I’d like to point you all to a very important free and open source solution that, unfortunately, only gets really used when something goes really wrong. According to its website,
Sahana is a Free and Open Source Disaster Management system. It is a web based collaboration tool that addresses the common coordination problems during a disaster from finding missing people, managing aid, managing volunteers, tracking camps effectively between Government groups, the civil society (NGOs) and the victims themselves.
Wikipedia also has information about this important effort. Many people and organizations, including , have contributed to the development and deployment of Sahana.
At times we all get hung up with this license, or that standard, or that operating system or word processor, but we really need to think more widely about how the things we do in the IT industry can be used for the social good. Sahana is a great example and I urge you to go to their website and see if there is some way you can contribute or otherwise help out. Also, the more Sahana is deployed before it is needed, the more useful it will be to help after natural and other disasters.