jfourier writes "In this age of cheap commoditized consumer electronics and advanced mobile technology, why can't all the people of a city make contact during an emergency? Cell phone circuits filled up during 9/11 attacks and in the wake of hurricane Katrina very few victims can make contact with their families, despite the fact that they have all those mobile phones. The Red Cross is looking to deploy satellite equipment to restore communications in affected areas." From the article: "Katrina made landfall in Louisiana early this morning with sustained winds of 145 mph, but veered just enough to the east to spare New Orleans a direct blow. Even so, flooding, power outages and heavy damage to structures were reported throughout the region. The Red Cross tomorrow expects to begin deploying a host of systems it will need, including satellite telephones, portable satellite dishes, specially equipped communications trucks, high- and low-band radio systems, and generator-powered wireless computer networks, said Jason Wiltrout, a Red Cross network engineer. "