natural disasters

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Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Search and Rescue Operations

Press Release | Perdue University | May 1, 2019

Rescue teams descended on the destruction left by Hurricane Michael in October, frantically searching for survivors. But a week later, more than 1,000 people were still not accounted for, leaving families to wait and hope.Drone assistance in natural disaster response now is simplistic at best with a number of hurdles. But new research led by Purdue University professors is working to use artificial intelligence and learning algorithms to create a platform allowing multiple drones to communicate and adapt as mission factors change.

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Making Personal Health Data Available During an Emergency

If you or your family were injured during a disaster like a hurricane, earthquake or forest fire, wouldn’t you want your health data to be available to first responders and others who are there to provide care? We thought you might, and we are partnering with the State of California to pilot just such a project. Working at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), we have had the opportunity to leverage investments in health information technology to spur innovation in public health and preparedness...

Mesh Networks Can Keep People Connected During Natural Disasters

Tina Trinh | VOA News | September 2, 2017

Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey are a threat not only to human life but also to telecommunication systems. When they go down, entire cities and communities are cut off from each other. Mesh networks, however, can get people connected again, and during emergencies they can be a crucial link to information. "It really all boils down to the 'central point of failure' problem," said Daniela Perdomo. "If the central infrastructure goes down, everyone who plugs into it is also disconnected."...

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MissingMaps: Chart a Course to Disaster Relief From Your Phone

Wired Brand Lab | Wired | June 1, 2017

Delivering life-saving aid to the middle of a war-zone or disaster area is no easy task. First, there’s the challenge of actually getting there. While navigation software now offers detailed maps of most cities, the uncharted villages and remote conflict zones served by Doctors Without Borders/Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) are another beast entirely. Even though a remote village or unmarked street might be visible in satellite imagery, it can take MSF mappers months to locate, sketch, and code the kind of detailed digital maps aid workers rely on...

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Mobile Phones Are Now As Crucial As Food And Water In Emergency Aid

Heather Timmons | Quartz | November 13, 2013

Foreign aid is streaming into the Philippines from around the world as the news of the devastation wrought Super Typhoon Haiyan spreads, but it’s no longer just food, water and shelter: Before the storm even made landfall, a team from non-profit Télécoms Sans Frontières was on the ground, carrying satellite phones and laptop-sized BGans, which enable voice calls and internet connections via satellite. Read More »

Nasa Cannot Monitor Most Potentially Devastating Asteroids

Nick Collins | The Telegraph | February 13, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will not hit Earth when it whizzes past us on Friday - but we may not be so lucky in future, space experts fear. Read More »

National Biodefense Strategy: Protecting the Nation Against all Biological Threats

Today, the White House and four federal departments unveiled a comprehensive National Biodefense Strategy to make America safer against modern biological threats to the United States. In the 21st century, biological threats are increasingly complex and dangerous, and that demands that we act with urgency and singular effort to save lives and protect Americans. Whether a natural outbreak, an accidental release, or a deliberate attack, biological threats are among the most serious we face, with the potential for significant health, economic and national security impacts. Therefore, promoting our health security is a national security imperative.

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Natural Disasters Become Battlegrounds In Spectrum Fight

Josh Smith | Nextgov | October 31, 2012

While the government seeks to parcel out valuable spectrum to new technologies, TV and radio stations point to disasters like Sandy as proof that broadcasters are as important as ever. Read More »

New Report Finds Nation's Public Health Emergencies Are Increasing While State Emergency Preparedness Levels face Challenges

Press Release | Trust for America’s Health | February 12, 2019

The report takes an annual snapshot of states' public health and emergency readiness. Authored by TFAH since 2003, it...highlights pressing needs for additional action particularly as weather- related and other public health emergencies become more frequent...It identifies specific action-steps that if taken would improve the jurisdiction's overall level of emergency preparedness, including dedicated funding for health security initiatives, modernizing and supporting technologies and innovations within public health programs, and building multisectoral collaboration and leadership.

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New York’s Ongoing Blackout: Hospitals In Lower Manhattan

Charles Ornstein | ProPublica | November 8, 2012

Long after power is restored from Sandy, the effect of another more-precarious outage is still taking shape: Some of the largest hospitals in lower Manhattan remain shuttered. Other hospitals are scrambling to fill the gap, and concern is rising that the patchwork system can't last for long. Read More »

News Participation Starts At ‘Home’

Trevor Knoblich | FrontlineSMS | November 16, 2012

Seemingly every major news event worldwide is heightening participation in news. People are eager to share updates and photos of an unfolding news event, ask questions of media outlets, and share important information. But there are two important aspects to this type of participation [...]. In other words, people write about their immediate world using their ‘home’ or go-to platform. Read More »

Notes On The Watershed Post’s Implementation Of Ushahidi’s Crowdmap

Julia Reischel | Ushahidi | December 12, 2012

This fall, we decided to use a Ushahidi’s hosted Crowdmap platform to organize our coverage of Sandy in the Catskills. Here’s a list of what worked and what didn’t... Read More »

Online Tools To Use To Track Hurricane Sandy's Power

Ian Paul | TechHive | October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is proving to be a storm not to be trifled with. If you need to stay abreast of the latest developments, there are plenty of useful resources you can find online. Read More »

Online Volunteers Map Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan

Alex Hern | The Guardian | November 15, 2013

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team coordinates mapping effort after enormous storm devastated country Read More »

Op-Ed: There’s A Leadership Void In Addressing Critical Geospatial Issues

Kevin Pomfret | Nextgov | November 11, 2013

Last month, nearly 1,000 global government and industry representatives from around the world attended a Mexico-hosted conference on the economic, societal and governmental benefits of geospatial technology. Notably absent were U.S. government officials. [...] Read More »