On 24-25 September 2010, the Immersive Visualization Center (VizCenter), San Diego State University, California, hosted a virtual humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) event called “Exercise X24”. X24 involved over 12,500 people from 79 nations and 90 U.S. government, non-government organizations, and public/private partners in a collaborative environment using crowdsourcing, social media, and cloud computing applications. This was the first time a collaborative HADR exercise of this scale occurred online and integrated into real events. This week, US European Command (EUCOM) is hosting X24 Europe.
The X24 Europe scenario includes a simulated seismic event that generates a tsunami in the Adriatic and damage to key resources and critical infrastructure in the Balkans. The focus of X24 Europe is to display how one can leverage “no cost” off-the-shelf online tools to gather, coordinate, and provide assistance to help thousands of victims and help save lives. Participants in this exercise include, USAG Stuttgart (IMCOM), US Army Public Health Command and the U.S. Naval War College.
The challenges for those participating include: developing an effective damage-risk-needs assessment, delivering aid to displaced populations requiring survival infrastructures, and facilitating evacuations that will be hindered by the terrain, damage to sea port facilities, damage to roadways and bridges, loss of bulk power, inconsistent to non-existent bandwidth, pre-existing social, economic, and political challenges in the region.
Visit the InRelief website to learn more about the X24 Europe senario and how you or your organization can participate.