Sample MetaScenario: A Category 5 hurricane on the scale of Hurricane Andrew is fast approaching southern Florida, forcing mass evacuations in preparation for landfall. Even as the state takes its normal actions, hospitals across Florida and surrounding states are reporting unusually high numbers of patients exhibiting symptoms of a fatal and fast-spreading illness of unknown origin. Compounding both of these issues is a large population of non-English speaking residents and large elderly and disabled community. Clearly, both the pending hurricane and the rapidly spreading illness are critical priorities. All hospitals are full or in the hurricane path. Forty percent or more of the first responders are, or soon will, exhibit signs of illness, further weakening the resources typically used to help and further taxing the system. As the hurricane makes landfall, 7 million people across Florida are in an evacuation zone. Over 190,000 people are dead from the mystery illness, which is now believed to be food-born and not contagious, but still the source is unknown. Another 265,000 are requiring immediate medical attention. Furthermore, transportation workers, utility workers, and other key response workers are among those impacted by the illness, and are unable to keep up with power outages and other infrastructure failures.
Communications: After reading the above scenario, tell us how you think the private sector could find new and innovative ways to restore the ability to communicate essential information among responders and survivors in the impacted area within the first 72 hours, assuming that typical communications – such as phone lines, cell towers, and satellites, are out of service, intermittent, or overwhelmed.
All of topics are designed to stimulate creative, out-of-the box thinking. We welcome your thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on all of the topics.