Volunteer groups have started urging local public emergency crews to upgrade their communications systems so they are faster, more reliable and more secure.
They see an upgraded Internet and speedier wireless connections as key to local emergency communications when a Katrina-sized disaster – such as a flood or earthquake -- strikes.
An available Internet upgrade, called IPv6, offers much more room for Internet addresses than the current format. It also encrypts all transmissions it carries making it more secure.
Federal agencies have already been mandated to make the upgrade by June 30, 2008.