Manager, Emergency Telecoms, & Disaster Response Capability, New Zealand Red Cross
Matthew was an officer in the Royal Navy. He moved to New Zealand where he ran field communications for the Department of Conservation, and studied communication theory and obtained his Masters’ Degree from Victoria University in Wellington.
Matthew was recruited by New Zealand Red Cross to solve the communications problems of Red Cross societies in the South Pacific. Currently Matthew is working on a project to use satellite text and smartphones for disaster response.
Matthew is the manager of the NZRC IT & Telecoms Emergency Response Unit – a group of volunteers that brings expertise and hardware to provide IT&T support in response to major disasters.
Emergency Communications Workshop: Reimagining Emergency Telecoms (Second Session)
Sunday, 17 January 2016
Following a disaster it must be assumed that the infrastructure we take for granted will cease to be available, due to physical damage, lack of power, or simple overuse. Without infrastructure we cannot use Cellphones nor can we recharge cellphone batteries. The previous sentence is not 100% true, emergency power can be sourced with a tiny investment in hardware, and alternative means of communication, ad hoc networks, can be established using smartphones and freely available “store and forward” data applications. Currently available commercial off the shelf hardware enables these ad hoc networks to link with distant conventional networks and communicate with the wider world. In the near future hardware, currently in prototype, will permit the joining of these ad hoc networks into a wider area mesh.