Telecommuting to Support
Workers in Disasters
B. Hudnall Stamm and Amy C. Hudnall
The technology that has become available in the past quarter century has profoundly changed the way the world operates. Typically, we think of a global economy with bank transfers of money, corporations shifting information, and governments working together to address both legal and governmental issues. In addition, we often think of telehealth linking hospitals together. What is not often considered is that this same technology emerged from battlefield applications and is still used to support wars (both fighting and recovery) and disasters. The level and types of technology used vary from location to location around the globe, reflecting both the local culture and the sophistication of the warring parties, or of the governments that respond to a disaster.
In this chapter, we will discuss how we literally stumbled onto using relatively simple technology to support rescue and recovery efforts in conflict zones and disaster sites. Two of us have joined forces to write this chapter. B. Hudnall Stamm (BHS) brings to the chapter a pre-psychology career in search and rescue and a psychology career with interests in clinical and community research and service. Amy C. Hudnall (ACH) is a historian who shares an interest in using psychological knowledge to respond to and even prevent disasters and wars.
Combined, we have over 25 years’ experience responding to disasters (BHS, 15 years; ACH, 10 years). Over the past 15 years, we have provided