TIDES Supports Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts
Since 2007 NDU has coordinated a DoD research project called TIDES that focuses on open-source knowledge sharing to support the missions of humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), building partner nation capacity (BPC), stability operations and defense support of civil authorities (DSCA). TIDES provides knowledge on demand to decision-makers and those working in the field. It encourages innovation by tapping into a global network of distributed talent (called the STAR-TIDES network) and emphasizes shared situational awareness and information about eight infrastructures (Water, Power, Shelter, Information & Communication Technologies [ICT], Sanitation, Heating/Cooling, Lighting, and Integrated Cooking). STAR-TIDES strength is in its knowledge-sharing and reach-back support. It is neither an operations center nor a logistics hub but it does engage a wide range of non-traditional mission partners beyond the ".mil" domain such as NGOs, commercial firms and private volunteer organizations. It also taps private sector initiatives to achieve "quick wins at low cost"--deploying capabilities in months for small costs rather than decades for huge expenses.
In support of Typhoon Haiyan relief, TIDES is facilitating support in 4 broad areas: Equipment, Communications, Coordination, and Documentation/JPME. The STAR-TIDES website (www.star-tides.net) is continuously updating key papers, news, current imagery and reports on the typhoon and disaster response, under "TIDES Typhoon Haiyan Updates." We are working with USPACOM, USAID and others to facilitate delivery of capabilities to appropriate US and local authorities. In the equipment area examples include: facilitating coordination of USSOUTHCOM's offer to provide five water filtration systems to the Philippines, arranging shipment of three smaller DoD-developed kits with integrated water purification, hybrid power and communications, and linking commercial offers of renewable/hybrid power with potential users. In communications, TIDES is supporting the deployment of "hastily formed network" capabilities, telecoms assessment teams, and commercial offers to provide "drop-in," power-grid independent cellphone network systems for hard-hit areas as selected by those forward. Coordination is ongoing with OSD, the open-source Geospatial Information System (GIS) volunteer community, Japanese relief networks, and others. As the situation unfolds, we plan to compare lessons from Haiyan relief with those from the 2004 tsunami, Katrina, Haiti, Fukushima, Sandy and other disasters and fold them into NDU publications and JPME.