Most of us do everything within our control to keep ourselves and our families and friends safe. We follow traffic laws, we lock our doors, and we avoid stepping on cracks — lest we break our mothers’ respective backs. But even with all of that, we can’t control nature (as much as we have tried to attain some sort of X-Men like manipulation of the weather). So storms hit, earthquakes come, volcanoes erupt, and none of that stuff can be prevented. It is out of our control, which can be a bit stressful to think about — how one moment your life could feel perfect, and in the next, everything around you in ruin.
What we can control is our preparedness in the case of such disasters. We can keep our home earthquake kits stocked, we can come up with plans and we can support the technology that is rising to meet the demands of keeping people safe through extreme conditions or breakdowns of current infrastructure. Because in recent years, there has been an explosion of newly available resources in tech with the potential to save many lives during a disaster.
From what we can download on our phones to robots that can be first responders (keeping human emergency personnel safer and freer to do more nuanced tasks) the technology available to predict and assist in disasters is rapidly reducing the number of deaths and damages caused by mother nature. Which is a good thing given that 2017 was a record year for disasters, costing the United States a record 306 billion dollars in damage and the loss of thousands of lives. And with an increasing number of (and severity of) storms in the last few years, we need all of the advantages technology can give us.
These are some of the new advances in tech that are saving lives in emergencies:
Drones can get life-saving supplies into hard to reach places.
When roads are inaccessible (or people are trapped in difficult to reach situations), drones have become crucial in getting much-needed relief to victims. Drones can deliver medication, food, water, and provide intel on victims. Some even have devices like defibrillators which can get immediate medical care to those in dire situations — where every second counts in order to prevent brain damage or death. And getting supplies like antibiotics to people earlier when wounds have become infected in unsanitary conditions can be the difference between keeping or losing a limb. Drones can even deliver blood to those badly hurt. The can go where emergency workers can’t always immediately and that saves lives.
Furthermore, drones can give aerial views of damage, survivors, and be equipped with sensors that can get real-time data to those trying to make rescue and recovery plans.