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Old Jan 15, 2010, 11:07 AM   #11
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To be sure ...

It also occurred to me that automobile chargers wouldn't be much use since there aren't a lot of automobiles, and probably not a lot of gas stations are working anyway.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 11:45 AM   #12
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I think we take a lot of that kind of thing for granted (at least here in the U.S.). But, I do try to keep some basic supplies on hand, just in case of some kind of disaster in my area. For example, I've got the radio gear I mentioned in a previous post, some gravity fed water filters (including a British Berkfeld "Big Berkey" with spare Ceramic Filters), Long storage life Mountain House brand Nitrogen Packed Freeze Dried Food in #10 Cans, basic first aid supplies, etc. Perhaps that's being overly cautious, but from my perspective, you never know when something like that could happen here (and it could take a while to restore infrastructure if it did).
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 12:45 PM   #13
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Good discussion so far........

I had a friend who was on a USAR team and did photos work for USAR and FEMA till the end of Hurricane Katrina -- he retired 2 months after the landfall date. He was always well taken care of and they had gas and generators etc but he said most of the press guys would shot and then realize they had no more memory and no more battery life. One story he told me was about t a guy from Houston paper that was in the football stadium where the roof gave in, he was shooting all these human interest shots and suddenly the roof started to give 10 shots later his battery gave out. Needless to say he didn't pace himself and wasn't prepeared. The USAR guy was using a laptop with Satalight modem the last two years he was working.

Also think about this... you may be able to buy a spare battery for the camera if a story like Best Buy etc stays open but can you/will you be able to charge it..........

His gear was always a backpack for carrying stuff.... Cannon5D with three lenses, 4 spare batteries, P&S waterproof with video capture and 4 batteries, a dozen memory cards for each camera [3 seperate memory wallets to hold them], a 60GB wolverine first generation hard disc memory storage device.

As for emergency Supplies don't forget toilet paper in the mix and a hand crank can opener. Most people I know has canned food but can't open it......

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Old Jan 15, 2010, 12:54 PM   #14
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A friend of mine who also retired from FEMA recently, said to have plenty of cash. ATMs don't work and you can't buy something with a credit card when there's no electricity.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 3:30 PM   #15
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An interesting discussion so far.

My 2 cents - I think there are three areas of concern - 1. survival (i.e., the can opener/swiss army knife all-in-one tool, water, food etc.); 2. picture taking capabilities (camera power and a solar battery charger makes the most sense to me, unless you have access to a generator and lots of fuel or some re-supply capability, not sure you can hand-crank a manual generator long enough to charge a battery); and 3. communications if you are a reporter or rescue worker.

If you are reporting from somewhere like Haiti, whether you are a reporter or a relief worker, you have to get your message out, so I put communications up with as much importance as the battery charger. In the case of an earthquake, the infrastructure can be destroyed - telephone lines go down with the power lines, and cell site antennas are usually mounted on buildings, now crumpled in a heap or on towers (like fake trees). And most likely there's no power for the telephone switches anyway. So having some type of independent communications capabilities is as important to those trying to get out the story as it is to take the pictures.

Haiti might actually be grateful for having the main access being a dirt road. At least they don't have to worry about collapsed highway bridges causing disruption. A 4WD vehicle might be able to get through there where it would be stopped by that collapsed bridge in an urban area, with no way around the rubble.

And another thing to think about when someone is trying to get the story out - what do they use for transportation? A car is no problem, until you run out of gas and can't refill your tank because there's no power to run the gas pumps. That's one of the reasons why I never park the cars at home without a half a tank of gas - I live in a "high hazard" area and while there might be a road open, there's no guarantee that any of my (relatively) local gas stations would have power to pump in an emergency. But that's a whole different topic!
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 3:45 PM   #16
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With the cell phone, they can deploy mobile cows with antenna mast. And all they need is a line of sight to somewhere that has t1/e1 circuits working and they set up a microwave shot. The Cow is run off diesel gens.

Actually cell towers do a bit better in quakes, as they are more flexable and do not bear as much weight. So if the the tower is intact. All they need to do is deploy a gen to get power back up. And if the backhaul is still good, comms will be one of the first things to come back.

As a matter of fact, the cell phone companies of T-mobile and ATT are deploying all their Cows to haiti as we speak to get comms back up in the country. They are also deploy teams to help set up the equipment they are volunteering to the relief effort.

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Old Jan 15, 2010, 3:54 PM   #17
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Thanks, shoturtle.

For more info on COWs, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_On_Wheels
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:04 PM   #18
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wiki is good, but they have cow's even smaller then the ones picture. As new BTS's and Nodes B's have gotten smaller. No longer need to be in a enclose trailer, thus saving on weigh and size for more rapid deployment.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:21 PM   #19
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I saw COWs all over Washington in preparation for Inauguration Day.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
My instinct in these cases has always been to put the camera away and try to help, but if I were trying to make a living from the photos, I would have a hand-crank generator along. These can be used to charge camera, phone and laptop batteries. Takes a while, though.

brian
As a person that have worked multiple disasters recovery site around the world. You are dead right, we were way to busy to take any photos. All we had time to do is work, eat, and 2 of the 3 S's. But allot of the time the press could not get into these area with their gear, because all our power were use for the recovery. And the press was out of luck.
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