Emergency response practices continue to improve with new technology to meet the needs of emergency managers. Emergency response is quicker and safer, thanks to new technology created specifically for assisting during natural disasters as well as through discovering innovative ways to leverage existing technology for the task.
Surveying Damage with Drones
While often thought of as a fun toy, drones can be an effective tool to use for emergency response. These unmanned vehicles can fly over disaster areas and survey the damage in a much more cost-effective way than using a helicopter. With a mounted camera attached, drones can shoot footage of natural disaster areas and provide important real-time information to emergency managers.
Alert systems get crucial messages out before, during and after an emergency. Many organizations such as government and educational institutions use alert systems to send real-time alerts to their audiences of residents, students, staff, etc. Messages can be sent via multiple channels, including phone, email, social media and text. A leading alert system, Swift911™, combines industry-leading emergency alerting and incident management tools, creating a robust and powerful communication solution for your organization. Users can send thousands of critical alerts quickly and reliably.
Geographic information system (GIS) technology is able to layer many types of data — like population, landscape, vegetation and flood plains — over a map in order to better analyze potential and real-time emergency situations. GIS technology can be used to create models and simulations which help emergency managers plan ahead. It also can be used during an emergency to send highly targeted alerts.
Social media has emerged as a valuable tool for emergency response. The extensive reach of social media platforms allows emergency management to spread critical information quickly. It offers two-way communication and serves as an effective tool for alerting everyone of the safety of those affected by a disaster.
Virtual reality can simulate natural disasters and other emergency situations. This advanced technology brings real-world experiences to disaster response training. Experiencing these simulations provides key learning opportunities for emergency response managers.