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Disaster Management – In Depth Analysis & Role of IT technologies

04 Sep. 18
1.66 K VIEWS

On card with Despicable Disaster!

A disaster is any sudden serious calamity or disruption, which may be relatively short or may even last for months. Precisely, a disaster may be termed as an event which may occur anonymously at any time whose consequences are destructive and life-taking. In layman’s words, we can term disaster as a sudden unfortunate event which causes a great threat to everyone and anything.

What are the forms of disaster?

A disaster may include any natural or man-made calamity such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, tsunamis, droughts, floods, cyclones, landslides, wildfires, nuclear reactions, radiation blizzards etc. which have social and biological negative effects on our ecosystem.

How can the disasters be managed, if not avoided?

  • Through mitigation techniques which includes activity that reduces the chance of disaster or may reduce the disastrous effect of the unavoidable disasters.
  • Through proper planning and confirming how prepared are we for the disasters, to get adequate response and fast rescue service operations.
  • Checking any approaching threat.
  • Warning the people who are most likely to get affected.
  • How fast we respond to any disasters which take place and how precisely we take actions plans which can save lives and the damage to the properties.
  • Educating the people about disaster preparedness.
  • Collecting the food supplies, med care, and relief resources.
  • We should be ready for any damage which happens through disasters and how fast we recover from that. It is the most important phase after a disaster and we must know how should we recover from that and start everything again without many dilemmas to normalcy again.

Which areas are more disaster-prone and most suffered?

Those areas which lie near the sea shore are very much prone to calamities like floods and Tsunamis. Those areas which lie in the tropical and sub-tropical areas which have a low-pressure center, rain, and strong winds are more prone to hurricanes and cyclones. Those areas which lie along the continental plates and edge of oceanic plates are more prone to Tsunamis, hurricanes, flash-floods and water submerging. Nuclear and radiation accidents or incidents may occur due to poor judgment or wrong information in the areas which have nuclear reactors.

Mostly, disasters happen everywhere but the most suffered areas are usually those which are poor and socially impaired basically the under-developed and developing countries.

How can technology help in determining disaster?

Technology now have certainly advanced a lot and brought us new tools through which we can make urgent communications which are helping gracefully in emergency efforts and making the efforts more accessible and effective to all the public and private disaster management to carry out proper and agile med care to the victims and taking them back to the safe zone.

How does IT help in the case of disaster?

  • IT nowadays is being used in all the fields. During disasters IT is of great help in managing the hospitals, such as managing data, managing the occupied and vacant rooms, managing the doctors specified, the beds allocated to the victims, Electronic health records of the victims also helps within seconds which reduces human efforts and increases efficiency. During disasters, hospitals are the areas which are most vulnerable and have a critical infrastructure. This modern era of science and technology have certainly raised the bar and made the hospitals smarter and efficient during disasters. Hospitals are now upgraded with digital transformations all over.
  • There are many advanced Information Technology techniques such as GPS(Global Positioning System), remote sensing, GIS (Geographic Information System), satellite communication which is of great use if any calamity strikes out.
  • Internet is a great mean through which we can create social awareness and emergency events. There are many Internet sites which can be accessed during a disaster and the people can know how to overcome the catastrophe and mark themselves safe.
  • Remote Sensing and GIS can be used to swap out the data and give alerts and early warnings to plan for the strategies to regulate and collocate relief work.
  • The data from the satellite can be used for mapping earthquake, water body configuration and monitoring post-flood surveys and accessing the damage
  • There are many advanced forecasting systems which can be used to monitor and forecast, and predict any unknown disasters.
  • Through Seismological observations whose data can be used to predict earthquakes and warn people.

What can be done if the internet breaks out?

NDIS phone SMS system:

In India, Multilingual Disaster Alert System – National Disaster Information System (NDIS) has been developed first of its kind in the world which will transmit pre-warning of any disaster such as cyclones, Tsunamis, floods in the mobile phones in the form of SMS that too within only 30 seconds when a weather satellite or seismograph gives alert. The SMS created is of multi-language including the local languages which are spoken in the remote areas.

Satellite radios:

Satellite radios are those type of radios which use satellites to broadcast the news and reaches to the very remote locations which can’t be accessed by the normal radio channels.

Using IoT for communication during a disaster:

Low power IoT devices and sensors have the potentials to communicate using Bluetooth, BLE, WiMax, ZigBee which means they need not access the public internet for the connectivity and have the standard potential that they can connect with each other. There exists a possibility that these devices can form a network of their own and can form a great mean of functionality usually during those days of maximal hassle.

Example of disaster where Information Technology on Social Media Platforms turned out to be a game changer

We all are aware of the severe Kerala floods in India which took place in late August 2018 due to unusually high rainfall during monsoon season. It was one of the worst floods Kerala had ever seen. More than 450 people lost life and millions were left empty-handed as they were evacuated.

Google

Google pin-dropped out a list of numerous centers providing the rescue operations which included refugee centers, medicines, ambulances, food and water, volunteers, Jeep and Helicopter rescues, and other essential stuff among others. Google also released its Person Finder tool to search for missing people by filling in the necessary information about the person leveraging GPS and other location tracking solutions.

Location Tracking with Google Pin

Google also highlighted a feature of Plus Code to help the victims by sending 10 to 11 digit codes to volunteers. The code is actually their exact location which is digitized and is accurate up to a few meters and can work without internet connectivity. The user has to just zoom the map to maximum and it will automatically pin drop to their location helping the rescuers to find them.

Facebook

Facebook activated its safety feature check for Kerala which made the friends and family know that they were marked safe. Facebook also created a crisis response page the viewed the news and video content from public and media.

Paytm

Donation Buttons through Mobile Wallets

Paytm developed a Kerala flood donation button which was linked to CMDRF’s account through which people all over the globe using paytm can donate money to the government, volunteers, rescuers, and NGO’s to aid rescue operations. This is a way to do the fundraising activities leveraging mobile wallet app development.

NASA

NASA Finder was developed in 2015 to deal with victims of Nepal earthquake. NASA finder is a briefcase-size device which can detect human heartbeats below 20 feets of solid concrete and 30 feets of debris.

Mobile Service Providers:

Many mobile service providers provided the aid in the best way they can. They created a toll-free number where the rescuer or the volunteer have to type the victim’s phone number and they can know the last location accessed by the victim.

Whenever nature strikes, we have to suffer a lot. But with proper planning and integration, we can manage to change the adverse effects. IT has surely changed the way how we live. By having a proper knowledge of the technologies we can surely stand out safe and secure whenever a disaster strikes.

#ATributeToKerala
For the people to understand and pre-manage disaster if it hits again!
#BeSafe_Be happy!

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