Spotlight – Da Vinci Award Winners

Da Vinci Award
Significant and noteworthy service or product contribution, this medal is awarded to a Patron or contributor who has added significant value in support of Humanity Road programs. Through donations in kind or contributions they have helped mold shape and support the organization.  Award recipients of the Da Vinci Medal are chosen by the Humanity Road Board of Directors.  Because of a unique and innovative joint response, this year, for the first time, the Da Vinci Award is being presented to two organizations for their joint response in support of Humanity Road for Super Storm Sandy.  We are very pleased to announce both Disaster Tech Lab and ITDRC – as recipients of the 2013 Humanity Road Da Vinci Award.


Disaster Tech Labs (Evert Bopp) 
Humanity Road contacted Evert Bopp of Disaster Tech Labs in Ireland on Sunday afternoon November 4th. His team was on the ground in Rockaway on Monday afternoon.  Throughout the following weeks, Disaster Tech Labs provided site support for the installation of the signal to St. Francis De Sales Church and School.   But this is just a small part of their overall deployment.

The team provided signal assessment across the Rockaway Peninsula and also provided crowd sourced information on availability of communications in the area. Disaster Tech Labs worked closely with ITDRC during the deployment of communications services and equipment in Rockaway.

ITDRC (Joe Hillis)
The Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) was founded in 2009 to provide communities with the necessary resources to protect and recover their technology infrastructure from disaster. For Super Storm Sandy, their deployment activities in New York included locations in Coney Island, Staten Island, Red Hook(Brooklyn), Point Breeze, Breezy Point, and the Rockaway peninsula.
Twenty Six (26) ITDRC technology volunteers, augmented by a host of strategic partners and nearly a thousand local tech volunteers mobilized to provide temporary communications, resources, and technology assistance to communities, NGOs, and small businesses. Technology teams installed computers, networks, WiFi infrastructure, and Internet based telephones in fire stations along the Rockaway peninsula, and in community Disaster Response Centers (DRC) throughout the region. ITDRC strategic partner ViaSat donated and installed satellite Internet connections for many of the sites, providing critical communications in the absence of commercial public networks.

The ITDRC team was highly responsive in providing the equipment and signal needed to facilitate the ability for the local community to communicate online and through VOIP technology. Joe Hillis also represents ITDRC as a member of the FEMA Innovation team.