Who we are
We use advanced technology to support our community during emergencies.
Technology is a critical part of our daily lives. When an emergency happens, our basic human need to communicate and share information takes on greater importance. The TechOps team exists to ensure that Bainbridge Island emergency responders can safely communicate and collaborate with local, State, and Federal officials, and that members of our community can connect with their loved ones and the digital resources that matter to them.
What we do
We research, acquire and deploy advanced connectivity and other innovative technologies to support the community during disasters, crises, and special events. We do this in collaboration with the other teams of Bainbridge Prepares, such as BEARS, and our city’s government and public safety partners.
Members of our team have collectively responded to more than 50 major disasters in the United States and around the world. With these real-world experiences in mind, these are the values that inform how we design and deploy technology solutions for the Bainbridge Island community:
- We Put Users First: We want volunteers and BI community members to have as easy an experience as possible deploying and using our technologies. This means we design systems for user friendliness, and to provide familiar experiences that people can feel comfortable with using even when they are under stress due to an emergency situation.
- Trust, Security and Privacy: We know that in the midst of a crisis, the Internet will be a critical lifeline between Bainbridge Island and the rest of the world. We design our solutions to maintain system availability and protect end users from cyberthreats such as viruses, ransomware and other digital hazards that could put people at risk of harm. We intentionally focus on user privacy and only collect the absolute minimum of data necessary to provision, operate and protect our systems.
- Equity and Justice: It’s easy to assume that everyone in our community is equally digitally literate and comfortable using technology. But that’s never quite the case. In a crisis, the “digital divide” can complicate who gets access to information and the ability to communicate. It can lead to unequal responses and delayed recovery from a disaster.We owe it to our community to ensure that everyone realizes the benefit of technology during a crisis. We design our technology systems keeping in mind especially vulnerable people in our community. We consider how gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities, age, socioeconomic status and other human factors can shape how people experience and use technology in an emergency. We welcome feedback from the public to inform our strategies and designs.
- Sustainability: As technology continues to change and evolve, our solutions will need to do so as well. That means we must be thoughtful and forward-thinking with how we spend the donated dollar. We design solutions that are cost-effective and supportible for the long haul.Sustainability is also considered in our environmental impact. Our solutions are designed to be power-efficient, minimizing the need for fossil fuels that may be difficult to acquire after a major disaster. Instead, we develop sustainable power capacities that minimize our logistics needs, and are good for the environment, too!
- Satellite Internet Service – We deploy the SpaceX Starlink advanced satellite communications system to provide resilient, high-speed internet when terrestrial internet and cellular service may be overwhelmed or disrupted by a disaster.
- Mesh Wifi Networks – We deploy state-of-the-art wifi networks to securely support Hub locations, special events, continuity-of-government, and public safety. We actively manage the quality-of-service to ensure as many people as possible can have access to the Internet during a disaster.
- Cloud-based software – We acquire software and services to provide data analytics and other back-office software needs for Bainbridge Prepares
- Privacy and Security – We ensure strong privacy and security capabilities are integrated into all of our solutions. This includes anti-malware protection, strong authentication, firewalls, encryption, and cloud-based intrusion prevention. We value the privacy of our users, and intentionally minimize data collection, keeping it only for as long as necessary.
- Sustainable Power – We assume the power grid of Bainbridge Island may be disabled by a significant emergency, and that diesel or gasoline may be hard to source immediately afterward. So we purchase equipment that is extremely power efficient, and design solar power kits that can easily sustain our operations for the duration of an extended emergency. Designing our compute and power systems together provides both a logistical and an environmental benefit.
Drones (UAV/UAS) – We intend to operate an all-weather drone response program under FAA Part 107 in the near future. This would give responders on Bainbridge Island the ability to get an real-time view during wildfires, support Search and Rescue (SAR) responses both on land and over water, and support other missions, such as hazardous materials (HazMat) or pollution spill response.
Even though our team is brand new, we’ve already been busy supporting our community!
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics: Our team provided Google Chromebooks, wifi networks, and advanced cybersecurity protection for the Bainbridge Island community COVID-19 vaccination clinics. We acquired a number of software solutions that enabled Bainbridge Prepares to manage clinic supplies, ensure adequate staffing, and schedule members of the public for their shots.
As of October 2022, more than 36,000 adults and children from Bainbridge Island and surrounding communities in Kitsap County have gotten vaccinated at these clinics! You can see more about these clinics in this video from the Bainbridge Community Foundation.
Cascadia Rising 2022: In June 2022, the City of Bainbridge Island and Bainbridge Prepares participated in Cascadia Rising, a four-day exercise that simulated a major earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest. During the exercise, our team provided advanced satellite internet using SpaceX Starlink to the city Emergency Operations Center and to a Hub location. This provided high quality voice, high-definition video and data communications to city leaders, emergency responders, and dozens of simulated disaster victims simultaneously. This was all done while being powered by off-grid solar power even as the sky remained decidedly overcast. You can see our Starlink demo in minute six of this video about the exercise.
Day of Preparedness: We demonstrated many of our technology solutions during the City of Bainbridge Island Day Of Preparedness fair. Members of the public and local elected leaders were able to and ask questions of our team about technology resiliency both for our community and their own families. Our displays included solar power, satellite communications, voice-over-IP telephones, cybersecurity and drones.
If you’re a techie on the island with a passion for community resiliency and public safety, or would like to know more about what we do, reach out to us (techops @ bainbridgeprepares .org).