Digitization Brings Real-Time Situational Awareness to Disaster Response

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With the rise of digitization, emergency and disaster response management teams are investing in new digital tools for improving situational awareness, communication, and collaboration. These digital tools may include smart devices, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and artificial intelligence (AI). Digital solutions offer data-driven analyses and decision-making tools for real-time situational understanding. They also help determine the best ways to dispatch resources and personnel.

Digitizing real-time situational awareness in disaster response management offers many benefits, including: 

Read on to learn more about the benefits of digitization in emergency and disaster response management. And find out how state-of-the-art digital technologies bring real-time situational awareness to first responders.

Current Disaster Response Operations

Disasters occur more frequently from weather-related and geological events. The damage they can cause ranges from minimal to major. Severe natural events, like floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires, can cause long-term impacts on infrastructure. And they can potentially also cause manufactured disasters, such as hazardous material spills, gas and other dangerous chemical releases, and even nuclear accidents.

Effective disaster response operations rely on quickly and accurately deploying people and physical supplies to the location where a disaster has occurred. Currently, organizations like the American Red Cross and local governmental agencies are using a mix of satellite mapping applications and real-time conversations between callers and 911 dispatchers. They even rely on social media content, such as on-site photographs, affected street addresses, and reported road conditions to assist in disaster response decision-making.

However, when natural and manufactured disasters result in hazardous environments, the presence of combustible chemicals severely limits disaster response operations. Typical devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops can cause sparks, which may place anyone using such a device in grave danger of igniting a devastating explosion. In these cases, response teams with specialized digital tools must access the dangerous areas and assess the situation.

Digitized Disaster Response in Combustible Environments

Some combustible environments occur in unexpected areas because of natural or manufactured disasters. Others happen in manufacturing and other industrial environments known as Zone 1 areas, where concentrations of flammable material may potentially occur during normal operations. In disasters where combustible materials are present, accurate, real-time information needs collecting, delivering, and sharing via intrinsically safe digital devices, purposely built for potentially flammable environments.

Intrinsically safe digital solutions for Zone 1 areas must offer real-time data collection and visualization tools, secure communication, and a convenient collaboration platform for personnel responding to disasters in combustible environments. These devices must provide safe situational awareness by facilitating efficient flows of critical information, such as: 

Aegex Digitization Tools Offer Real-Time Situational Awareness

As a leading tech engineering and design company, Aegex Technologies offers a full suite of enterprise-class digitization tools built for use in potentially combustible Zone 1 environments. Providing real-time situational awareness starts within minutes by collecting data via our intrinsically safe NexVu IoT sensors placed in and around disaster zones.

NexVu sensors are easy to customize for thousands of configurations and a variety of data analytics. The cloud automatically recognizes the sensors and delivers real-time environmental condition assessments to aegex10 intrinsically safe tablets. Running Windows 10 operating system, aegex10 tablets conveniently connect appropriate personnel to the cloud via LTE or Wi-Fi and/or offline via Bluetooth and NFC communication.

VCORE's fourDscape interactive visualization software platform also runs on these tablets, integrating real-time data and information via sensors, analytics, video, audio, other data sources and connected devices. Prioritizing first responder communication over all other transmissions, VCORE uses Verizon's Responder Private Core, a dedicated network for ensuring secure collaboration among all disaster response personnel.

Transforming Disaster Response With Aegex Technologies

Aegex digitization tools ensure real-time situational awareness by collecting and sharing crucial information with disaster responders when they need it and where they need it. If digitizing real-time situational awareness is a top priority for your disaster response management team, Aegex Technologies can help.