Between 2005 and 2014, over 700,000 people died due to natural disasters. In 2017, the American Red Cross responded to over 240 disasters in the U.S. alone. This was a significant increase from the previous four years.
The rapid emergence and evolution of technological innovation has created new opportunities for sectors without access to technology, such as the non-profit community. One of these is the humanitarian sector, which is often the most vulnerable in society. With the help of technology, the Red Cross is able to provide aid to those in need in remote locations quickly and efficiently.
Through technology, the Red Cross has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of its humanitarian efforts by delivering aid faster and more effectively. It can also save lives by reducing the time needed to respond to emergencies.
Technology Goes Where People Cannot
UAVs (Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles), also known as drones, can potentially transform how humanitarian aid is delivered. They can help organizations map the terrain and assess damage in real-time. They can additionally provide them with high-resolution maps and deliver support more efficiently.
These small and lightweight drones are also more affordable than traditional aircraft. Due to their design, they can provide access to areas that are typically impossible to reach. In addition, they can carry infrared cameras and listening systems to help search, and rescue teams find survivors under the rubble.
Some specialized service companies now focus on developing robotics solutions for humanitarian needs. These companies identify organizations to incubate their ideas. In 2017, one such company partnered with multiple stakeholders to create high-resolution aerial maps of the country following the devastating floods.
The maps provided humanitarian organizations with a comprehensive view of the region’s infrastructure damage and the locations of stranded communities. They also helped the government monitor the water levels in the area. Through digital elevation models, the government could continuously monitor the changes in water levels.
In times of disaster, Internet connectivity is a vital component of aid that can help people get the information and resources they need to survive.
How Mobile Solutions and Digital Communities Can Help Expand Communication Channels During Disaster Management
The rapid emergence and evolution of social media and mobile solutions have revolutionized how relief organizations communicate with their clients. Through a feedback loop designed to collect and analyze data, they can improve their operations and deliver faster and more effective responses.
The World Food Programme is tasked with helping over 80 million people annually by moving around three million tons of food. Using mobile technology can help improve the efficiency of its operations by identifying and mapping the vulnerability of its clients. This process can be carried out through various methods, such as manual and aggregate data collection. The organization’s mVAM solution has been deployed in over 30 countries and has saved $5 million annually.
Through a collaboration with a network hardware manufacturer, the WFP collected data from its clients through voice and Texting technology. This method allowed it to reach out to some of the most vulnerable communities in the world and deliver effective and affordable responses. Through the partnership, the two organizations can expand the scope of their work by launching a pilot program that will use chatbots.
According to Jean Martin-Bauer, the Food Security Analyst for the WFP, the organization can now receive real-time information about the food security situation in its target areas, allowing it to respond quickly and save lives.
Leveraging Mobile and Communication Solutions: The Story of MERLENN®
Communication during disaster management is continuously developing, with modern and innovative solutions helping communicate threat levels to those most affected. Until now, there has been a lack of effective ways to deal with situations that can threaten the safety of others. This is because there are no plans to deal with unpredictable events.
Through the development of MERLENN®, a system and service by Counterspherics®, a business or Emergency Management team can identify the hidden risks that affect the safety of others.
Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other threats can affect different people in different regions. For instance, riots or violent incidents in a workplace can and do affect groups of individuals differently. Through the development of MERLENN®, the team at Counterspherics has created a strategy that will help organizations respond effectively to crises.
Unlike other solutions, MERLENN® provides people with immediate updates about the situation. MERLENN® eliminates lack of or incorrect information allowing those affected to act immediately with instructions to make informed decisions about the situation. Fortunately, many people do not have the necessary information in a crisis, and this puts them at a higher risk of personal safety.
The lack of timely information and adequate measures to react can lead to the disastrous consequences of an already bad situation. Humans can adapt to conditions and must respond in a certain manner to ensure that they can handle the challenges that come their way. With the help of MERLENN®, people can now respond to hazards and threats in a well-defined manner.
Ensuring Safety By Using MERLENN®
One of the most challenging factors for many organizations is to create a long-term digital foundation that allows them to invest in and test new technology solutions before disasters happen.
Despite the technological limitations that prevent people from obtaining the essential resources they need during a crisis, such as food, water, and shelter, technology is still helping organizations deliver effective and efficient aid to their communities and employees as needed.
To learn more about how MERLENN® can be used worldwide and understand its capabilities in mitigating disaster impact, readers are encouraged to check out their video-animated case study about the 2011 Japan triple disaster. The study showcases how a California university used its system to provide real-time alerts and instructions to their students and families in Japan on where to go, what to do, and how to get out of the country after the disaster. Counterspherics Labs is constantly working on safety and threat management systems to help people and businesses in crisis events.
You can reach out to them today for more information.
About The Editors and Counterspherics®
Rushton Prince and Henrie Watkins are Safety and Disaster Preparedness experts. Both have extensive backgrounds as First Responders, Safety Technology Implementers, Human Protection, and Occupational Health and Safety Trainers.
Counterspherics, the company behind MERLENN® has 22 years of experience in providing crisis response infrastructure and boasts a 100% customer satisfaction rate. To view illustrated examples of the software in action, follow Counterspherics on YouTube.