Then the evacuees started to arrive in Baton Rouge. One woman desperately begged for my phone. Her husband was injured during the storm and they were plucked off their roof by separate helicopters. She didn't know where he was. She didn't know if he was alive. Since that time, everyday technology has made numerous and significant advances to keep people safe and families connected.
Over the past year, as the global technology director or the American Red Cross, I have spent some time with residents of three settlements in Nairobi to better understand the fire risk and help find innovative solutions to this overwhelming problem. When fires occur, residents shout, ring bells, honk horns, crank sirens and use social media to alert others. Some residents risk their lives to suppress the fire using blankets and buckets, others douse their unaffected homes with water and sand or knock them down to stop the spread.
By the time I was in my early twenties my purse was filled with paraphernalia for chapped lips, chapped hands, unruly fingernails, allergies, parking lot thugs, cuts and bruises, bad hair, bad weather, bad breath and bad karma. When I became a mother, my purse ballooned to the size of Mont Blanc. It took awhile to realize that I was lugging around not just a lot of useless stuff; I was lugging around the what-if-you-never-know culture and anxiety of Preparedness.