On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, an EF5 tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma. With peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour (340 kilometers per hour), the tornado caused catastrophic destruction, took the lives of 25 people, and injured 377 more. Houses were flattened in a large swath of the city, and entire subdivisions were obliterated. The affected areas were left without any means of communications for the residents as well as for disaster relief agencies and first response teams.
Disaster Tech Lab assembled rotating teams of IT and telecommunications engineers who carried out damage assessments, signal and service surveys, and established internet access and IP-based communication services for other responding organizations, disaster response centers, and the local population. The teams used a mix of Wi-Fi networks, VSAT capabilities, and solar power to build ad-hoc resilient networks.
Thanks to the generosity of JetBlue and AIRLINK, Disaster Tech Lab was able to send their program leader to direct telecommunications response efforts in Moore, OK and the surrounding areas.
- Completed a full Wi-Fi and cellular survey for the Moore, OK area.
- 2 Team Rubicon command centers provided with internet access
- 10 laptops supplied to Highland Baptist Church in Moore to create an internet café with a Wi-Fi network, providing hundreds of residents and relief workers with much-needed internet access.
- 4 laptops supplied for to create an internet café for the Steelman Estates, a 60-family mobile home estate in Little Axe that had been completely obliterated.