By Matt Boyle, Logistics Chief DR-4080
New mobile technology tools were issued on a large-scale for disaster reservists during FEMA’s response to Hurricane Isaac. FEMA reservists were assigned one government-issued laptop computer, smartphone, and “log-in token” to enable a wireless connection to the FEMA network. Reservists will retain this equipment after demobilization in order to maintain access to ongoing official agency communications following a disaster.
Matt Boyle, Logistics Section chief, and his team located at FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Baton Rouge, La., anticipated a need to familiarize reservists with the new technology and completed the monumental task of issuing, training and connecting 1,250 reservists with laptops, smartphones, and log-in tokens in one week. The Baton Rouge Logistics team was essential to implementing the new approach, which allows for a much quicker “start-up connection phase,” after reservists are called into action and must quickly establish wireless connections to the FEMA network to access critical agency communications.
Boyle and his team will continue one-on-one outreach efforts to help strengthen reservists’ technology proficiency which will allow them to hit the ground running on their next mission.