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Relying On Tech In Natural Disasters Ill-Advised, Expert Says

Posted: 17/10/2016

Looking to the latest developments in technology to help solve all the problems that arise in the event of a natural disaster and improve the way aid is provided is perhaps not the best way to go about aid relief.

This is according to risk management expert Matthias Garschagen, who works with the United Nations University (UNU) Institute for Environment and Human Security, and who told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that devices like drones and smartphones are no substitutes for having basic infrastructure in place that some countries have been lacking for years.

The UNU’s World Risk Report has highlighted the growing interest in technologies to make improvements where emergency response is concerned. For example, drones can be used to relay information to emergency services, while social media sites allow people to get in touch with friends and family almost immediately.

“Too often we think infrastructure means building a nice road, a nice bridge or a tsunami early warning system. But we don't pay sufficient attention to the humans and institutions that need to be trained, educated and built around the technology in order to maintain or run it properly,” Mr Garschagen was quoted by the news source as saying.

The World Risk Report itself found that inadequate infrastructure and poor logistic chains substantially increase the risk that extreme natural events will lead to a disaster. Project Director of the report Peter Mucke explained that the challenges predominantly lie in the logistics chain, such as organising transport despite any destroyed bridges, streets or roads, for example.

For help with emergency response planning and your disaster recovery plans, call us here at HFR Solutions CIC today.