2019 Disaster Response System Trends
TECH TRENDS: DISASTER RESPONSE SYSTEMS
It’s National Preparedness Month, and we are exploring ways technology is changing the landscape of disaster response for public safety agencies. Like many people and businesses across the east coast, our Florida office closely monitored the path of Hurricane Dorian last week through multiple channels including web sites, social media and weather apps. We also received multiple official government alerts through several mass notification systems including SMS and social media.
The week before the storm was expected to hit, Kissimmee launched a new location-based emergency notification system that allows officials to provide tailored alerts through cell phones. As natural disasters increase, mass notification systems are growing more robust and capable of targeted, multi-platform communication. Two-way communication, allowing for a conversation between officials and citizens, is becoming an expected feature of newer system rollouts.
Governments now must deal with the vast amount of communication coming into official channels from people trying to verify information or get assistance. International Policy Digest discusses the ways state and local officials have recently been overwhelmed trying to manually monitor online discussions during disasters. We expect to see online monitoring services and associated AI become a priority over the next year as a key part of pre- and post- disaster response plans. Information technology will continue to play a larger and larger role in disaster mediation, response and clean-up.