Can Technology Help During Natural Disaster?

The Problem
Effective communication is the key in the global world. However, it becomes paramount and mandatory during disaster situations. The big question is can the technology still help during a natural disaster? It is a fact that phones lines go down and the cellular network gets overloaded resulting in call drop. So, there is a need for an immediate solution to the problem to avoid major damages.

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The Solution
IoT seems to be the answer to bridge this gap. Today, with the advancement in the Internet of Things (IoT), more than five billion devices including mobile and wearable devices are used today.
Low power devices and sensors bid through IoT require Bluetooth connectivity and are not dependent on the internet at all. This means, a particular sensor network of such devices can function to communicate with the outside world to communicate and save human lives or send quick support.

Though, major things like calling for a taxi or rent a car is not possible as these services are not available; Low power devices can communicate effectively with a radio network to send and receive messages.
The best part is that these devices are battery driven and not affected by any power blackout. It is possible to send over thousand tweets (tested under demo conditions) per second through this technology.
These sensors are equipped to capture any sudden change in the temperature or any weather change to relay this information quickly to all network nodes promptly.

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How these devices are managed in the back ground?
As all the devices are diverse and require complex handling, a software defined networking system (SDN) is required to ‘command’ and manage these devices so that accurate information is sent and devices are managed properly.
To explain how SDN and IoT work, let’s take a scenario not related to natural disaster. If you want to lease a car, you need to open your mobile and download a car rental app. Once done, the car rental company server will see a request and send a transmission to the GPS sensor present on the driver’s car. The driver will receive this sensor on his mobile triggered through the GPS sensor attached in his car or through the mobile GPS.

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Finally, the confirmation is sent to the user’s mobile. This entire gamut of communication happens through various touch points and known as IoT. If SDN is implemented, certain offline functions are programmed into this entire gamut so that user can receive a message (Example- ‘The network is weak here, please rent a car from few miles ahead’) and proceed accordingly.


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