The Importance of IT in Emergency Preparedness and Risk Reduction

The Importance of IT in Emergency Preparedness and Risk Reduction

Gov CIO Outlook | Friday, October 01, 2021

Technologies are crucial to crisis prevention, preparation, and management.

FREMONT, CA: Technology advancements aren't just intended to make life easier. Lots of new technology has been built with the specific purpose of improving the handling of large-scale emergencies.

When it comes to emergency planning and prevention, it is critical to ensure good communication, data analysis, and security, and new technology provides the basis for all of these things. Discover how these essential IT resources are needed for emergency or disaster management.

Prioritizing Technology Preparedness: Before the technology can assist in an emergency, it must have its disaster preparedness strategy. Business owners are encouraged to create an IT disaster recovery plan to ensure that their technology is protected, accessible, and restored in the event of a disaster.

Along with a business continuity plan, firms should have a plan in place for restoring phone lines, computer networks, and servers in the event of a disaster. For instance, if a corporation puts its data in the cloud, crucial personnel must understand how to access the data. Remote monitoring and management (RMM) of the network and cloud enables IT personnel and employees to easily access and secure this data in an emergency. This is especially advantageous when a workforce consists of remote workers who may be required to restart operations without returning to the office.

Applications of GPS and GIS: Another critical part of emergency and catastrophe management and response is location tracking. A global positioning system (GPS) is a navigational aid that makes use of satellites. The general population utilizes GPS systems for navigation, and both state and local governments utilize these technologies during emergencies.

A geographic information system (GIS) is similar to a global positioning system (GPS) in that it relies on satellites to supply location data, but this technology can provide more details. GIS systems enable users to monitor, store, verify and collect data relating to global positioning systems, such as streets, vegetation, elevation, or structures.

Scenario Simulation: Preparing for emergencies in advance ensures that the plan of action is feasible and executable. Emergency responders can employ virtual reality (VR) training programs to prepare for large-scale emergencies due to technical improvements. By exposing operatives to these complex and unpredictable scenarios via VR, they feel more prepared, experienced, and ready to deal with them in real life.

Local and state governments count on these systems to analyze the patterns and correlations between these factors and the surrounding environment. This enables them to monitor the state of a crisis and its impact on local communities.

Information Obtained through Public Sources: Through social media, technology enables the public to exchange stories. These accounts are helpful during times of crisis or disaster. When those directly affected by the circumstance share their experiences with the general public online, it provides significant insight to others.

Through technology, the public can gain insight into what is happening on the front lines, allowing them to better prepare and take the disaster seriously. For instance, if someone publishes a brief video of how a fire decimated their area, a viewer in a nearby community is more likely to take the incident seriously. After witnessing the magnitude of the calamity, the viewer is more inclined to prepare their home and comply with government officials' evacuation orders.

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