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Communication between first responders is vital to the success of large scale disaster management. But communication technologies used by first responders today do not scale well due to heterogeneity, point-to-point connections, and centralized communication structures. As the popularity of devices equipped with Wi-Fi grows, the number of Access Points (APs) in city centers increases as well. This communication infrastructure exists and should be used in city wide disasters as it is readily available in areas with high population density. In this paper, the authors investigate Wi-Fi access points in 5 major cities deployed in stores, bars, and restaurants. They want to answer the question if these APs can be used as a mesh networking backbone in disaster response.
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