“With IoT technology, we can enhance our disaster management response. IoT can transform the existing disaster management techniques and preparations for emergencies as well as help us to reduce the impact of natural disasters.”
The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is helping various departments and industries in enhancing their efficiency, productivity, and decision-making process. Disaster management is one such area where IoT can help with streamlining our disaster management efforts by enabling wide-scale interconnectivity and cooperation between various disaster management entities.
IoT can’t stop disasters from happening because these calamities occur due to natural phenomena, however, it can help in identifying life-threatening disasters, and alert authorities, and citizens at an early stage. It can help in saving affected people, resources, and money.
Many countries have shown their interest in IoT technology to transform their disaster management techniques and preparations for emergencies. Applying IoT in disaster management can bring impactful changes in our ways of dealing with natural disasters. It can help us to reduce the impact and improve our evacuation and recovery more efficiently.
Through the help of IoT technology, we can enhance our disaster management response, which results in positive outcomes.
What is IoT technology?
The Internet of Things, IoT, is a set of network standards, gateways, sensors, and smart devices communicating and sharing data over the Internet. In simple words, IoT (Internet of Things) refers to a device embedded with sensors, controllers, or software connected through the internet. It can remotely communicate with other devices that support IoT technology.
IoT- devices deal with the cloud data that is already surfing on the internet, it can create an ecosystem with other IoT-supported devices. Some common examples of IoT devices are Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Smart Locks, Google Nest, Amazon Echo, Smoke Alarms, Smart TVs, etc.
IoT in Disaster Management: Applications
There are five ways to implement IoT for disaster management
1. Real-time data collection and analysis
2. Monitoring/maintenance of Infrastructures
3. Search and rescue process
4. Communication and cooperations
5. Preparation and response
1. Real-time data collection and analysis: IoT can be used to collect and analyze real-time data from various sources. Sensors and other IoT devices, responders can gather and analyze real-time data from the environmental conditions. Such as a change in temperature, humidity in the environment, also the location and moments of the people and vehicles in the surroundings. This data can provide critical insight from the environment, and help responders in decision-making to deploy sources according to the environmental condition.
2. Monitoring/maintenance of Infrastructures: Some infrastructures can be vulnerable in emergencies such as Dams, Bridges, multi-story buildings, etc. These infrastructures need more security because they contain lots of resources and populations. The sensors and IoT devices monitor infrastructures in real-time. Responders can detect any vulnerability before it leads to some loss of resources in the long term.
3. Search and Rescue Process: IoT can play a vital role in searching and rescuing operations during a disaster. If we use IoT devices and sensors, it becomes an easy thing to find the locations of the vulnerable in affected areas. Then responders ask about the current location of IoT devices to quickly locate them and inform the rescue team to take action. IoT devices like smartwatches and drones can help in such critical situations.
4. Communication and Cooperation: By using IoT-enabled devices and technologies like smartphones, tablets, and CCTV cameras. Emergency responders can share this real-time data to the higher authorities enabling faster and more effective responses. For example, a CCTV camera in an affected area to monitor and share information about the location and the status of that location.
5. Preparation and Response: IoT can improve the overall procedure of preparation and response to disaster. IoT devices and technology such as smart homes/smart cities, can enable a faster and more effective response. For example, Using a Smart home technology where the sensors and cameras are used to monitor environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. If a house catches fire, the sensor immediately calls the fire department for an urgent response.
IoT has the potential to play a critical role in disasters or emergencies. Governments can use IoT in disaster management to plan better and minimize the impact of the disaster. While the use of IoT devices in disaster management is still in the early stages, it has shown promising outcomes in improving response time and reducing the damage it causes.
IoT in Disaster Management: Challenges
IoT(Internet Of Things) has promising capabilities in disaster management that can be helpful in emergencies, but it also has several challenges that need to be addressed.
1. In large-scale disasters, implementing and managing such a massive number of IoT devices can be a complex task to handle.
2. IoT devices generate a vast number of data during an emergency. Managing, researching, and making decisions can be a difficult task.
3. The security of IoT devices is susceptible to cyberattacks. Devices compromise their data in a cyberattack resulting in the conditions of data loss and software malfunction which further severe consequences during an emergency.
4. IoT devices from different manufacturers may use some other protocols for communications. That can be challenging to build an ecosystem between two differently manufactured devices.
Frequently Asked Question
Q1. What is IoT in Disaster Management?
It refers to the integration of connected IoT devices, sensors, data analytics, and intercommunication technology to enhance the preparation, response, and recovery from natural or man-made disasters. It is efficient in real-time data collection to improve the decision-making process.
Q2.What are the advantages of using IoT in disaster management?
IoT can help the Government, and authorities take an early approach by predicting emergencies.
1. Using a sensor in various locations where disaster can cause much destruction. It can be a helping hand for authorities to take some early actions.
2. It can save wildlife creatures and endangered species from wildfires. Helping the authorities can detect the wildfire possibility. It gives enough time to create an ecosystem and relocate the flora and fauna.
3. The Government can easily evacuate the area before the impact of a disaster and can minimize its impact.
Q3. Any disadvantages of using IoT in disaster management?
IoT is more efficient than other traditional systems but it is not flawless. It has some disadvantages to using IoT devices:
1. IoT devices are heavily dependent upon the internet. For now, they also need a continuous power supply to work properly. It can cause issues in emergencies.
2. Deployment and maintenance of IoT devices can be costly, especially in a region that has limited resources.