The city of Houston, TX has found a unique solution to the frightening disconnection that familes often suffer during disasters. Rather than relying on hand-written signs, word of mouth or spotty cellphone coverage, families, hospitals, evacuation centers and emergency officals can now utilyze barcode bracelets to help locate and track families separated in the chaos of an emergency.
If only FEMA (a division of the Dept. of Homeland Security, doncha know) had this kind of acumen. During oh, say, Hurricane Katrina.