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After a major storm or disaster, Internet and phone connectivity are often knocked out -- leaving survivors and emergency-response teams with few ways to communicate. Now, the government is assembling a team of tech titans that will help train volunteers to set up temporary communications and other systems post-disaster.
Seven technology organizations -- Cisco, Google, Humanity Road, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, Intel, Joint Communications Task Force and Microsoft -- have joined the program, called Tech Corps, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced this week. The tech blog Engadget first reported the news.
Tech Corps focuses on training skilled volunteers to set up or fix technology systems that could help with emergency response and recovery efforts. They could install a temporary cell phone network, for example, or provide analysis on disaster-related data.
Partners of the program, which launched in 2013, have already provided telecommunications support during Hurricane Sandy and the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti, FEMA noted in a statement. Tech Corps partners work with governmental emergency managers to help fill the critical technology gaps after an incident.