and important information.

VTC can break down the walls between the individuals responsible for rescue, response and recovery in times of disaster and enable the collaboration needed to quickly rectify and remedy a situation. That’s a new way of responding.

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