Redundancy is a four-letter word in most settings, but when it comes to emergency management and disaster relief, redundant systems reduce risk and saves lives. Tropical Storm Harvey caused at least 148,000 outages for internet, tv and phone customers, making it impossible for people to communicate over social media and text. In this blog post, we explore innovative ways smart cities can leverage big data and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to MacGyver effective solutions when go-to channels breakdown.
Designer Samuel Cox created the flood beacon to share fast and accurate flood condition information. Most emergency management decisions are based on forecasts and person-to-person communications with first responders and people in danger. With the flood beacon, you can find out water levels, GPS coordinates and water movements in real-time. The beacon is designed to have low power requirements and use solar to stay charged up. Now, it will be up to the IoT innovators of the world to turn the flood beacon into a complete solution that can broadcast emergency center locations and restore connectivity to impacted areas.
The Health Integrated Rescue Operations (HiRO) Project has developed a first responder drone that can drop medical kits, emergency supplies and Google Glass for video conference communication. “EMS response drones can land in places that EMS ground vehicles either cannot get to or take too long to reach”, says Subbarao, a recognized expert in disaster and emergency medicine. “Immediate communications with the victims and reaching them rapidly with aid are both critical to improve outcomes.” – One of These Drones Could Save Your Life – Jan.12.2017 via NBC News.
Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
Emergency management agencies and disaster relief organizations have been using crowdsourcing and collaborative mapping tools to target impact areas but poor data quality and the lack of cross-agency coordination continue to challenge the system. Business intelligence platforms that provide access to alternative data sets and machine learning models can help government agencies and disaster relief organizations corroborate and collaborate. By introducing sentiment analysis, keyword search features and Geotags, organizations can quickly identify high-need areas. Furthermore, BI platforms with project management and inventory plug-ins can aggregate information and streamline deployment.
Smart emergency management systems must be flexible, redundant and evolve with our technology. At True Interaction, we believe that traditional private sector business intelligence tools and data science capabilities can help cross-agency collaboration, communication and coordination. Our core team of software developers is interested in teaming up with government agencies, disaster relief organizations and IoT developers to create better tools for disaster preparation and relief service delivery. Contact us here if you are interested in joining our resiliency tech partnership!