February 4, 1998 Special Presentation
by Mark Wood, author of
Disaster Communications
with the presentation featuring
Use of Internet Technologies for Communications


Transcript (Unedited text file)
Transcript ( MS Word File, edited for readability)
Slides: 1, 2, 3, 4

About Mark Wood
Disaster Relief Communications Foundation
Disaster Communications
(online book)


EIIP Virtual Library Online Presentation
Wednesday - February 4, 1998 - 12:00 Noon (EST)

Title of Book
Disaster Communications

Author - Mark Wood

EIIP Virtual Library Moderator - Amy Sebring
EIIP Virtual Forum Gatekeeper - Kevin Farrell

The EIIP Virtual Library hosted Mark Wood, author and communications expert, in a presentation based on his book, "Disaster Communications". Mark discussed today's technology with pros and cons of various communication means. He stressed that although there are technological advances that make communications possible in extreme disaster situations and remote field locations, cost and other factors limit utilization of the most sophisticated tools in most cases. However, his discussion was very positive and optimistic in that he also illustrated the most affordable means available today while projecting what the emergency management field can expect in the future. Mark's Virtual Library presentation was illustrated with slides accessible to the audience as he discussed communications from his book. Amy Sebring assisted Mark with the visual part of the session and served as Moderator for the Virtual Library.

The audience for Mark Wood's presentation totaled thirty-five. The topic was very stimulating as demonstrated by the number of questions and the number of people who stayed online for the first hour of the formal Virtual Library session and the second hour Virtual Forum Brown Bag session. . Fifteen people continued the discussion with Mark one-on-one in the second hour. Mark was praised by the audience for the honesty and direct manner of his presentation. Please see the edited transcript for the full dialogue.

Lessons Learned:
This was our second session since we limited the visual indication of Virtual Forum participants coming and going on the chat screen. Indeed, this is a tremendous improvement for anyone following the discussion. Through practice and individual efforts to overcome browser or other hardware/software problems, we are seeing and hearing of fewer access problems and frustration. As interest and participation increases, lessons learned by all can be shared to help others as they interact with the Virtual Forum.


Mark was educated at the Riversdale Merchant Navy College in Liverpool as a Marine Radio and Radar Officer. Then he went on to work for the BBC as a telecommunications and transmissions engineer in London. After working for two years as a teacher of micro- electronics, he worked for British Telecom in London as a network planner. In 1990 he worked as a mobile telephone systems base station technician. In 1993 he moved to the Ericsson Technical training centre in Stockholm, Sweden to lecture the GSM Global System for Mobilecommunications. In 1996 moved to the Ericsson technical education centre in Dallas Texas to lecture digital PCS.

In parallel with his 'real job', Mark has also worked as a volunteer disaster worker with the St. John ambulance brigade, as a medic and later assistant radio officer. Mark is now a Leader of the Dallas Red Cross disaster action team, and is a member of the United Nations Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications, WGET.

He has also written a book "Disaster Communications", and now writes and lectures on Disaster Telecommunications issues. The book has now been converted into a one day slide show lecture, the pilot has been successfully completed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Work is now in progress to convert it for distance learning also.

Mark Wood was born in England in 1958. He is married with three children.His hobbies are Amateur Radio Sailing and Flying.

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