I’ve been in Hong Kong for just over two months and I’ve already weathered quite a few storms. T3’s become T8’s and if you’re unlucky, they become T10’s like Typhoon Vicente, which hit us last month and with a force unknown since 1999. Last night, I lived through the latest typhoon. Whilst I realise that I’m known for stirring things up a bit, I don’t know whether to be flattered or not; the latest typhoon is named after me, Kai-tak (Helen). When a T8 is hoisted, the city can easily ‘close down’. There may be no public transport, schools close, the public is advised to stay indoors or at home and businesses remain firmly shut. When you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home, oblivious to the elements however, it all just seems like ‘a storm in a teacup’.
CSR and doing good is something I’m passionate about and let me assure you, that there’s a lot more good out there than you’d ever imagine. Whether it’s the work of individuals, small organisations or large multinationals, people are joining forces to make waves and improve life experiences. I’ve now been working at Cisco in Hong Kong for about 6 weeks and I’m starting to settle in. Yesterday, I had an inspiring conversation with our head of corporate affairs in Greater China, TC Hsi. TC shared what Cisco is doing around CSR and quite honestly I’m blown away. Besides all the Cisco volunteers doing great work in the community and the focus and determination of the corporate teams, I was pleasantly surprised to hear how Cisco is using its own technology to help disaster victims weather the storm.
When a major emergency such as an earthquake or hurricane strikes, response organizations require immediate communications support to save lives, establish relief operations and provide ongoing assistance in affected communities. Cisco’s Tactical Operations (TacOps) team can quickly deploy IP-based communications to support emergencies. This team comprises expert networking, radio communications, and systems engineers along with logistics and operations coordinators. Members of the team and the employee-volunteer Disaster Incident Response Team (DIRT) are trained in the U.S. National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) and they participate in large-scale exercises to validate technology solutions and train alongside other responders.
Our world is changing. Our climate is changing and many more natural disasters are forecast in the coming years than we’ve ever had before. This is a fact and no ‘storm in a teacup’. So, whilst I’m currently safe and well and settling in to a new home and a new job, it’s comforting to know that my new employer can help when it’s really necessary. Cisco, you make me proud!