Preventative Measures for Natural Disasters: the Role of Sensors and IoT Technologies
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are opening the door to a future of intuitive and accurate systems that rely on sophisticated data analytics to prevent and mitigate the impact of natural disasters. While in its infancy, the sensor-based technology is likely to be life-saving.
Natural Disasters Contribute to Human Suffering
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes a disaster as “any event that causes disruption to the environment, loss of human life, and loss of health services”. The occurrence of such events requires significant intervention from the local community as well as global resources.
Natural disasters impact a considerable proportion of the global population. Between 1994 and 2013, 217 million people were impacted by natural disasters. $15.3 billion in damages were caused between 2000 and 2017, and one million cases of cancer were attributed to natural disasters during this period.
Millions are forced to flee their homes each year because of these disasters, with recent figures revealing that 65 million people became immigrants and refugees in 2016 due to natural disasters. In the same year, the United Nations (UN) held its first-ever global conference on disaster relief, during which it stated that “today human suffering is greater than ever before time since the Second World War.”
Clearly, natural disasters are a major cause of human suffering, leading to death, injury, disease, homelessness, and contribute to poor education, unemployment, violence to women, child abuse, and child neglect. It is vitally important that disasters are prevented to reduce this significant level of human suffering.