A couple weeks after Hurricane Sandy, most households in the northeast finally had power again. Although power was up, Internet access was still sparse in many areas.
This is where a team of special individuals came to the rescue. Joe and Debbie Hillis drove 1,600 miles from Saginaw, Texas with their mobile technology center to provide communication capabilities to the victims. In 2008, they created the Information Technology Disaster Recovery Center (ITDRC), a non-profit dedicated to helping set up communication in areas struck with disaster. They have helped in over 18 disasters so far!
The mobile tech center vehicle has radios, 30 workstations, mobile server rack, printers, over a hundred routers, thousands of feet of cables, computer repair parts, switches, and hard drives.
“Every time we get to a disaster we find something we don’t have,” says Joe, “that goes into our ‘lesson learned.’ “
They drove house to house helping individuals get access. The two also teamed up with a group of hackers who helped create a wireless mesh network so neighborhoods could connect to the internet for free. The hacker team consisted of
Bryce Lynch (The Doctor), Ben Mendis (Ben The Pirate) and Chris Koepke (Haxwithaxe), all members of a group called Project Byzantium. The project was created to quickly provide Internet access to areas in need.
“Once you do it you’re addicted,” says Debbie Hillis. “Helping people, there’s nothing like it.”
Peace & Love,
The Good World News